2. The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a British multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The company's gramophone manufacturing led to forty years of success with larger-scale electronics and electrical engineering. The company later became involved in broadcasting equipment, notably providing the first television transmitter to the BBC. It also manufactured broadcast television cameras for British television production companies, mostly the BBC, although the commercial television ITV companies used them as well alongside cameras made by Pye and Marconi. Their most famous piece of broadcast television equipment was the EMI 2001 colour camera, which became the mainstay of both the BBC and several ITV companies in the 1970s and early 1980s. From the late 1950s to the early 1970s, the company enjoyed huge success in the popular music field under the management of Sir Joseph Lockwood. The strong combination of EMI and its subsidiary labels (including Parlophone, HMV, Columbia and Capitol Records) along with a roster of stellar groups such as The Hollies, The Shadows, The Beach Boys, and, The Beatles along with hit solo performers such as Frank Sinatra, Cliff Richard, and Nat 'King' Cole, made EMI the best-known and most successful recording company in the world at that time. On 12 November 2011, it was announced that EMI has sold its recorded music operations to Universal Music Group for £1.2 billion ($1.9billion) and its music publishing operations to a Sony-led consortium for $2.2 billion. Among the other companies that had competed for the recorded music business was Warner Music Group which was reported to have made a $2 billion bid. However, IMPALA has said that it would fight the merger, and the merger has yet to be approved
3. Universal Music Group (UMG) is a multinational music company. The UMG corporate headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California, United States. It is the largest of the "big four" record companies by its leading market share and its multitude of global operations. Universal Music Group is a wholly owned subsidiary of French media conglomerate Vivendi. Universal Music Group owns a music publisher, Universal Music Publishing Group, which became the world's largest following the 2007 acquisition of BMG Music Publishing. There are many labels with Universal including one that has been set up by popular R’n’B artist Will.I.Am. Doug Morris stepped down from his position as CEO on January 1, 2011. Former Chairman/CEO of Universal Music International Lucian Grainge was promoted to CEO of the company. Grainge later replaced him as chairman on March 9, 2011 Starting in 2011 UMG's Interscope-Geffen-A&M Records will be signing contestants from American Idol. On December 9, 2011, Megaupload published a music video titled: "The Mega Song", showing artists including Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and will.i.am endorsing the company. The music video was also uploaded to YouTube, but was removed following a takedown request by UMG. Megaupload said that the video contained no infringing content, commenting: "we have signed agreements with every featured artist for this campaign"
4. WMG is the only one of the big four record companies that cannot trace its ancestry to either Columbia Phonograph Company or Berliner Gramophone. WMG's roots date back to the founding of Warner Bros. Records in 1958 as a division of the Warner Bros. Pictures. Warner Bros. Despite early success with Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, by the mid-1990s Interscope Records was being seen as a liability for the Warner group. Time Warner's board and investors had already been bruised by the damaging 1992 "Cop Killer" controversy and now they were faced with renewed criticism about the gangsta rap genre, in which Interscope's associate imprint Death Row Records was a key label. In 2008, WMG, Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI, and several Indies (via Merlin) together with the Orchard licensed their full back catalogs to the new concept of Spotify in order to fight piracy with a legal way of music streaming. However, in February 2010, WMG announced that it would no longer be licensing music for Spotify and other free streaming services, claiming that they were "clearly not positive for the industry". In April 1971, thanks mainly to the influence of Ahmet Ertegun, the Warner group announced a major coup with its acquisition of the worldwide rights to The Rolling Stones' new label Rolling Stones Records, following the expiration of the band's contract with Decca Records and the acrimonious end to their business relationship with controversial former manager Allen Klein.
5. Sony BMG Music Entertainment began as the result of a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Music Entertainment (part of Sony) and Bertelsmann Music Group (part of Bertelsmann) completed on March 4, 2004. It is one of the Big Four music companies, and includes ownership and distribution of recording labels such as Arista Records, Columbia Records, Epic Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Victor Records, RCA Records, Legacy Recordings, Sonic Wave America, and others. The merger affected all Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group companies worldwide except for Japan, where it was felt that it would reduce competition in that country’s music industry significantly. In August 2004, Sony entered into a 50-50 joint venture with Bertelsmann by merging Sony Music and Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) to form Sony BMG Music Entertainment.. Thanks to Sony we now have technology such as the Playstation, the Blu-ray DVD, and for the inventions of the Betamax casset, the floppy disc and so on. Sony also offer a range of digital cameras.