The Ariola label was established by Ariola Schallplatten GmbH, founded and registered in the German commercial register on 12 May 1958 in Gütersloh by Reinhard Mohn. From Summer 1960 on the record company was renamed to Ariola GmbH, but you'll still find the old name printed on releases in the early 60s.
The label had some early successes with Willy Millowitsch and Josephine Baker and became a major player in Europe in the 1960s with German/Austrian Schlager stars like Peter Alexander and Udo Jürgens.
The release date of records on the Ariola label (as well as records licensed by the parent company) can determined by the info given on label or sleeve: From July 1962 to 1963 the parent company was renamed to Ariola-Sonopress GmbH and finally renamed to Ariola Eurodisc GmbH in January 1964.
The Ariola label since then was used for the company's (mostly German) dance and pop repertoire.
Please note: it's still ok according to the discogs guidelines, to link Ariola as a distributor in this period if denoted: Im Ariola-Vertrieb, even if this credit obviously relates to Ariola-Eurodisc GmbH as the factual distributor.
Starting in 1969 the record company established several subsidiaries in Europe, North and South America during the 1970s. In 1981/82 the distribution mark changed to "Distributed by Ariola Group Of Companies", due to the internationalization of the record company and their worldwide distribution.
In 1987 Bertelsmann AG reorganized its music business after the acquisition of RCA and established Bertelsmann Music Group BMG. As a result of this, Ariola Eurodisc GmbH was renamed to BMG Ariola München GmbH. In 2005 Ariola became part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH, after Sony Music Entertainment Inc. and Bertelsmann Music Group had started their joint-venture in 2004. In August 2008, Sony acquired Bertelsmann's 50% stake in the company. Since 2009 the label Ariola is part of the Sony Music Entertainment Germany GmbH
If you are submitting an Ariola record without release year info, check the matrix number in the runout area. If the matrix stamp ends with “…/##S”, the two numbers indicates a year. For example, “…/77S” indicates mastering or press date 1977, which is often the same as the release date.
Label code: LC 0116
Declaration for the cat# in the early 60s:
1 = classical
2 = Baccarola repertoire
3 or 4 = Ariola dance and pop repertoire
5 = speech recording
6 = jazz
7 = international repertoire
1 = LP 12" 33 rpm mono
2 = LP 12" 33 rpm stereo
3 = LP 10" 33 rpm mono
4 = LP 10" 33 rpm stereo
5 = 7" 45 rpm common mono
6 = 7" 45 rpm extended play mono
7 = 7" 45 rpm common stereo
8 = 7" 45 rpm extended play stereo
The literal suffixes are price codes