Victor And Its Acquisition By The Radio Corporation Of America

In 1929, RCA (Radio Corporation of America) acquired the Victor Talking Machine Company, the world’s biggest phonographs and phonograph records maker during that time. The acquisition led to the establishment of the subsidiary RCA Victor and a majority ownership of JVC (Japan Victor Company).

Brief Background On RCA

The name RCA is one of the oldest and famous names in the consumer electronics industry. It is an acronym for the company Radio Corporation of America which, between 1919 and 1996, was recognized as a major electronics company during that period.

In the 1920s, RCA was considered as a major manufacturer of radio receivers. It’s also credited for the development of the first national radio network known as the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Between the period of the 1940s and 1950s, the company gained a leading role in introducing the black and white television to the market. It also earned the same leader status in the 1950s and 1960s with the introduction of the color television.

The Road To Acquisition

In the early 1920s, radio broadcasting seemed to be on a rise as it provided free and unlimited home entertainment to the household. The situation brought significant financial issues among most phonograph companies which, unsurprisingly, showed a lack of enthusiasm on introducing the radio.

David Sarnoff, the founding leader of RCA, concocted the idea of marketing a radio and a phonograph together as a single unit. The best way for RCA to achieve this venture was to acquire a phonograph-making company.

RCA acquired the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1929 which included the acquisition of its showcase line “Victrola.” Prior to the acquisition, Victor Talking Machine was recognized as the biggest manufacturer of both phonograph and records player in the world.

The Acquisition Package

The move to acquire the Victor Talking Machine Company also allowed RCA to purchase and gain ownership of the “His Master’s Voice” trademark which was one of the most outstanding trademarks ever created. The trademark bore the image of a dog named Nipper as he was staring at an old phonograph. It is the same trademark used by the British music and entertainment firm HMV (His Master’s Voice).

Armed with a powerful trademark and great selling techniques, the newly-formed RCA company successfully invented the “radio music box.” Priced at around $75, the new invention became one of the most famous inventions of its time.

Achievements In The Post-Acquisition Period

Several other achievements were noted as a result of the acquisition. These include:

  1. The establishment of two spin-off companies that will manufacture certain key components in the phonograph production
  2. The making of radio receivers, phonographs, and records under the RCA Victor name
  3. The recognition of being one of the biggest consumer electronics manufacturers
  4. The launching and selling of 33 1/3 rpm records which started in 1931
  5. The controlled operation of RCA Custom which was recognized as the leading record manufacturer that caters to independent record labels