Sony Music Entertainment

From Audio Visual Identity Database

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Logo captures by
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Video captures courtesy of
retro VHS trailers, TechBlits, Cesar Blanco, FCN, Broken Saw, 4R Geo and Maxim Atanasov


Sony Music Entertainment was originally known as the CBS Records Group until it was sold to Sony Corporation of Japan on January 5, 1988, when Sony licensed the CBS name and was renamed as "Sony Music Entertainment" on January 1, 1991. On July 20, 2004, Sony Music Entertainment and Bertelsmann Music Group merged their 50% of their music enterprise to form "Sony BMG Music Entertainment", which was approved by the European Union. On October 1, 2008, Bertelsmann AG agreed to sell the rest of the Sony BMG stake to Sony, renaming the enterprise back to Sony Music Entertainment as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

CBS Music Video Enterprises



Nicknames: "The Triangles", "The Pyramids", "CMV"

Logo: On a black background, we see a 3-D bottomless tricolor pyramid spinning around, with the cut-out letters "C" on the red side, "M" on the green side, and "V" on the blue side. Then, two more pyramids just like the first one slide out of the bottom of it and they all spin. Then the pyramids get together, and as they do that, each of them turn into triangles, and the letters turn white. "E N T E R P R I S E S" fades in under "CMV".

FX/SFX: Excellent CGI which holds up very well despite being made in the mid-1980s.

Music/Sounds: A modern-sounding synth theme with ticks throughout and 3 deep bangs as the pyramids turns into triangles.

Availability: Very rare. It can be found on CBS Music Video releases, such as the 1987 VHS release of Billy Joel: Live at Yankee Stadium and a Laserdisc release of The Forbidden Dance is Lambada.

Editor's Note: None.

Sony Music Entertainment

1st Logo (1991-2004?)

SMV 1991.jpg

Nicknames: "The Triangles II", "The Pyramids II", "SMV"

Logo: Same as the CMV Enterprises logo, but the "C" is replaced with an "S", the letters are bolder, and the colors are a bit brighter.

Variant: On the 1996 VHS of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, the logo is shortened to the last few seconds.

FX/SFX: Same as the CMV Enterprises logo.

Music/Sounds: Same as the CMV Enterprises logo. On the variant, we only hear re-arranged drumbeats and the synth strum.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • It can be seen on many Sony Music Video releases from the era such as the VHS/DVD releases of Celine Dion: Unison, Celine Dion: All the Way - A Decade of Song and Video, and Mariah Carey: #1's.
  • It can also be found on many 90's MTV Home Video releases from the era, such as early Beavis and Butt-Head and MTV Unplugged VHS releases.
  • The short variant appeared on the 1996 VHS of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie.

Editor's Note: None.

2nd Logo (1996-2004)

SMV 1996.jpg

Nicknames: "SMV II", "The Smoking Circles"

Logo: On a black background, we see a yellow ball moving upward. Then, two blue balls move downward, left and right of the yellow ball. These move away, as it fades into 3 black smoking circles with the left and right circle with blue outlining and the middle circle with yellow outlining. These outlines then spin around, as the smoke disappears and the letters "S" on the left circle in white, "M" on the middle circle in blue, and "V" on the right circle in white appear. The circles turn to the colors of the outlines of the circle, then the words "s o n y m u s i c entertainment" appear one-by-one. "sony music" is spaced out more to fit the width of "entertainment" below.

FX/SFX: More great CGI.

Music/Sounds: Same as before.

Availability: Uncommon.

  • Seen on many Sony Music Entertainment VHS and DVD releases from the era, including Computer Animation Festival, Alice in Chains: Music Bank - The Videos, Jennifer Lopez: Feelin So Good, and Kathy Smith re-releases from the company.
  • It also appears on many late 1990's-early 2000's MTV Home Video releases such as MTV Gamebrain, Beavis and Butt-Head and The Real World video tapes.
  • Strangely, this logo made a surprise appearance on the packaging of the 2006 Shout! Factory DVD sets The Super Mario Bros. Super Show and The Best of the Electric Company, as well as all four seasons of Home Movies, but this logo never appeared on the DVDs themselves.

Editor's Note: None.

3rd Logo (2009-)

SME 2009.jpg

Nickname: "The Red Paintbrush"

Logo: On a white background, we see a simple red paintbrush effect drawing down and the text "SONY MUSIC" in the respective Sony font appears in. The logo would slowly zoom in afterward.

Variant: An in-credit version appears on reruns of Victorious and Big Time Rush.

FX/SFX: The paintbrush drawing, the zooming in.


  • On Big Time Rush, the end theme of the show plays over the logo.
  • Victorious has a "swoosh" sound when the paintbrush draws, followed by a random quote that varies on each episode of the show.
  • Split-screen credits (later generic) airings of both shows have this logo silent.
  • On most Nickelodeon UK airings of Victorious, there is no quote.

Availability: Seen on music video releases. It also appeared on Victorious and Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon and TeenNick.

Editor's Note: None.

4th Logo (20??-)


Sony BMG Music Entertainment


Nicknames: "Spinning Treble Clef", "Symbol Clef"

Logo: On a white background, we see a spinning red fuchsia and a blue treble clef. It slowly zooms out to the words "SONY" and "BMG" (in their corporate fonts) and the treble clef falls on the words. The background becomes faded, then a flash occurs and two lines and the words "MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT" in Trajan Pro fade in. The treble clef shines.


  • An alternate version exists where the letters of "SONY BMG" flash randomly for split seconds, forming the text letter-by-letter on a clear white background, then the lines slide in from both sides and the treble clef and "MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT" fade in. The whole logo then zooms in and blurs away.
  • On the 2006 DVD of Transformers the Movie, the words "HOME ENTERTAINMENT" appear by a light effect a few seconds later.
  • On movies from the company, after the main logo is finished, it zooms out towards the top and the large word "FILM" appears by a light effect.

FX/SFX: The treble clef spinning, the names zooming out, all in great CGI.

Music/Sounds: Wind sounds, followed by a loud synth chord and some twinkling sounds.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The alternate version features subtle pounding and a swoosh.
  • The home entertainment and film variants have an additional whoosh for the respective texts.

Availability: Common.

  • It appeared on many music DVDs and DualDisc releases such as Michael Jackson: Thriller 25, Beyoncé B-Day, and R. Kelly's infamous Trapped in the Closet series of music videos.
  • The "HOME ENTERTAINMENT" version appeared on the 2006 DVD of Transformers The Movie: 20th Anniversary Edition.
  • The "FILM" version appeared on the films Ghosts of Cité Soleil and Feel the Noise. It was also seen on the trailer for Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten.

Editor's Note: None.

Sony Music Film

{November 22-December 5, 2008)

Sony Music Film.jpg

Nickname: "The Concert"

Logo: We fade in to a shot of a concert room, with raised hands on the bottom and smoke illuminated by red and blue flashlights. The scene zooms in as the smoke engulfs the whole screen, and the text "SONYMUSICFILM", keeping the concert background inside, arises from it.

FX/SFX: The logo forming.

Music/Sounds: A majestic synth track.

Availability: Rare. Seen on the film Cadillac Records. A split-second version appeared on the trailer of the film.

Editor's Note: None.