Avex Group

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Avex Group Holdings Inc.
Native name
Public KK
Industrial keiretsu
Traded as TYO: 7860
Genre Music Record Label
(J-pop, Eurobeat and others)
Founded April 11, 1988 (as Avex DD Inc.)*
Founder Max Matsuura
Headquarters 36th Floor, Izumi Garden Tower, 6-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 106-6036
Area served
worldwide, especially Asia
Key people
Max Matsuura (CEO)[1]
  • CDs
  • DVDs
Revenue 169,256 million yen
8,611 million yen
Owner The Master Trust Bank of Japan (4.69%)
Max 2000, Inc. (4.44%)
T's Capital Co., Ltd. (4.44%)[2]
Number of employees
1,423 (as of the end of September 2014)
Subsidiaries see Subsidiaries
Website www.avex.co.jp

Avex Group Holdings Inc. (エイベックス・グループ・ホールディングス株式会社 Eibekkusu Gurūpu Hōrudingusu Kabushiki-gaisha?), listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange as 7860 and abbreviated as AGHD, is the holding company for a group of entertainment-related subsidiaries based in Japan. The word Avex is an acronym of the English words Audio Visual Expert.

With leading producer's Tetsuya Komuro's assistance, Avex became Japan's leading dance record company during the 1990s, and continues producing and recording some of Japan's most famous pop singers such as Japan's highest selling solo musician, Ayumi Hamasaki and popular South Korean singer, BoA. The company also provides theme music soundtracks to many anime and a few video games through its subsidiary Avex Mode.

Avex Group is mainly known in Japan because of its flagship music imprint, Avex Trax, which was founded in 1990. It is one of the top three record labels in Japan since the Komuro period,[3] and is currently the biggest (14.7% of all recorded music sales as of first half 2013), ahead of Sony Music Entertainment Japan (13.0%), Universal Music Japan (9.9%), King Records (7.4%), and J Storm (5.9%).[4]


Avex is an acronym of the English words Audio Visual Expert. Since its foundation, its corporate name was Avex D.D., Incorporated, and ten years later it was changed to Avex, Incorporated.

The current name, Avex Group Holdings, Incorporated, was adopted in 2004 as part of reconstruction process after Tom Yoda's resignation. Avex Group Holdings, Incorporated was used for the main subsidiaries, while the old name (Avex, Incorporated) was for entertainment components of the Group.

In 2005, Avex, Incorporated became Avex Entertainment, Incorporated, and stayed on as part of the Group.


The Avex Building (エイベックスビル Eibekkusu Biru?), finished in 2002 and funded by Sumitomo Life, in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo. It was vacated in October 2014 to give way to the move to Izumi Garden Tower.
The Izumi Garden Tower in Roppongi. Avex Group moved to the 36th floor of the tower on October 1, 2014.

1988–1999: The early years[edit]

Avex was registered June 1, 1973 as Avex DD Incorporated (エイベックス・ディー・ディー株式会社 Eibekkusu Di Di Kabushiki Gaisha?), although it did not become established until 1988. They began as a CD wholesaler based in Machida, Tokyo.[2] In September 1990, they opened a recording studio and created Avex Trax as a music label. In the same year, they created "Musique Folio Inc.", a music publishing company, which became "Prime Direction Inc."

In 1993, they transferred to Aoyama, Tokyo and created a U.S. branch, called "AV Experience America Inc." The year also marked the first of Avex's yearly events. It was held in Tokyo Dome under the name "avex rave '93" and attracted 50,000 attendees. This marked the foundation of the Cutting Edge label.

In 1994, they formed two UK subsidiaries, "Rhythm Republic Limited" and "Avex U.K. Limited," to particularly distribute the parent label's music releases in what would later become the Chinese special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Later that year, they opened a disco, claimed on their website to be "the world's largest scale disco", named Velfarre.[5]

In 1997, they opened a series of concert halls called "Zepp" with Sony Music Entertainment Japan. That same year, following Hong Kong's handover to the People's Republic of China, "Rhythm Republic Limited" and "Avex U.K. Limited" were merged to form a new company, "Avex Asia Limited," which was re-branded as "Avex Hong Kong Limited" in September 2008 before being absorbed into "Avex Taiwan Incorporated" in January 2014.

