|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 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 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.
On 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. In 2018, Pony Canyon reestablished its branch in Taiwan.
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 in the past and present.
Below is a selected list of video games either developed or published by the Pony Canyon label.
Below is a list of anime series licensed for streaming and home video release in North America by Pony Canyon's Ponycan USA label.