Avex Inc.

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Avex Inc. (Japanese: エイベックス株式会社, romanizedEibekkusu kabushiki gaisha /əˈvɛks/ /ˈvɛks/, commonly known as Avex and stylized as avex) is a Japanese entertainment conglomerate led by founder Max Matsuura and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.[3] Founded in 1988, the company manages J-pop talents like Ayumi Hamasaki[4] and internet sensation PikoTaro.[5] It has also shifted into other business domains like anime, video games and live music events, partnering with Ultra Music Festival[6] and hosting the annual A-nation.[7] The company is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) keiretsu.

Avex Inc.
Native name
Company typePublic KK
Industrial keiretsu
FoundedApril 11, 1988; 36 years ago (1988-04-11) (as Avex D.D., Inc.)*
Area served
East Asia
Key people
  • Max Matsuura
    (Founder & Chairman)
  • Katsumi Kuroiwa
  • CDs
  • DVDs
RevenueIncrease¥46.3 billion (US$421.87 million) (2021)
Increase¥2.6 billion (US$23.69 million) (2021)
Decrease¥1.6 billion (US$14.58 million) (2021)
Number of employees
1,455 (as of March 31, 2017)
Subsidiariessee Subsidiaries

Name edit

AVEX is an acronym of the English words Audio Visual EXpert.[citation needed] Since its foundation, its corporate name was Avex D.D., Incorporated, and ten years later it was changed to Avex, Incorporated.

The current name, Avex Group Holdings, Incorporated, was adopted in 2004 as part of reconstruction process after Tom Yoda's resignation. Avex Group Holdings, Incorporated was used for the main subsidiaries, while the old name (Avex, Incorporated) was for entertainment components of the Group.

In 2005, Avex, Incorporated became Avex Entertainment, Incorporated, and stayed on as part of the Group.

History edit

The Avex Building (エイベックスビル, Eibekkusu Biru), finished in 2002 and funded by Sumitomo Life, in Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo. It was vacated in October 2014 to give way to the move to Izumi Garden Tower.
The Izumi Garden Tower in Roppongi. Avex Group moved to the 36th floor of the tower on October 1, 2014.
Avex Group logo used from 2000 to 2017

1988–1999: The early years edit

Avex was registered June 1, 1973, as Avex D.D. Incorporated (エイベックス・ディー・ディー株式会社, Eibekkusu Di Di Kabushiki Gaisha), although it did not become established until 1988. They began as a CD wholesaler based in Machida, Tokyo.[8] In September 1990, they opened a recording studio and created Avex Trax as a music label. In the same year, they created "Musique Folio Inc.", a music publishing company, which became "Prime Direction Inc."

In 1993, they transferred to Aoyama, Tokyo and created a U.S. branch, called "AV Experience America Inc." The year also marked the first of Avex's yearly events. It was held in Tokyo Dome under the name "avex rave '93" and attracted 50,000 attendees. This led to the creation of the Cutting Edge label.

In 1994, they formed two UK subsidiaries, "Rhythm Republic Limited" and "Avex U.K. Limited". Later that year, they opened a disco, claimed on their website to be "the world's largest scale disco", named Velfarre.[9]

In 1997, they opened a series of concert halls called "Zepp" with Sony Music Entertainment Japan. In early 1999, they signed an agreement with Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records to handle the companies' Japanese CD releases. Later that year "Avex Mode", an animation company, was established. In December, the company was listed on the 1st section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 7860.[10]

2000–2009: Times of unity and divisiveness edit

In 2001, Avex opened the "avex artists academy" music school.[11]

In 2002, they released the "CCCD", a type of copy-protected CD,[12] and opened their building in Aoyama, paid for by Sumitomo Life and worth 205 billion yen.

