Pony Canyon, Inc. (株式会社ポニーキャニオン Kabushiki gaisha Ponī Kyanion?) 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 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 videotaped concerts from its artists as well as many anime productions. In 1990, Pony Canyon opened a subsidiary in Singapore called Skin which was managed by Jimmy Wee and signed local English language performers such as Art Fazil, Chris Vadham, The Lizards' Convention, Humpback Oak and Radio Active. However, Skin shut down in 1997.
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. 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, South Korea and Hong Kong. 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.
Below is a selected list of musical artists signed under the Pony Canyon label.
- Arashi (moved into J Storm in 2002)
- Aya Ueto
- C-ute (Korea only)
- Funkist (band)
- Girl5 (Korean Band)
- Hanako Oku
- Kato Kazuki
- Kokia (1998-1999)
- Leaf Squad
- Mao Abe
- MC Sniper
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
- Mikuni Shimokawa
- Yukiko Okada
- Original Love
- Ricki-Lee Coulter
- Roger Joseph Manning, Jr.
- Sam Roberts
- Shizuka Kudo
- John Hoon
- Tsukiko Amano (retired)
- Van Ness Wu
- Yu Yamada
- Ensemble Planeta
- Yuki Saito
- The Wild Magnolias (one release)
- Watari Roka Hashiritai
Below is a selected list of video games either developed or published by the Pony Canyon label.
- Dr. Chaos
- Jungle Wars 2 – Kodai Mahou Ateimos no Nazo
- Lunar Pool
- Penguin Land
- Super Pitfall
- Onyanko Town
Pony Canyon holds the copyright to the Original Mario Kart 64 Soundtrack.
- Official website (Japanese)
- Pony Canyon International Distribution (Japanese)
- Pony Canyon at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Interglobal Music (formerly Pony Canyon Malaysia) (English) (Malay)
- Pony Canyon Korea (Korean)
- Pony Canyon on Twitter