Remember Columbia House?

Of course you do. Who didn't want to get 12 CD's for a penny or some such. And that was a big deal back in the mid to late 90's. All your fave CDs your parents wouldn't let you buy in the store (or listen to irl) for a penny?! Of course, the conversation with said parents about the bill that ultimately showed up later, was a whole other thing.

Remember this Commercial?

For Those Who Don't Know, What is Columbia House?


Credit- Courtesy of Columbia House
Credit- Courtesy of Columbia House

According to Good Ole Wikipedia,

Columbia House was an umbrella brand for Columbia Records' mail-order music clubs, the primary iteration of which was the Columbia Record Club, established in 1955. The Columbia House brand was introduced in the early 1970s by Columbia Records (a division of CBS, Inc.), and had a significant market presence in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s.

How Did Columbia House Make Money?


READ MORE: Columbia House - Wikipedia

According to the article titled 'At First it Cost a Penny, But...' 

The business model that Columbia House and BMG use is actually something of a precursor to Spotify and other online subscription services. Columbia House and BMG were the most prominent proponents of negative option billing, which has a history of being used by “of-the-month” clubs. You can’t opt out unless you specifically ask to, and if you don’t, they’re going to ship you more stuff. It has a lot in common with subscription services like gym membership, except for one thing: Because they bill you after the fact, they set the terms.

In more plain terms, exploitation.

READ MORE: Columbia House: The First 12 Cost A Penny, But … (

So What is Columbia House Up to Now?

Selling DVDs. Seriously. In similar "club" fashion, but maybe different.

Credit-Columbia House website
Credit-Columbia House website

DVDs That Sold For Shocking Amounts of Money

These DVD discs and box sets recently sold for hundreds of dollars eBay.

See November 2023 New Music Releases

35 Great Box Sets Released in 2023

Looking back at some of the best box sets of the year.

Gallery Credit: Matt Wardlaw


More From 96.9 WOUR