In early 1999, they signed an agreement with Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records to handle the companies' Japanese CD releases. Later that year "Avex Mode", an animation company, was established. In December, the company was listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 7860.[6]

2000–2009: Times of unity and divisiveness[edit]

In 2001, Avex opened the "avex artists academy" music school.[7]

In 2002, they released the "CCCD", a type of copy-protected CD,[8] and opened their building in Aoyama, paid for by Sumitomo Life and worth 205 billion yen.}.

In 2003, they opened a classical music business (named Avex Classics).[9]

In 2004, they began selling Japanese music CDs in South Korea and Avex President Max Matsuura "spotted" former idol Ami Suzuki performing live at the annual festival of their school, Nihon University. He subsequently signed her to the Avex label.[10]

In 2005, Avex acquired distribution rights for Aozora Records' catalogue including all future Hitomi Yaida releases.[11]

In early 2008, Avex partnered with Victor JVC to officially create the label D-topia Entertainment as a business partnership between the labels and its founder, Terukado Onishi, with the sales promotion handled by Victor while the area promotion handled by Avex. As part of the Avex Group's 20th anniversary celebration, a big project occurred with avex trax's "produced by avex trax" artists; the band Girl Next Door, formed and debuted in September 2008.

Avex Group launched its own IPTV service, BeeTV, May 2009 in partnership with NTT DoCoMo.

2004: Internal Feud : Max Matsuura v. Tom Yoda[edit]

In August 2004, a feud between Max Matsuura and co-founder Tom Yoda almost ruined the group.[12] It started because of Yoda's ambition to expand Avex into other entertainment-related ventures, especially producing movies.[13] In addition, he accused Ryuhei Chiba, the company's executive director and president of Avex Inc. (now Avex Planning and Development), of pursuing personal profit from a few big artists.[12]

July 30: In a board meeting, Yoda introduced a resolution calling on Chiba to resign because of an alleged conflict of interest. A source says the disagreement arose because Chiba had signed an artist managed by a member of his family. The board backed Yoda's resolution in a 6-1 vote. However, Matsuura — described by insiders as a close ally of Chiba — introduced a second resolution demanding that Yoda step down due to "a difference of opinion in management principles." Matsuura's motion was defeated 5-2. He and Chiba resigned the next day.[14]

August 2: Matsuura and Chiba announced their resignations in a meeting with employees of Avex. Chiba denied any fault, while Matsuura complained that Avex had lost its love of music and said he wanted to start over. They had the support of many staff who also said they would quit. More significantly, the label's top star, Ayumi Hamasaki, said would leave.[12] As a result, Avex's stocks in the TSE fell by 16 percent that day.[15]

August 3: Due to pressure by employees and artists and to save the company from bankruptcy, Yoda resigned and was replaced by Toshio Kobayashi.[2][12]


AGHD is listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Börse München of Germany under the ticker symbol AX8.[16]

More K-pop artists from other agencies continued to sign with Avex such as YG Entertainment's 2NE1 (2010), S-plus Entertainment's SS501 member Kim Hyung Jun (2011), Pledis Entertainment's After School (2011), NH Media's U-KISS (2011)[17] and Yejeon Media's Shu-I (2011).[18]

On July 21, 2011, it was announced that Avex had paired with Korean management label YG Entertainment to form YGEX Entertainment.[19]

In 2012, the group began offering limited releases for sale, DRM-free for the first time within Japan on Amazon MP3.[20] Max Matsuura and Toshio Kobayashi, the company's top two individual shareholders, launched their own investment companies to anchor their shares in 2012.[citation needed]

As a show of modernization, Avex Group moved to Izumi Garden Tower in Roppongi in October 2014. The company was designated to the 36th floor – the former address of DWANGO.

