From the "glad I never said this" file
"I do not believe the radio business is going to cut a very large figure in the line of amusements ... I do not believe ... that the scheme of broadcasting music will replace talking machines, it may, however, slow up our expansion. But there is the feature of privacy, selection, repeat and the sense of proprietorship in a talking machine that no general broadcasting scheme can hope to substitute."
quoted in "Where have all the good times gone?"
written by Louis Barfe, Atlantic Books 2004
This is one of those great quotes we love to have a laugh at. How could they have been so stupid, we ask. But hindsight is a wonderful thing. Several years after Eldridge Johnson wrote this letter, Victor was suffering because it wasn't interested in radio. Eventually, Victor signed a deal with RCA - the Radio Corporation of America. And so RCA Victor was born.
Hmm. Perhaps Johnson was simply way, way ahead of his time. Just look at what MP3s, iPods etc. are doing to the traditional radio business. Well, actually radio's doing pretty well in NZ, but y'know what I mean.