Difference Between Record Label and Record Company?

For example say if a singer is signed to Columbia Records which is owned by Sony Music, which is a record company, which one do they release their records through Columbia or Sony?

Also on itunes or amazon I always see this sort of thing when purchasing a mp3 "Universal Motown Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc." or "2012 Simco Limited under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited" what does this mean?

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Long ago, they were one in the same, but now that the music industry is controlled largely by a few big corporations. Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group are the major corporations. Prior to Universal Music Group's buying out the EMI Group in 2010, the record companies were known as "The Big Four". Between them, they either own or have distribution agreements with all the major labels. Labels generally cater to certain types of artists.

    Simco Limited is a global joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment focused on the production and marketing of music, television, film and digital content. Syco Music has offices in London and Los Angeles and is home to a dozen artists. Syco has the exclusive right to sign winners and finalists of The X Factor and Got Talent. UMG stands for Universal Music Group.

    List of Universal Music Group labels


    List of Sony Music Entertainment labels


    List of Warner Music Group labels


    There are still many independent labels, but unless they have an agreement with one of the major record companies, there distribution would only be regional and via internet.

    I hope this clears things up for you.


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  • pires
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Simco Limited Record Label

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  • 8 years ago

    I might be wrong, but it seems to me like the Record Labels manage the musicians through certain categories, while the Record Companies manage the Labels.

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