On February 15, 2017, Avex Group discontinued all foreign exports of Blu-Rays, DVDs, and CDs published under their Avex Pictures label. The company provided no official statement on the decision.[21]



In April 2010 - the Avex Group corporation was re-structured to establish Avex Music Publishing Inc. as a consolidated subsidiary, in a corporate spin-off of music publishing division of Avex Group Holdings Inc. Thus the Avex Group became a pure holding company, with a corporate structure as follows:[22]


  • Avex Entertainment Inc. (エイベックス・エンタテインメント株式会社 eibekkusu entateinmento kabushiki gaisha)
  • Avex Music Creative Inc. (エイベックス・ミュージック・クリエイティヴ株式会社)
  • Avex Management Inc. (エイベックス・マネジメント株式会社 eibekkusu manejimento kabushiki gaisha)[24]
  • Avex Marketing Inc. (エイベックス・マーケティング株式会社 eibekkusu māketingu kabushiki gaisha) (Formerly Avex Distribution Inc. and Avex Marketing Communications Inc.)
    • Hatch Entertainment Inc. (ハッチ・エンタテインメント株式会社 hacchi entateinmento kabushiki gaisha?)[25]
    • Muzie Co. Ltd. (有限会社ミュージー yugen gaisha miyūji)[26]
    • Para.TV, Inc. (株式会社Para.TV kabushiki gaisha para tivi)[27]
  • Avex Live Creative Inc. (エイベックス・ライヴ・クリエイティヴ株式会社 eibekkusu raivu kurieitivu kabushiki gaisha)[28]
  • Avex Planning & Development Inc. (エイベックス・プランニング&デベロップメント株式会社 eibekkusu puranningu ando deberoppumento kabushiki gaisha)[29] (Formerly White Atlas Inc. and Axev Inc.)
  • Avex Music Publishing Inc. ( エイベックス・ミュージック・パブリッシング株式会社 eibekkusu myūjikku paburisshingu kabushiki gaisha) (Formerly Musique Folio Inc. and Prime Direction Inc.)


  • Avex International Holdings Singapore Pty Ltd. - Est. July 2013, management and supervision of Avex Taiwan and Avex Shanghai
  • Avex Hawaii Inc[31]


Music labels[edit]

  • Avex Casa (house music and electronica)
  • Avex Classics (classical music)
  • Avex Club (compilation albums)
  • Avex Globe (globe's label)
  • Avex Ideak
  • Avex International (international releases)
  • Avex IO[35]
  • Avex Trance (trance music)
  • Avex Trax (first record label of the group (1990))
  • Avex Tune (dance music)
  • Bareknuckle
  • Binyl Records (rock music)
  • Blowgrow[39]
  • Commmons (joint venture with Ryuichi Sakamoto)
  • Cross-A
  • Cutting Edge (second record label of the Group (1993.12))
  • D-Force
  • Dimension Point
  • Disc du Soleil
  • Dois Irmaos (Lisa Ono)
  • Dwango Music Entertainment (sister company of dwango.jp)
  • Enka! Avex (えんか!!えいべっくす enka! eibekkusu?) (enka)
  • Espionage Records (joint venture with Verbal)
  • Five-D Plus
  • Foxtrot (joint venture with Rams Incorporated)[40][41]
  • FRAME (joint venture with Level-5; founded by the latter with Up-Front Works)[42]
  • Hach Entertainment (joint venture with NTT SmartConnect)
  • Hi-BPM Studio
  • HPQ (Visual kei)
  • Idol Street (for idol performers, launched October 2, 2010 by Tatsuo Higuchi[43])[44]
  • J-Friends Project
  • J-More[45]
  • Junk Museum
  • Justa Music[46]
  • Locomusic (Love-chan's label)
  • Love Life Records (Hitomi's label)
  • Mad Pray Records (Anna Tsuchiya's label)
  • Maximum 10
  • Mode '99
  • Motorod Records
  • nakedrecords
  • Oorong Records (joint venture with Oorong-sha Group)
  • Rhythm Republic
  • Rhythm Zone (third record label of the Group (1999))
    • Fluctus
    • Riddim Zone
    • Starz by Rhythm Zone
  • Rising Records
  • Sonic Groove
  • Superb Trax
  • Tachytelic Records (joint venture with Taku Takahashi)
  • Tank Top Records[47]
  • Tearbridge Production[48]
  • The Six Dragons
  • True Song Music (Dai Nagao's label)
  • Velfarre Records
  • YGEX (joint label with YG Entertainment)
  • Zoom Flicker

