Columbia House Bows Blu-ray Disc Club1 Jul, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Direct-to-consumer brand known for marketing discounted books and music branches out into high-definition movies
Direct Brands Inc. July 1 launched the first-ever consumer Blu-ray Disc Club (www.columbiahouse.com/blu-ray) that allows members to purchase up to two catalog movies a month for $5.99 each. Titles include Easy A, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, 10,000 B.C., Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family, Grown Ups, Red and Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, among others.
The direct-response platform, which includes book of the month, Doubleday Book Club and Columbia House, currently offers a DVD movie club that markets discounted catalog titles.
While membership is free, the Blu-ray Club (and similar platforms) derives its revenue by automatically billing a member’s credit card on file within a certain time after a product shipment. Members are not charged if they return the un-opened/unused product within a grace period.
Direct Brands’ overall monthly membership base tops 8 million.
"We are extremely dedicated to the future of DVD collections, so much so that we created a new Blu-ray-specific club, which will provide consumers dedicated to this format with all of the advantages of our club membership," said Deborah Fine, president and CEO of Direct Brands.
Separately, Direct Brands, which is owned by Phoenix, Ariz.-based private investment company Najafi Cos., agreed to buy bankrupt Borders Group for $215 million, in addition to assuming another $220 million in liabilities.