Columbia House files for bankruptcy

The owner of Columbia House, the onetime mail order music seller has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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Columbia House, the mail-order music retailer that turned an “Eight CDs for a penny” offer into an annual profit of $1.4 billion at its peak, has filed for bankruptcy. Filmed Entertainment Inc., the parent company for Columbia House, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in New York Monday, citing the ever-changing digital and online landscape that continue to erode at the physical medium’s sales, the Wall Street Journal reports.

I didn’t know they were still around.  I remember the advertisements of 12 albums/cassettes/cds for a penny. I use to belong to Columbia House but cancelled my membership years ago.

Columbia House, whose thin cardboard ads for their unique one-penny offers populated nearly every issue of magazines like Rolling Stone in the mid-Nineties, got out of the music business in 2010 as MP3s, streaming and illegal downloads made their CD endeavor unprofitable. For the past five years, Columbia House has instead been dealing in DVDs, but even that market has experienced some rough times as Netflix, streaming and piracy cut into that medium’s sales.

Although Columbia House still boasts 110,000 members, the company listed total assets of $2 million while owing $63 million to over 250 creditors.

They still have 110,000 members?

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