In 2003, they opened a classical music business (named Avex Classics).[13]

In January 2004, they began selling Japanese music CDs in South Korea. In December of that same year, President Max Matsuura "spotted" former idol Ami Suzuki performing live at the annual festival of their school, Nihon University. He subsequently signed her to the Avex label.[14]

In 2005, Avex acquired distribution rights for Aozora Records' catalogue including all future Hitomi Yaida releases.[15]

In early 2008, Avex partnered with Victor JVC to officially create the label D-topia Entertainment as a business partnership between the labels and its founder, Terukado Onishi, with the sales promotion handled by Victor while the area promotion handled by Avex. As part of the Avex Group's 20th anniversary celebration, a big project occurred with avex trax's "produced by avex trax" artists; the band Girl Next Door, formed and debuted in September 2008.

Avex Group launched its own IPTV service, BeeTV, May 2009 in partnership with NTT DoCoMo.

2004: Internal feud: Max Matsuura v. Tom Yoda edit

In August 2004, a feud between Max Matsuura and co-founder Tom Yoda affected the group.[16] It started because of Yoda's ambition to expand Avex into other entertainment-related ventures, especially producing movies.[17] In addition, he accused Ryuhei Chiba, the company's executive director and president of Avex Inc. (now Avex Planning and Development), of pursuing personal profit from a few big artists.[16]

July 30: In a board meeting, Yoda introduced a resolution calling on Chiba to resign because of an alleged conflict of interest. A source says the disagreement arose because Chiba had signed an artist managed by a member of his family. The board backed Yoda's resolution in a 6-1 vote. However, Matsuura — described by insiders as a close ally of Chiba — introduced a second resolution demanding that Yoda step down due to "a difference of opinion in management principles". Matsuura's motion was defeated 5-2. He and Chiba resigned the next day.[18]

August 2: Matsuura and Chiba announced their resignations in a meeting with employees of Avex.[19][20] Chiba denied any fault, while Matsuura complained that Avex had lost its love of music and said he wanted to start over. They had the support of many staff who also said they would quit. More significantly, the label's top star, Ayumi Hamasaki, said she would leave.[20] As a result, Avex's stocks in the TSE fell by 16 percent that day.[21]

August 3: Due to pressure by employees and artists and to save the company from bankruptcy, Yoda resigned and was replaced by Toshio Kobayashi.[8][22]

2010–present edit

AGHD is listed at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and Börse München of Germany under the ticker symbol AX8.[23]

More K-pop artists from other agencies continued to sign with Avex such as SM Entertainment's TVXQ (2006), YG Entertainment's 2NE1 (2010), S-plus Entertainment's SS501 member Kim Hyung Jun (2011), Pledis Entertainment's After School (2011), NH Media's U-KISS (2011)[24] and Yejeon Media's Shu-I (2011).[25]

On July 21, 2011, it was announced that Avex had paired with Korean management label YG Entertainment to form YGEX.[26]

In 2012, the group began offering limited releases for sale, DRM-free for the first time within Japan on Amazon MP3.[27] Max Matsuura and Toshio Kobayashi, the company's top two individual shareholders, launched their own investment companies to anchor their shares in 2012.[citation needed]

As a show of modernization, Avex Group moved to Izumi Garden Tower in Roppongi in October 2014. The company was designated to the 36th floor – the former address of DWANGO.

On February 15, 2017, Avex Group discontinued all foreign exports of Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs published under their Avex Pictures label.[28] A spokesperson said the action was taken due to unspecified rights issues.[29]

In 2022, Avex made a renewed attempt to expand into North America. Avex USA Inc. opened in a rented five-bedroom West Hollywood home, headed by Naoki Osada, an Avex veteran with experience in the American music business. Avex leadership gave Osada five years to find success in the U.S.[30] The home has been renovated to include four recording studios.[31] The label has partnered with Sony Music Publishing to administer its catalogue outside Japan.[32]

Operations edit

Subsidiaries edit

In April 2010, the Avex Group corporation was re-structured to establish Avex Music Publishing Inc. as a consolidated subsidiary, in a corporate spin-off of music publishing division of Avex Group Holdings Inc. Thus the Avex Group became a pure holding company, with a corporate structure as follows:[33]

