Pony Canyon

Last updated

Pony Canyon Inc.
Native name
Company typePrivate KK
IndustryMovies, TV shows, music, video games
FoundedOctober 1, 1966
(as Nippon Broadcasting System Services, Inc.)
Headquarters Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Area served
ProductsCDs, DVDs
Number of employees
450 [1]
Parent Fuji Media Holdings
  • PCI Music
  • Pony Canyon Enterprises
  • Exit Tunes, Inc.
  • Pony Canyon Korea (84%)
  • InterGlobal Music
Website ponycanyon.co.jp
Pony Canyon logo from 1987 to 2006 PonyCanyon logo.svg
Pony Canyon logo from 1987 to 2006

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, [2] 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.


Pony Canyon is headquartered in Tokyo with offices in Taiwan, Malaysia [3] and South Korea. [4] It employs approximately 360 people. Pony Canyon also owns the recording label Flight Master. [5]


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 cartridges from 1967, and "PONY" for cassettes from 1968.

On August 1, 1970, another Japanese record label, Canyon Records Inc. was founded. [6] Like Pony Inc., Canyon Records was part of the Fujisankei Communications Group. [6] Canyon Records was financially backed at 60% by Pony Inc. and at 40% by Pony's parent company Nippon Broadcasting System. [6]

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 a license agreement with 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. [2]

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. [7] 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. [8] 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.

The company has occasionally been involved in film production. For example, they were a co-production company for the 1996 Indian erotic film Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love . [9]

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. [10] Fuji Television was subsequently renamed Fuji Media Holdings in 2008. [11] 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. [12] Their home video releases will be distributed exclusively by Right Stuf Inc. [13]

Music artists

Below is a selected list of musical artists signed under the Pony Canyon label in the past and present.


Video games

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.

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fuji Television</span> Japanese television station in Tokyo

Fuji Television Network, Inc., also known as Fuji Television or Fuji TV, with the call sign JOCX-DTV, is a Japanese television station based in Odaiba, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. It is the key station of the Fuji News Network (FNN) and the Fuji Network System (FNS). Fuji Television is one of the ''five private broadcasters based in Tokyo''.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Japanese idol</span> Type of entertainer

An idol is a type of entertainer marketed for image, attractiveness, and personality in Japanese pop culture. Idols are primarily singers with training in other performance skills such as acting, dancing, and modeling. Idols are commercialized through merchandise and endorsements by talent agencies, while maintaining a parasocial relationship with a financially loyal consumer fan base.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tatsunoko Production</span> Japanese animation studio

Tatsunoko Production Co., Ltd. and often shortened to Tatsunoko Pro, is a Japanese animation company. The studio's name has a double meaning in Japanese: "Tatsu's child" and "sea dragon", the inspiration for its seahorse logo. Tatsunoko's headquarters are in Musashino, Tokyo.

Nippon Broadcasting System, Inc., or JOLF, is a Japanese radio station in Yurakucho, Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, next to the Tokyo Imperial Palace. Founded in 1954, it is together with Nippon Cultural Broadcasting, the flagship station of the National Radio Network. Nippon Broadcasting System is a subsidiary of Fuji Media Holdings and both companies are affiliated with the Fujisankei Communications Group. It is also the main company of the Nippon Broadcasting Group. Nippon Broadcasting System was instrumental in the creation of several companies including Fuji Television in 1957, Pony Canyon in 1966 and the Fujisankei Communications Group in 1967. Nippon Broadcasting System is also the home of the long-running radio program All Night Nippon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fujisankei Communications International</span>

Fujisankei Communications International, Inc. (FCI) is the American arm of the Fujisankei Communications Group, a Japanese media conglomerate of television and radio channels, magazine, newspaper, record and video game companies. The Fujisankei Communications Group regroups more than 90 companies, like Fuji TV in Japan, among others. Founded in 1986 in New York City and owned by Fuji Media Holdings, FCI makes productions from the Fujisankei Communications Group available to the United States and the rest of the western world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Onyanko Club</span> 80s Japan Idol Group

Onyanko Club was a large all-girl Japanese pop idol group in the 1980s. Some members of the group participated in spin-off groups, such as Nyangilas, Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi and Ushirogami Hikaretai. Many of the latter two groups' songs were used as theme songs of the popular 80s anime series High School! Kimengumi and Tsuide ni Tonchinkan. Several big-name idols stemmed from the group; one of the best known being Shizuka Kudo. The group was produced by Hiroshi Ishida and Kazuji Kasai, both of whom were producers of Fuji TV's show Yūyake Nyan Nyan.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fujisankei Communications Group</span> Japanese company

The Fujisankei Communications Group, abbreviated FCG, is Japan’s largest media conglomerate. Its chairman is Hisashi Hieda. In 1991, it was the largest media company in the world and the largest in now days Japan. In the same year, the company's yearly revenue was $5 billion. Many of its affiliates are owned by Fuji Media Holdings, itself a member of the Fujisankei Communications Group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Right Stuf</span> Asian media distributor

Right Stuf Inc. was an American video publisher and distributor of video programming that specialized in Asian entertainment. It had several divisions including: Nozomi Entertainment (production) and RightStufAnime.com. In March 2012, Right Stuf launched 5 Points Pictures, its live action label. Right Stuf also offered production services and distribution for Japanese labels Sunrise Inc., Eleven Arts, Pony Canyon, and its corporate sibling, Aniplex of America.

