PolyGram was a media company, which was formed in 1971 from the group German Grammophon Gesellschaft ( DGG ) and Philips Phonographic Industry ( PPI).


In 1962 founded the Philips subsidiary Philips Phonographic Industry NV (PPI ) and the Siemens subsidiary German Grammophon Gesellschaft ( DGG ), the gramophone - Philips Group ( GPG), with Philips 50 percent took 50 percent of DGG and in turn to Siemens PPI. The two companies were merged in 1971 to PolyGram, to which the parent companies Philips and Siemens were involved in 50 per cent.

Despite the merger, the old corporate structures still existed in parallel until 1977, until the full operational merger of PPI and DGG. Recording, recording medium production, sales and marketing have since been merged into a single PolyGram. The various record labels within PolyGram, however, remained largely autonomous even after the reunification, which was also true for polygrams Artist & Repertoire Company.

Since GPG was present mainly in continental Europe, it expanded through acquisitions, investments and contracts to U.S. and UK markets:

The expansion also continued PolyGram continued:

During the disco boom PolyGram benefited from the U.S. market, increasing there market share of 5 percent to 20 percent - for a short time rose PolyGram on the world's largest record company.

In the 1980s, then followed the case: the purchase of the distribution company United Distribution Corporation ( UDC) in 1973 prepared from 1978 losses. The expansion and the production of sound recordings, on demand for which it was not aware, led to the end of the disco boom in the late 1979 to massive drop in sales. The huge sales network was hardly utilized and you sat on exorbitant amounts of phonograms, which are now no longer wanted. From 1980 PolyGram drove a high losses, official documents quantify the then net loss of 220 million U.S. dollars.

In order to stop the downward spiral, the company received in 1983 a new CEO, which reduced the number of employees from 13,000 to 7,000 and the number of production facilities for sound recordings from 18 to 5. In addition, we broke away from the concentration on a few superstars in favor of a broad base of regional and locally based artists and various music genres. With the realignment of the company PolyGram in 1985 was again profitable.

Once a target during the crisis merger with Warner Music Group failed in 1983, Siemens began to withdraw from the company. Philips bought between 1983 and 1985 from Siemens a 40 percent stake and took over in 1987 and the remaining 10 per cent, which is temporarily became the sole owner.

In 1989, Philips 16 per cent of the share capital of PolyGram on the Amsterdam stock exchange to trade freely; the value of the entire company was valued at 5.6 billion U.S. dollars. With the new capital from the sale of the stock acquired PolyGram more Record Label: 1989 A & M Records and Iceland Records, Motown in 1993 and 1994, Def Jam.

In 1991, the investments in film companies by Philips in the specially created company PolyGram Filmed Entertainment ( PFE) have been outsourced.

In 1998 the company was sold to Seagram and went to the company Universal Music Group (UMG ). Through the sale of Seagram to the French conglomerate Vivendi in 2000, UMG is now owned by Vivendi.


PolyGram label were: Archiv Produktion, Brunswick Records, Casablanca Records, Decca Records ( 1979 ), Fontana Records, Carousel, Mercury Records, Polydor, Polystar, Vertigo Records, Verve Records, since the early 1990s, also Polar Music.