The company's logo since 2016
The company's headquarters in Minato, Tokyo
|Industry||Movies, TV shows, music, video games|
|Founded||October 1, 1966|
(as Nippon Broadcasting System Services, Inc.)
|Headquarters||Minato, Tokyo, Japan|
Number of employees
|Parent||Fuji Media Holdings|
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 Ponican (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 affiliated with the Japanese media group Fujisankei Communications Group. 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 and several film productions.
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 had been using previously. These were "PONYPak" for 8-track cassettes from 1967, and "PONY" for cassettes from 1968.
In August 1, 1970, another Japanese record label, Canyon Records Inc. was founded. Like Pony Inc., Canyon Records was part of the Fujisankei Communications Group. Canyon Records was financially backed at 60% by Pony Inc. and at 40% by Pony's parent company Nippon Broadcasting System.
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 Home Video, Vestron Video International, Walt Disney Home Video and BBC Video (the company also entered license agreements with major overseas companies, RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video in 1986), 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' Japanese CD releases.
On October 21, 1987, Pony Inc. and Canyon Records merged their operations to form Pony Canyon Inc.
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 were 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 affected by the financial crisis, were 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 Nintendo's Family Computer. Between 1986 and 1990, they produced remakes of the first four Ultima titles for the MSX2 and NES platforms. These remakes differed from the original versions, with rewritten game code and all-new graphics. Pony Canyon's video game library was generally released in North America by FCI. Pony Canyon has not released any video games since Virtual View: Nemoto Harumi for the PlayStation 2 in July 2003.
Following a merger with Nippon Broadcasting System, Fuji Television Network, Inc. became the major shareholder of Pony Canyon in 2006. The following year, Fuji Television made Pony Canyon its wholly owned subsidiary. Fuji Television was subsequently renamed Fuji Media Holdings in 2008. Despite associations with Fuji Television, not all of Pony Canyon's TV show and movie library has been broadcast on Fuji Television. Some of Pony Canyon's non-Fuji TV catalog includes Doraemon movies.
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.
- Aaron Yan
- Λucifer (1999–2000)
- Ai Maeda
- Alyssa Milano (1988-1993)
- Ami Wajima
- Arashi (moved to J Storm in 2002)
- Asriel (2014–present)
- Aya Ueto
- Ayana Taketatsu
- B1A4 (Korean idol group)
- Berryz Koubou
- Blood Stain Child
- Buono! (moved to Zetima in 2011)
- BY-SEXUAL (1990–1995)
- Cinema Staff
- Combattimento Consort Amsterdam
- Crayon Pop (Korean idol group)
- Cute (Korea only)
- Dreamcatcher (Korean idol group)
- Ensemble Planeta
- Fahrenheit (Japan release)
- Funkist (band)
- HALO (Korean idol group)
- Hanako Oku
- Happatai (band)
- Hiro Shimono
- Jang Keun-suk
- Kaori Ishihara
- Kato Kazuki
- John Hoon
- Kim Samuel (Korean Soloist)
- Kitarō (1979–1981)
- 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
- Nature (Korean idol group)
- Official Hige Dandism
- Original Love
- Paradise Lost
- Park Yong-ha (1998–2010)
- .Paul Mauriat. (After Philips)
- The Pillows (1991–1994)
- Ricki-Lee Coulter
- Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.
- Romeo (Korean idol group)
- Show Lo
- Sam Roberts
- Segawa Ayaka
- Sexy Zone
- Shizuka Kudo
- Sound Horizon
- SS501 (Korean idol group)
- Suzuko Mimori
- Team H
- TiA (2011–)
- Tsukiko Amano (retired)
- Van Ness Wu (Japanese albums only)
- Watari Roka Hashiritai
- Weather Girls
- The Wild Magnolias (one release)
- World Order
- Yoko Hikasa
- Yu Yamada
- Yuki Saito
- Yukiko Okada
- Yurika Kubo
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
Below is a list of anime series licensed for streaming and home video release in North America by Pony Canyon's Ponycan USA label.
- Clean Freak! Aoyama kun
- Cute High Earth Defense Club Love! (Seasons 1 & 2)
- Denkigai no Honya-san
- Garakowa: Restore the World
- Kuromukuro (Netflix Original)
- Lance N' Masques
- The Lost Village
- Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers
- Sanrio Boys
- Sound! Euphonium (Seasons 1 & 2)
- Welcome to the Ballroom
- Yuki Yuna Is a Hero
- Company Profile - Pony Canyon's official site
- Homepage Archived April 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine InterGlobal Music (MY) Sdn. Bhd.(formerly Pony Canyon Malaysia).
- Homepage Pony Canyon Korea.
- Homepage Flight Master (a Pony Canyon label).
- "Japan's Record Manufacturers". Billboard Magazine. July 22, 1970. p. J-13.
- Pony Canyon cuts back in Asia. Billboard magazine. January 17, 1998. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
- "Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (Pony Canyon Version) - PC - GameSpy". uk.pc.gamespy.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Kama Sutra: a tale of love". Trove. National Library of Australia. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- Schilling, Mark (March 30, 2007). "Fuji TV ponies up for Fusosha". Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Corporate Profile - FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK, INC". www.fujitv.co.jp. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- "Pony Canyon Production Company Expands To US Market". Anime News Network. September 25, 2014.
- "Right Stuf Inc. Announces Exclusive Distribution Deal with Pony Canyon Inc" (Press release). Anime News Network. January 9, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
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