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Columbia House Files for Bankruptcy

11 Aug, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Erstwhile music CD and DVD mail-order service generated less than $17 million in revenue in 2014

Columbia House, the mail-order service synonymous with offering “eight CDs for a penny” with a subscription, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Aug. 10 in New York federal court.

First reported in The Wall Street Journal, 60-year-old Columbia House at its peak in 1996 generated $1.4 billion in sales. The service, which stopped selling music CDs in 2010 to focus on movie and TV DVDs, generated just $17 million in revenue last year.

"This decline is directly attributable to a confluence of market factors that substantially altered the manner in which consumers purchase and listen to music, as well as the way consumers purchase and watch movies and television series at home," Glenn Landberg, company director, wrote in the filing.

The service, which still claims 110,000 subscribers, listed total assets of $2 million and debts around $63 million to more than 250 creditors.

Interestingly, Columbia House’s filing comes the week the Billboard 200 reported its worst-selling No. 1 album in the chart’s 70-year history.


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