Shizuka Kimura, known by her maiden name Shizuka Kudo, is a Japanese singer, actress and former idol, born in Hamura, Tokyo, Japan. She was a member of Onyanko Club between May 1986 and September 1987 and went on to have a successful solo career with 11 number-one hits.

Nyangilas is a Japanese idol Jpop band created in 1986 as a four-member sub-group Onyanko Club.

<i>Bartender</i> (manga) Japanese manga series

Bartender is a Japanese manga series written by Araki Joh and illustrated by Kenji Nagatomo. Its focus is Ryū Sasakura, a genius bartender who uses his talents to ease the worries and soothe the souls of troubled customers. The manga was first serialized in Shueisha's Japanese seinen manga magazine Super Jump from 2004 to 2011. The individual chapters were collected by Shueisha and released in twenty-one tankōbon volumes.

Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi (うしろゆびさされ組) was a female Japanese pop music duo consisting of Yukiko Iwai and Mamiko Takai, formed in 1985. In parallel to their membership in this duo, Iwai and Takai were at the same time members of Onyanko Club, a large pop group widely seen as a precursor to groups such as Morning Musume and AKB48. Onyanko Club sang back-up vocals on some of the songs released by Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi. They are most notable for singing several of the theme songs for the anime television series High School! Kimengumi. Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi debuted on Yūyake Nyan Nyan("Sunset Meow Meow") on 30 September 1985. Throughout their short-lived career, the group released six singles, three albums, a promotion video, and two photo books. The group disbanded after Takai's graduation from Onyanko Club on 5 April 1987.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yukiko Iwai (singer)</span> Musical artist

Yukiko Iwai, also known by the nickname Yūyu, is a Japanese singer and actress born 26 May 1968 in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Iwai was a member of the all-girl pop group Onyanko Club, and she was the shortest of all the members at 150 centimetres. She was also half of the pop group Ushiroyubi Sasaregumi, a spin-off group of Onyanko Club. She graduated from Kaetsu Women's Junior High and High School, but left Kaetsu Women's Junior College before she finished. She has an older sister, Akiko, who is four years older than her and is said to look just like her.

Eri Nitta is a Japanese singer, actress, lyricist, and tarento. She made her professional debut as the fourth member of the all-female singing group Onyanko Club in 1985. She made her solo debut with the hit song Winter Opera Glasses on January 1, 1986. Nitta performed the opening and ending theme songs for the first 14 episodes of the Little Women anime television series from Nippon Animation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fusosha Publishing</span> Japanese publishing company

Fusosha Publishing is a Japanese publishing company wholly owned by Fuji Media Holdings and part of the Fujisankei Communications Group.

Ushirogami Hikaretai (うしろ髪ひかれ隊) was a Japanese idol J-pop band, active from 1987 to 1988. It was the third sub-group of Onyanko Club, consisting of three of its members: Shizuka Kudō, Akiko Ikuina, and Makiko Saitō, the group debuted during the "Onyanko Yumekojo Sailing 87'" tour.

<i>Songbird</i> (Kokia album) 1999 studio album by Kokia

Songbird is Kokia's debut album, released on July 16, 1999. It is her only album released under Pony Canyon, the rest being released with Victor Entertainment or Wasabi Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yasushi Akimoto</span> Japanese producer, lyricist

Yasushi Akimoto is a Japanese record producer, lyricist, and television writer, best known for creating and producing some of Japan's top idol groups, Onyanko Club and the AKB48 franchise. Total sales of the singles he has written exceed 100 million copies, making him the best-selling lyricist in Japan.

Exit Music Publishing Inc. is a Japanese media company that acts primarily as a music publisher. The company was founded as a printing company in 2001, however later became a music company known as Quake Records in 2003. In 2005, the company was renamed to Quake Holdings. The company became a subsidiary of Pony Canyon in 2009, and was renamed to Exit Tunes in 2011, and to Exit Music Publishing in July 2019.


  1. "会社概要 | ポニーキャニオン公式企業サイト". Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  2. 1 2 Company Profile Archived December 5, 2019, at the Wayback Machine - Pony Canyon's official site
  3. Homepage Archived April 16, 2010, at the Wayback Machine InterGlobal Music (MY) Sdn. Bhd. (formerly Pony Canyon Malaysia).
  4. Homepage Pony Canyon Korea.
  5. Homepage Flight Master (a Pony Canyon label).
  6. 1 2 3 "Japan's Record Manufacturers". Billboard Magazine . July 22, 1970. p. J-13. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  7. Pony Canyon cuts back in Asia. Billboard magazine. January 17, 1998. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  8. "Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (Pony Canyon Version) - PC - GameSpy". uk.pc.gamespy.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  9. "Kama Sutra: a tale of love". Trove . National Library of Australia. Archived from the original on April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  10. Schilling, Mark (March 30, 2007). "Fuji TV ponies up for Fusosha". Archived from the original on August 14, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  11. "Corporate Profile - FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK, INC". www.fujitv.co.jp. Archived from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  12. "Pony Canyon Production Company Expands To US Market". Anime News Network. September 25, 2014. Archived from the original on November 2, 2020. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  13. "Right Stuf Inc. Announces Exclusive Distribution Deal with Pony Canyon Inc" (Press release). Anime News Network. January 9, 2015. Archived from the original on October 25, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  14. Inc, Natasha. "立花日菜がアーティストデビュー、1stシングルは自身出演の「神飢え」エンディング". 音楽ナタリー (in Japanese). Retrieved January 1, 2024.{{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)