|Industry||Movies, music, video games|
|Founded||October 1, 1966
(as Nippon Broadcasting System Services, Inc.)
|Headquarters||Minato, Tokyo, Japan|
|Owner||Fujisankei Communications Group|
Number of employees
Pony Canyon, Inc. (株式会社ポニーキャニオン Kabushiki gaisha Ponī Kyanion?), also known by the shorthand form Ponycan (ぽにきゃん Ponikyan?), is a Japanese company, established on October 1, 1966, which publishes music, DVD and VHS videos, movies, and video games. It is a subsidiary of the Japanese media group Fujisankei Communications Group.
On October 1, 1966, Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc. opened a new record label division, called as Nippon Broadcasting System Service, Inc., in order to produce and market music from Japanese artists. The division formally changed its name in 1970 to Pony, Inc. in order to match the brand names it has been using previously. These were "PONYPak" for 8-track cassettes from 1967, and "PONY" for cassettes from 1968. At this time in 1970 another Japanese record label Canyon Records Inc. was founded. In 1982, Pony ventured into interactive content by producing personal computer game software under the name "Ponyca". In 1984 the company entered license agreements with major overseas companies, MGM/UA, Vestron Video, Walt Disney Home Video and BBC Video, and in 1985, they established offices in New York and London. In 1986, Pony signed licensing agreements with A&M Records and in 1989 with Virgin Records to handle both companies. On October 21, 1987, Pony and Canyon merged their record operations to form Pony Canyon, Inc.
Pony Canyon is a major leader in the music industry in Japan, with its artists regularly at the top of the Japanese charts. Pony Canyon is also responsible for releasing taped concerts from its artists as well as many anime productions. It is also responsible for deleting most of the videos in YouTube that are licensed by Pony Canyon without any pitch or tempo changes. In 1990, Pony Canyon branched out, and opened five subsidiaries outside Japan, one of them is a subsidiary in Singapore called Skin which was managed by Jimmy Wee and signed local English language performers such as Gwailo, Art Fazil, Chris Vadham, The Lizards' Convention, Humpback Oak and Radio Active. In addition to Singapore, Pony Canyon has also had a subsidiary in Taiwan, and a joint venture in Hong Kong and South Korea, named as Golden Pony and SAMPONY, respectively. Four of five subsidiaries were closed in 1997 due to Asian financial crisis, leaving the Malaysian subsidiary as the only subsidiary to remain in operation. However, the Hong Kong and Korean operations was reestablished as a wholly owned subsidiary, although the Korean operation had a 16% stake of local partner. In 2003, the Hong Kong and Taiwan branch of Pony Canyon, both which was affected by the financial crisis, was acquired by Forward Music.
As a video game producer, Pony Canyon brought the Ultima series from Origin Systems and the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons series from Strategic Simulations to the Nintendo Family Computer. Between 1986 and 1990, they produced remakes of the first four Ultima titles for the MSX2 and NES platforms. These remakes improved on the original versions with re-written game code and all-new graphics.
Pony Canyon's video game library was generally released in North America by FCI, the United States sister of the Fujisankei Communications Group. Pony Canyon never enjoyed as much success as a software producer as it did as a record label, and has long been criticized over the quality of many of its video games. Pony Canyon does not appear to be releasing any more video game titles as it has not released any video games since Virtual View: Nemoto Harumi for the PlayStation 2 in July 2003.
In 2006, the Fuji Television Network, Inc. became the major share-holder of the company.
Pony Canyon is headquartered in Tokyo with offices in Malaysia and South Korea. It employs approximately 360 people. Pony Canyon also owns the recording label Flight Master. It also distributes releases from Italian dance record company Time S.p.A. in many countries worldwide, including in Japan and in Italy.
In September 2014, Pony Canyon opened a North American anime distribution label, Ponycan USA, which aims to license their titles for streaming and home video in US and Canada. Their home video releases will be distributed exclusively by Right Stuf Inc..
Below is a selected list of musical artists signed under the Pony Canyon label.
- Ai Maeda
- Arashi (moved to J Storm in 2002)
- Asriel (2014–present)
- Aucifer (1999–2000)
- Aya Ueto
- Aya Suzaki
- Ayana Taketatsu
- B1A4 (Korean Band)
- Berryz Koubou
- Blood Stain Child
- Bangtan Boys (Korean Band)
- Buono! (moved to Zetima in 2011)
- BY-SEXUAL (1990–1995)
- Combattimento Consort Amsterdam
- Crayon Pop (Japanese album)
- Cute (Korea only)
- Ensemble Planeta
- Fahrenheit (Japan release)
- Funkist (band)
- HALO (Korean Band)
- Hanako Oku
- Happatai (band)
- Jang Keun-suk
- Kato Kazuki
- John Hoon
- Kokia (1998–1999)
- Kym Campbell (Japan)
- Leaf Squad
- Maaya Uchida
- Mao Abe
- Marc van Roon (Japan/South Korea)
- MC Sniper
- Milky Bunny
- Miki Matsubara (1979–1986)
- Mikuni Shimokawa
- Original Love
- Paradise Lost
- The Pillows (1991-1994)
- Ricki-Lee Coulter
- Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.
- Show Luo
- Sam Roberts
- Sexy Zone
- Shizuka Kudo
- Sound Horizon
- SS501 (Korean band)
- Team H
- TiA (2011–)
- Tsukiko Amano (retired)
- Van Ness Wu (Japanese albums only)
- Watari Roka Hashiritai
- Weather Girls
- The Wild Magnolias (one release)
- Yu Yamada
- Yuki Saito
- Yukiko Okada
- Aaron Yan
Below is a selected list of video games either developed or published by the Pony Canyon label.
- Attack Animal Gakuen
- Bubble Ghost
- Dr. Chaos
- Final Justice
- Jungle Wars 2 – Kodai Mahou Ateimos no Nazo
- Kabuki-chou Reach Mahjong: Toupuusen
- Lunar Pool
- Onita Atsushi FMW
- Onyanko Town
- Penguin Land
- Phantom Fighter
- Pit Fall
- Shiroi Ringu he
- Super Pitfall
- Tasmania Story
- Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness
- Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress
- Ultima III: Exodus
- Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
North American anime licenses
Below is a list of anime series licensed for streaming and home video release in North America by Pony Canyon's Ponycan USA label.
- Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
- Denki-gai no Honya-san
- Garakowa -Restore the World-
- Lance N' Masques
- Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
- Sound! Euphonium
- Yuki Yuna is a Hero
- Company Profile
- Company Profile Pony Canyon's official site.
- Pony Canyon cuts back in Asia. Billboard magazine. 1998-01-17. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
- Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (Pony Canyon) GameSpy
- Homepage InterGlobal Music (MY) Sdn. Bhd.(formerly Pony Canyon Malaysia).
- Homepage Pony Canyon Korea.
- Homepage Flight Master (a Pony Canyon label).
- "Pony Canyon Production Company Expands To US Market". Anime News Network. 2014-09-25.
- "Right Stuf Inc. Announces Exclusive Distribution Deal with Pony Canyon Inc." (Press Release). Anime News Network. 2015-01-09. Retrieved 2015-01-10.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pony Canyon.|
- Official website (Japanese)
- Pony Canyon's channel on YouTube
- Pony Canyon at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Ponycan USA website (English)
- Malaysian website (English) (Malay)
- Korean website (Korean)