Entertainment ventures[edit]

  • Animation
    • Avex Mode
  • Television
    • Avex and East (joint venture with East Company)
  • Movies
    • Domestic
      • Avex Entertainment
    • Foreign
  • Artist Management
    • Agape
    • Avex Management
    • Platinum Productions
  • Advertising
    • M!dea Incorporated
  • Digital
    • Avex Broadcasting and Communications (joint venture with NTT docomo)
    • Avex Marketing (digital marketing and website hosting)
    • mu-mo.net (Japanese)(own music store of the Group)
    • Prismix
  • Live Shows
  • Magazines
  • Lounges

Labels Distributed[edit]

Promotional projects[edit]

IFPI Membership[edit]

The Group is a member of the IFPI for Hong Kong and Japan.[55]


Each year since 2002, Avex has hosted a summer concert tour around Japan, "A-Nation", featuring the company's most successful acts. It is held every weekend in August in different Japanese cities. Top Avex acts like Ayumi Hamasaki, Kumi Koda, AAA, Ai Otsuka, BoA, Do As Infinity, Hitomi, TRF, Every Little Thing and TVXQ perform to major crowds each year. In 2008, Namie Amuro made her first appearance at A-Nation and performed on all dates that year.[56][57] For the first time in 2012, Koda Kumi did not perform due to her pregnancy.

Festival sponsors include Joe Weider and his Weider fitness products, Seven & I Holdings Co., NTT DoCoMo, Mizuno Corp., Nissay (through its You May Dream! Project), and others.

International partners[edit]


