CEO, AVEX Group Holdings


President, AVEX Music Publishing

Max Matsuura leads AVEX Group Holdings, the domestic music group that has grown into one of the most powerful players in Japan’s music industry. Its earnings in recorded music thrust the company into a virtual tie for market share with perennial leaders Sony Music Entertainment-­Japan and Universal Music (Japan). In 2013, Matsuura oversaw the creation of a joint venture between Avex Entertainment and Softbank, one of Japan’s major mobile and Internet providers, to establish the subscription video on-demand service UULA. The system is hosted by Softbank with AVEX content. AVEX was also able to broker an expansion of its agreement with U.S. TV network CBS to include the channel’s programming on UULA. The deal will offer UULA consumers in Japan parts of CBS’ vast TV library. “Matsuura is able to negotiate deals with the best of them, though his style is unorthodox,” one industry source says. Taniguchi, as CEO of AVEX Music Publishing, heads the dynamic publishing wing of the group. In 2013 he oversaw the publishing for “Exile Pride (Konna Sekai Wo Aisuru Tame),” co-written by American Phekoo and Atsushi, a member of chart-topping J-pop band Exile, who recorded the song. It grabbed the Grand Prize at the Japan Record Awards, which are similar to the Grammys. (AVEX has dominated the awards, winning eight times since 2001.) Also last year, AVEX Music Publishing licensed more than 50 tracks to videogames and pachinko arcade machines, a strong source of revenue unknown outside of Japan. —Rob Schwartz