Syco Entertainment
Industry Entertainment
Predecessor S Records
Founder Simon Cowell
Headquarters London and Los Angeles
Key people
Simon Cowell, Nigel Hall (Global Head of TV), Sonny Takhar (MD, Syco Music)
Products Television, music, film, digital, entertainment
Owners Sony Music (50%)
Simon Cowell (50%)
Divisions Syco TV, Syco Music

Syco Entertainment, often known simply as Syco, is a British entertainment company established by British entertainment mogul, Simon Cowell. The company operates a record label, talent agency, film, music, and television production company, as well as a music publishing house. It operates a global joint venture between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment focused on the production and marketing of music, television, film and digital content. It employs a staff of more than 50 in offices in London and Los Angeles, and manages a string of high-profile television and music brands through partnerships with the label Sony Music and the television production company, FremantleMedia.

Syco was initially owned by Simon Cowell, then sold to Sony.[1] But in 2010, a new company was formed as a 50/50 partnership between Cowell and Sony, keeping the pre-existing name Syco but titled as Syco Entertainment.[2][3] In 2015, it was announced that the Syco Entertainment joint venture would be extended for a further 6 years.[4] Retail billionaire Sir Philip Green, a close friend of Cowell, serves as an advisor to the company.[5] Karren Brady, television personality and vice-chairman of West Ham United F.C., also serves as an advisor to the company.

Syco has three main divisions - Syco Music, Syco TV and Syco Film.[6] Syco Music releases recordings from its roster of artists, mostly from Cowell's television shows, such as One Direction, Little Mix, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle, Emblem3, and Fifth Harmony, and others such as Il Divo. Syco TV is responsible for The X Factor and the Got Talent television franchise which have been produced in 41 and 52 countries respectively, as well as other television projects. Syco Film is involved in the production of films such as One Direction: This Is Us. Syco is also involved in the production of the musical I Can't Sing! The X Factor Musical.[7]

Syco TV

Syco TV primarily operates in the UK and the US. Its key franchises are The X Factor and Got Talent. It was launched by Simon Cowell in 2003.[8]

The X Factor

The X Factor, which launched in September 2004, is one of the most popular television shows in the UK. Syco and Fremantle Media launched The X Factor USA in September 2011, which averaged 12 million viewers and a 4.0 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic in its first season, leading FOX to nightly wins on Wednesdays and Thursdays and topping all other fall season reality competition.[9]

Internationally, The X Factor is produced individually in 41 countries including major markets like France, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Australia. Additionally, The X Factor USA is screened in 166 countries around the world.

Got Talent

America's Got Talent matched a series high 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 in the summer of 2011 for its sixth season. Since launching in 2006, America's Got Talent has consistently been the most watched show of the summer in the U.S. and topped the ratings in the key adults 18-49 demographic.[10]

Britain's Got Talent consistently tops UK ratings when it is broadcast in April, May and June. In 2009, nearly 20 million people (approximately one third of the UK population) tuned into the series 3 final to see Diversity crowned winners.[11]

Other projects

Syco produces other shows outside its key brands. In 2011, ITV series Red or Black? was met with mixed reaction. Syco were also behind American Inventor which ran for two seasons on ABC and the unsuccessful Celebrity Duets on Fox. In addition to its major formats, Syco also produce entertainment specials. This includes I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story, which broke ratings records in the U.S. on TV Guide network[12] and scored 10 million viewers on ITV in the UK.[13] In 2013, Syco and Optomen launched ITV series Food Glorious Food, which aired on Wednesday evenings in the UK.

Syco Entertainment were the executive producers of the film One Direction: This Is Us from director Morgan Spurlock, which follows the life of pop sensations One Direction. The band had come third in the 2010 UK X Factor series, before being signed to Syco.

In March 2013, Syco in partnership with YouTube, launched The You Generation channel which is listed as the 'world's first global audition'. In May 2014, Syco and Univision announced an upcoming TV called La Banda which will focus on searching contestants from Hispanic America to find the "ultimate Latino boy band" with the winner receiving a recording contract for Sony Music Latin and Syco.[14]

Current productions

Syco Music

Main article: Syco Music


  1. Trevor Clawson (2010). The Unauthorized Guide to Doing Business the Simon Cowell Way: 10 Secrets of the International Music Mogul. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. p. 129. ISBN 9780857081476.
  2. Patrick Foster (23 December 2011). "Simon Cowell picks up £27m in Sony Music deal". The Guardian.
  3. "Sony Music Entertainment and Simon Cowell Launch New Global Venture: 'Syco'". PRNewswire. January 19, 2010.
  4. Georg Szalai (2 November 2015). "Simon Cowell & Sony Music Extend Syco Venture by Six Years". Billboard.
  5. Patrick Foster (25 July 2011). "Sir Philip Green owns no stake in Simon Cowell's Syco". The Guardian.
  6. Trevor Clawson (2010). The Unauthorized Guide to Doing Business the Simon Cowell Way: 10 Secrets of the International Music Mogul. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. pp. 79–80. ISBN 9780857081476.
  7. Richard Osley (27 April 2014). "X Factor musical I Can't Sing! to close after less than two months". The Independent.
  8. "Cowell to speak at TV festival". BBC. 10 May 2004.
  9. "TV Ratings Broadcast Top 25: 'Sunday Night Football' Beaten By 'Modern Family' & 'Two and a Half Men' In Week #5 Among Adults 18-49 - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  10. "Tuesday Final Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' Adjusted Up, Ties Series High; 'Combat Hospital' Hits Lows - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  11. "News & Comments". Televisual. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  12. "Susan Boyle Special Breaks TV Guide Network Ratings Records - Today's News: Our Take". 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  13. "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". 2011-12-25. Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  14. "Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment and Univision Team Up to Find Ultimate Latino Boy Band". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-08-24.

External links

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