From Sega Retro

RockOla logo.png
Founded: 1927
800 North Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60651, United States

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The Rock-Ola Manufacturing Corporation is a manufacturer of jukeboxes established in 1927 by David Cullen Rockola[1][2][3].

Starting in 1952[4] and continuing through to the 1960s and 70s, Sega manufactured and distributed[5] Rock-Ola's Jukeboxes[6][7] for the Japanese market. It also worked with the company on non-Jukebox projects such as the distribution of the 1981 arcade game, Jump Bug.


Rock-Ola executives play a game of Basketball during their 1967 tour of Sega Enterprises.

On September 14, 1967, a group of Rock-Ola distribution executives were invited to visit the headquarters of Sega Enterprises in order to gain insight on the Japanese jukebox market, described as proving the American firm with a "first-hand look at business methods used in the Far East." Before touring the factory, David Rosen provided an outline of how jukeboxes have factored into Sega's business, revealing the company's presence in the Japanese jukebox market was growing at a rate of around 30% per year. He also attributed Sega's market dominance to its spending of 10% of its monthly income on the purchasing of new vinyl records for existing jukeboxes - with an inventory of nearly 800,000 discs. The distributors also noted that the sheer size of Sega Enterprises' business network was likely a reason for its success: by 1967, Sega was running 33 Japanese branches over a variety of its distribution routes, and operating a fleet of 180 vehicles to make it happen.[8]

The Rock-Ola executives were then lead to the factory proper, where they examined the company's assembly lines and upcoming games (including titles which would be revealed at MOA 1967 one month later). During their tour, they were shown the jukebox "re-conditioning" and inspection lines, and revealed another secret to their success: the company was regularly maintenancing and replacing the units it leased to others, and even refurbishing existing units. The tour concluded with brief visits to the company's product engineering and research and development divisions (even the vehicle maintenance areas), with Rosen ending the visit by emphasizing the rapid growth of the Japanese jukebox market.[8]

Hardware produced

Magazine articles

Main article: Rock-Ola/Magazine articles.