Columbia House, Mail-Order Music Club, Goes Out of Business
What year is it? 2015. Ok cool, just checking. When I saw this article this morning, it caught me by surprise. Not because the mail-order music club is calling it a day, but because it's managed to stay afloat this long. Columbia House used to have print ads in magazines like Rolling Stone and TV guide would offer you a large amount of CDs or tapes for virtually nothing....up front. It seemed like a such an amazing deal when I was a kid. I remember my mom declining my wish to sign up many times until she finally gave in. That day when a box of a dozen tapes arrived in the mail was one of the happiest moments of my childhood. Then as you get older, you realize that it's essentially a credit card for music. ie: We'll give you X now but you need to give us XX over the next three years. I didn't care, I signed up a few times.
Even after discontinuing the sales of music in 2010 after more than 50 years of business, I was still surprised they were able to continue the business by selling movies and TV series. Mainly because when was the last time you saw a print ad for Columbia House anywhere? As far as I was concerned, they called it a day 10+ years ago.
The company raked in @1.4 billion in sales at their peak in the 90's. Last years sales totaled only $17 million. RIP Columbia House.
Check out this epic commercial from 1977!