Arcade Records was founded in 1972 by Laurence Myers, a British music industry professional who had been working in music management and production for various top British artists such as The Animals, David Bowie and The Rolling Stones. In the early 1970s, he realised that many music consumers were hometaping their favourite songs in order to create a mixtape of current top hits or the best songs by one artist. Myers copied this trend by releasing multi-artist and one-artist compilation albums.
Not long after the first success in the United Kingdom, a branch for the Benelux was opened in the Netherlands: Arcade Records Benelux. In 1973, the first record release in the Netherlands and immediately reached the first number 1 hit. Between 1973 and 1984, about a hundred multi-artist albums by Arcade (and sub-labels such as Trent, Crown and Villa) were listed in the Dutch album chart, plus a few dozen one-artist collector records.
The Benelux branch, in Naarden and later Nieuwegein, has been managed since 1979 by Herman Heinsbroek, who had previously worked for the CBS record company. While the original parent company in the UK was dying, Heinsbroek achieved great success with his own compilations. It was therefore not surprising that he bought the parent company in 1984. It was the start of a huge expansion of the company.
In 2000, the music division entered into a joint venture with the then Dutch record label Roadrunner Records, creating one of the largest indie record labels in the world. Roadrunner was eventually sold to Warner Music and Arcade continued independently under the name CNR Entertainment and concentrated further on the Dutch and Belgian markets.