Japan edit

  • Avex Entertainment Inc. (エイベックス・エンタテインメント株式会社, eibekkusu entateinmento kabushiki gaisha)
  • Avex Broadcasting & Communications Inc. (エイベックス通信放送株式会社, eibekkusu tsūshin hōsō kabushiki gaisha)
  • Avex Management Inc. (エイベックス・マネジメント株式会社, eibekkusu manejimento kabushiki gaisha)[34]
  • Avex Music Publishing Inc. (エイベックス・ミュージック・パブリッシング株式会社, eibekkusu myūjikku paburisshingu kabushiki gaisha) (Formerly Musique Folio Inc. and Prime Direction Inc.)

Other edit

Affiliates edit

  • Memory-Tech Corporation
  • RecoChoku Co., Ltd.[36]
  • AWA

Music labels edit

  • Avex Casa (house music and electronica)
  • Avex Classics (classical music)
  • Avex Globe (globe's label; defunct since 2019)
  • Avex Ideak (joint venture with KADOMATSU.T; defunct since 1998)
  • Avex International (international releases)
  • Avex IO[37]
  • Avex Trance (trance music)
  • Avex Rush
  • Avex Trax (first record label of the group (1990))
  • Avex Tune (dance music)
  • Xgalx
  • B-ME (joint venture with BMSG)
  • Binyl Records (rock music)
  • Blowgrow[41]
  • Commmons (joint venture with Ryuichi Sakamoto)
  • Cross-A
  • Cutting Edge (second record label of the Group (1993.12))
  • Dimension Point (Namie Amuro's label)
  • Disc du Soleil
  • Dois Irmaos (Lisa Ono)
  • Espionage Records (joint venture with Verbal)
  • Five-D Plus
  • Foxtrot (joint venture with Rams Incorporated)[42][43]
  • FRAME (joint venture with Level-5; founded by the latter with Up-Front Works)[44]
  • Hach Entertainment (joint venture with NTT SmartConnect)
  • Hi-BPM Studio
  • HPQ (Visual kei)
  • Idol Street (for idol performers, launched October 2, 2010, by Tatsuo Higuchi[45])[46]
  • Island Records
  • J-Friends Project
  • J-More[47]
  • Justa Music[48]
  • Locomusic (Love-chan's label)
  • Love Life Records (Hitomi's label)
  • Mad Pray Records (Anna Tsuchiya's label)
  • Maximum 10
  • MENT RECORDING (joint venture with Johnny & Associates)[49]
  • Motorod Records
  • nakedrecords
  • Oorong Records (joint venture with Oorong-sha Group)
  • Rhythm Republic
  • Rhythm Zone (third record label of the Group (1999))
    • Fluctus
    • Riddim Zone
    • Starz by Rhythm Zone
  • Rising Records
  • Sonic Groove
  • Superb Trax
  • Tachytelic Records (joint venture with Taku Takahashi)
  • Tank Top Records[50]
  • Tearbridge Production[51]
  • The Six Dragons
  • True Song Music (Dai Nagao's label)
  • Velfarre Records
  • YGEX (joint label with YG Entertainment)

Entertainment ventures edit

  • Movies
    • Domestic
      • Avex Pictures
        • DIVE II Entertainment
    • Foreign
  • Artist Management
    • Avex Management
    • Platinum Productions
  • Digital
    • Avex Broadcasting and Communications (joint venture with NTT docomo)
    • mu-mo.net[54] (Japanese) (own music store of the Group)
  • Theater Company

Labels distributed edit

Promotional projects edit

IFPI membership edit

The Group is a member of the IFPI for Hong Kong and Japan.[57]

A-Nation edit

Each year since 2002, Avex has hosted a summer concert tour around Japan, "A-Nation", featuring the company's most successful acts. It is held every weekend in August in different Japanese cities. Top Avex acts like Ayumi Hamasaki, Kumi Koda, AAA, Ai Otsuka, BIGBANG, BOA ,Do As Infinity, Hitomi, TRF, Every Little Thing and TVXQ perform to major crowds each year. In 2008, Namie Amuro made her first appearance at A-Nation and performed on all dates that year.[58][59] For the first time in 2012, Kumi Koda did not perform due to her pregnancy.

