Sony Music  

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In the 2000s, a majority of the music industry is controlled by three major record labels: the French-owned Universal Music Group, the Japanese-owned Sony Music, and the US-owned Warner Music Group. Labels outside of these three major labels are referred to as independent labels (or "indies").

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sony Music Entertainment (known professionally as Sony Music and abbreviated as SME) is an American music company owned by Sony that is incorporated as a general partnership of Sony Music Holdings Inc. through Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. The company was first founded in 1929 as American Record Corporation and renamed Columbia Recording Corporation in 1938, following its acquisition by the Columbia Broadcasting System. In 1966, the company was reorganized to become CBS Records. Sony Corporation bought the company in 1987 and renamed it Sony Music Entertainment in 1991.

In 2004, Sony and Bertelsmann established a 50-50 joint venture called Sony BMG Music Entertainment and transferred businesses of Sony Music Entertainment (former CBS Records) and Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG; Ariola, Arista, RCA Records, etc.) into the joint venture, although later in 2008, Sony acquired Bertelsmann's stake and the company reverted to the SME name. The buyout led to the dissolution of BMG, which relaunched as BMG Rights Management. Sony Music Entertainment is one of the "Big Three" record companies, being the second largest after Universal Music Group (UMG) and ahead of Warner Music Group (WMG).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sony Music" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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