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AEG Presents and Japanese major label Avex launch new live company AEGX

By | Published on Tuesday 2 March 2021


Japan’s fourth major label Avex has announced a new partnership with live music giant AEG Presents to form new joint venture called AEGX. Yeah, really.

Although it has been largely domestically focused since its launch in 1988, Avex has been increasingly looking at international opportunities for its artists in recent years. Working with AEG is an extension of this, with plans to use the live firm’s international network to build the profile of its artists and brands worldwide. AEG, meanwhile, sees it as an opportunity to grow its presence in Japan.

AEGX’s initial focus will be on promoting AEG Presents artists in the Japanese market, and developing new festivals and venues in the country. As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift around the world, it will also promote global tours for Japanese artists, including acts not signed to Avex.

“This is really a perfect example of synergies being scaled for the benefit of global artist development, which is at the core of what we do”, says AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano. “Partnering with Avex to launch AEGX gives both Avex and AEG Presents a path to create real opportunities for musicians who increasingly see the world as a borderless global community. I can’t wait to see what we all do together”.

Avex CEO Katsumi Kuroima adds: “We are very excited to announce the launch of AEGX with AEG Presents. Our companies both share the same goal with this new partnership: AEGX will serve music fans around the world by contributing to the global development of western artists, while also expanding the reach of Japanese artists beyond its borders. The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us of the positive power and limitless potential of music and entertainment. We are THRILLED to take this stride forward together and look forward to the future”.

As well as being part of Avex’s increasingly global focus, this partnership also expands the firm’s recent shift into the live side of the music industry, partly a response to its slipping dominance in recorded music. Once Japan’s biggest record label, it has seen its market share in the country halve in recent years, and in 2019 was behind Universal Music and Sony Music.

In part, this is down to some of the label’s most successful artists passing their career peak or fully retiring. Also, Avex has been slower to move to digital than most other labels, and a heavier reliance on physical media sales means it was hit harder financially as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

In November, the company put its Tokyo HQ up for sale and offered early retirement to nearly a third of its 1500 employees.