Festival sponsors include Joe Weider and his Weider fitness products, Seven & I Holdings Co., NTT DoCoMo, Mizuno Corp., Nissay (through its You May Dream! Project), and others.

International partners edit

See also edit

References edit

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  2. ^ "AXEV INC. (7860)". MarketScreener. Retrieved March 16, 2023.
  3. ^ "エイベックス株式会社". www.avex.co.jp.
  4. ^ "Ayumi Hamasaki Announces 20th Anniversary Tour: See the Dates". PopCrush. March 24, 2017.
  5. ^ "'PPAP' goes the world: How Pikotaro became a viral smash - The Japan Times". November 4, 2016.
  6. ^ "Avex Live Creative Confirms Dates for Ultra Japan 2015" (Press release). December 17, 2014.
  7. ^ "Who was music being made for in 2014? - The Japan Times". December 23, 2014.
  8. ^ a b ja:エイベックス・グループ Avex Group's article on the Japanese Wikipedia.
  9. ^ "Avex Group". Avex Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "7860:Tokyo Stock Quote - Avex Group Holdings Inc". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
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  13. ^ "avex-CLASSICS" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Archived from the original on January 10, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  14. ^ Robert Poole (2005). "What Does The Development Of Independent Female Artists Mean For The Japanese Music Industry?" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 29, 2007. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  15. ^ "Start of Commission Sales of the Aozora Records Catalogue" (PDF) (Press release). Avex Group. September 15, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  16. ^ a b "Japan Entertainment News". Japan Zone. August 2004. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  17. ^ Retail stores allbusiness.com [dead link]
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  20. ^ a b "Avex in Chaos". Japan Zone. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
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  22. ^ "Takuro Ailing Again". Japan Zone. Retrieved June 1, 2019.
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  27. ^ "MP3ダウンロード" [MP3 Download] (in Japanese). Amazon.co.jp. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
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  29. ^ Japan, Arama! (March 3, 2017). "Avex Pictures releases statement on export ban". ARAMA! JAPAN. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  30. ^ Barrionuevo, Alexei (October 14, 2022). "Japanese Label Avex Looks to Conquer U.S. Market From New LA Hub". Billboard.
  31. ^ "Studios". AVEX USA. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
  32. ^ King, Ashley (February 21, 2022). "Avex USA Inks Global Administration Deal with Sony Music Publishing". Digital Music News. Retrieved July 5, 2023.
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  34. ^ "avex management". Avex Group. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  35. ^ "艾迴股份有限公司" [Avex Corporation Ltd]. Avex Group. 2008. Archived from the original on July 10, 2008.
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  38. ^ "dive in! disc - Home" (in Japanese). dive in! disc. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
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  42. ^ "Foxtrot". Foxtrot-music.com. Archived from the original on April 25, 2013. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  43. ^ "Foxtrot (@Foxtrot_Foxtrot) Op Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
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  45. ^ Tatsuo Higuchi on Facebook
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  51. ^ "tearbridge records". TearbridgeRecords. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
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  54. ^ mu-mo.net website [dead link]
  55. ^ "The Beginning Ayaka". Neowing. September 26, 2012. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  56. ^ Yamaha Music Communications Inc.
  57. ^ "LINKS - IFPI Member Record Companies". Ifpi.org. September 1, 2005. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
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External links edit

Japan edit

Asia ex. Japan edit

  Media related to Avex Group at Wikimedia Commons

Others edit