  • Japan : Avex Building, 1-30 Minami-Aoyama San-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-8577
  • China : Room 302, Tianhai Business Building, Block B, 107 North Street, Dongxi, Beijing 100007
  • Hong Kong : Suite 03, 11th Floor, Exchange Tower, 33 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Avex Group - Board Members". Avex. October 31, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c ja:エイベックスグループ Avex Group's article on the Japanese Wikipedia.
  3. ^ a b "Billboard". 110 (9). Nielsen Business Media. February 28, 1998: 85. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Avex tops total sales ranking for 2nd consecutive year; King posts over 100% sales growth". Oricon Style. Oricon. July 19, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Avex Group". Avex Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  6. ^ "7860:Tokyo Stock Quote - Avex Group Holdings Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  7. ^ アーティストアカデミー [Artist Academy] (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  8. ^ "コピーコントロールCD" [Copy Control CD] (in Japanese). Avex. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  9. ^ "avex-CLASSICS" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  10. ^ Robert Poole (2005). "What Does The Development Of Independent Female Artists Mean For The Japanese Music Industry?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 2007. Retrieved Jan 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Start of Commission Sales of the Aozora Records Catalogue" (PDF) (Press release). Avex Group. September 15, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Japan Entertainment News". Japan Zone. August 2004. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ Peter Serafin (September 4, 2004). "Japanese Industry Awaits Avex Fallout". Billboard. Archived from the original on April 3, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  15. ^ Steve McClure (December 28, 2004). "Import-export issues mark J-pop year" (PDF). The Yomiuri Shimbun. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  16. ^ "AX8:Munich Stock Quote - Avex Group Holdings Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Seoul Central District Court dismisses both of SME's injunctions against JYJ". OMona They Didn't. February 17, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Shu-I (シューアイ) - Japan Official Site" (in Japanese). Shu-i.jp. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  19. ^ Neefa (July 21, 2011). "YG Entertainment and avex announce the creation of 'YGEX'!". 6Theory Media. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  20. ^ "MP3ダウンロード" [MP3 Download] (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved December 31, 2012. [dead link]
  21. ^ "Avex pictures enforces export ban on Blu-rays, DVD, and CDs". Arama Japan. Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  22. ^ a b "Avex Group - History". Avex Group. March 31, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  23. ^ "binylrecords". Bri.binylrecords.com. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  24. ^ "avex management". Avex Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  25. ^ "What's New". Hatch Entertainment. 2007. Archived from the original on October 18, 2007. 
  26. ^ "muzie 日本最大級の無料インディーズ音楽配信&コミュニティーサイト" [Muzie - Japan's largest free indie music & community site] (in Japanese). Muzie.ne.jp. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  27. ^ "【高画質携帯アプリ動画配信(ライブ・VOD・ストリーミング)・高画質携帯動画変換】 - 株式会社Para.TV" [High-quality video streaming mobile app Mobile Video Converter High Quality (live streaming · VOD ·)] (in Japanese). Paratv.co.jp. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  28. ^ "エーチケット - チケットもとれるライヴエンタメ情報サイト" [A-Ticket - Live Entertainment information site for tickets]. Avex Groups. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  29. ^ "エイベックス・プランニング&デベロップメント株式会社" [Avex Planning & Development]. Avex Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  30. ^ "艾迴股份有限公司" [Avex Corporation Ltd]. Avex Group. 2008. Archived from the original on July 10, 2008. 
  31. ^ Avex Group Holdings Inc. to Sell Avex Hawaii's Shares to Avex Asia Holdings Ltd. (Reuters)
  32. ^ 株式会社レーベルゲート|会社情報 [Company Information - Label Gate Co., Ltd.] (in Japanese). Label Gate. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  33. ^ "LDH" (in Japanese). LDH. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  34. ^ 会社概要 | 株式会社レコチョク [Recochoku Co., Ltd. - Company Profile] (in Japanese). RecoChoku. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ "avex io" (in Japanese). avex. 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  36. ^ "dive in! disc - Home" (in Japanese). dive in! disc. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  37. ^ マーティ・フリードマンが選ぶ!レーベル第1弾リリースはニコニコ動画ユーザーから誕生!! [Marty Friedman chooses! The first release from label born from Nico Nico Douga user!] (in Japanese). Binylrecords. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  38. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - MARTY FRIEDMAN Launches Record Label". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Oct 18, 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  39. ^ "blowgrow". blowgrow. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  40. ^ "Foxtrot". Foxtrot-music.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  41. ^ "Foxtrot (@Foxtrot_Foxtrot) Op Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  42. ^ "FRAME(フレーム)Official Site" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  43. ^ Tatsuo Higuchi on Facebook
  44. ^ "iDOL Street" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  45. ^ "J-More Official Website" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  46. ^ "シシド・カフカ、avexの新セクション『JUSTA MUSIC』に移籍決定!女優デビューも!" [Kavka Shishido moving to new Avex sub-label Justa Music! Also debuting as an actress!] (in Japanese). mFound. September 30, 2014. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  47. ^ "Tank Top Records" (in Japanese). Avex Group. 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  48. ^ "tearbridge records". TearbridgeRecords. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  49. ^ "Elephant Picture" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. 
  50. ^ "Pix Inc." (in Japanese). Pix Inc. 2008. Archived from the original on August 24, 2008. 
  51. ^ "beat freak|エイベックスの無料音楽情報「ビートフリーク」" [Avex "Beat Freak" free music information] (in Japanese). Avex Group. 2010. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  52. ^ "Alux". Alux.jp. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  53. ^ "The Beginning Ayaka". Neowing. September 26, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  54. ^ Yamaha Music Communications Inc.
  55. ^ "LINKS - IFPI Member Record Companies". Ifpi.org. September 1, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  56. ^ "a-nation Charge Go! ウイダーinゼリー musicweek & stadium fes" (in Japanese). A-nation.net. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  57. ^ "a-nation navi (@anation_navi) op Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  58. ^ "Our Service". Morganrichonline.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  59. ^ "Welcome to GMMInternational" (in Thai). Grammy International. October 13, 2011. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  60. ^ "上海中唱-首页" [Shanghai sing - Home]. China Record Shanghai Corp. 2004. Retrieved January 1, 2013. 
  61. ^ Avex Taiwan

External links[edit]


Asia ex. Japan[edit]