Random House, Inc. is the largest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. It has been owned since 1998 by the German private media corporation Bertelsmann and has become the umbrella brand for Bertelsmann book publishing. Random House also has a movie production arm, Random House Films, of which the most recent release was One Day. The company is also creating story content for media including video games, social networks on the web, and mobile platforms. Random House is considered one of the "Big Six" publishing companies, along with Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.
Random House entered reference publishing in 1947 with the American College Dictionary, which was followed in 1966 by its first unabridged dictionary. Today it publishes the Random House Dictionary of the English Language and Random House Webster's College dictionaries, probably the main competitors for Merriam-Webster reference titles.
The American publishers Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. and Pantheon Books were acquired by Random House in 1960 and 1961, respectively; works continue to be published under these imprints with editorial independence, such as Everyman's Library, a series of classical literature reprints. Random House has been the distributor for Shambhala Publications since 1974. They also currently distribute Rizzoli Books, National Geographic Books, Steerforth Press, Wizards of the Coast, Vertical Inc., Welcome Books, New York Review of Books, Titan Books, Other Press, Kodansha Manga, Hatherleigh Press, North Atlantic Books, Monacelli Press Books, and DC Comics. In 1998, Bertelsmann AG bought Random House and it soon went global.Random House Company History, from fundinguniverse.com. Accessed April 13, 2008.
The publisher's main U.S. office is located at 1745 Broadway in Manhattan, in the 684-foot Random House Tower, completed in 2003 and spanning the entire west side of the block between West 55th Street and west 56th. Its lobby showcases floor-to-ceiling glassed-in bookcases filled with books published by the company's many imprints. Earlier addresses were 457 Madison Ave., New York 22, N.Y.; 20 East 57th St., New York 22, N.Y.; and 201 East 50th St, New York, NY 10022.
The Random House Group is one of the largest general book publishing companies in the UK and is based in London. The Group comprises five publishing companies: Cornerstone Publishing, Vintage Publishing, Ebury Publishing, Random House Children's Publishers UK and Transworld Publishers, boasting more than 40 diverse and highly respected imprints. Its distribution business services its own imprints as well as 60 other UK publishers. The Random House archive and library is located in Rushden in Northamptonshire.
The Random House Group also operates branches in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (as a joint venture under the name Random House Struik), and India as part of its overseas structure. In Australia offices are in Sydney and Melbourne. randomhouse.com.au In New Zealand it is based in Glenfield, Auckland, while Random House's Indian headquarters are located in New Delhi.
Verlagsgruppe Random House was established after Bertelsmann's 1998 acquisition of Random House, grouping its German imprints (until then operating as Verlagsgruppe Bertelsmann) under the new name. It is the second largest book publisher in Germany with more than 40 imprints, including historic publishing houses Goldmann and Heyne, as well as C. Bertelsmann, the publishing house from which today's Bertelsmann AG would eventually evolve. Verlagsgruppe Random House is headquartered in Munich (with additional locations in Gütersloh, Cologne, and Aßlar), employs about 850 people, and publishes roughly 2.500 titles per year.
Random House of Canada randomhouse.ca was established in 1944 as the Canadian distributor of Random House Books. In 1986 the company established its own indigenous Canadian publishing program that has become one of the most successful in Canadian history. Until January 2012 it used to hold a 25% stake in McClelland & Stewart, with the remaining 75% being controlled by the University of Toronto. It is now the sole owner of McClelland & Stewart.
Random House Mondadori is Random House's Spanish-language joint venture with Italian publisher Mondadori, targeting markets in South and Central America and Spain. It is headquartered in Barcelona with locations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
In late 2009 and early 2010, respectively, Random House discontinued their Japanese joint venture Random House Kodansha, which had been established in 2003, and also divested their four-year ownership of Random House Korea. The company has since named Random House Australia managing director Margie Seale responsible for exploring and evaluating potential future business opportunities in Asia. benet.bertelsman.com