Mail-order giant Columbia House files for bankruptcy
Columbia House, what The Verge affectionately calls the “Spotify of the 80s” filed for bankruptcy. The mail-order giant, now called Filmed Entertainment Inc. cited the advent of digital music and streaming services as the source for the company’s declining sales for the last two decades. Revenues for Columbia House peaked in 1996 at $1.4 billion but last year declared a net revenue of just $17 million.
Nostalgia junkies will remember Columbia House fondly for its CD club, which sold a stack of CDs for a penny. Columbia House’s CD club ended in 2010, leaving only the DVD club as its source of income. According to court papers, the DVD club still retains 110,000 members.
Facts about: Columbia house's bankruptcy
While Columbia House has 110,000 members, its assets are listed as a total of $2 million while owing $63 million to over 250 creditors.
Columbia House's decline matches that of the music industry. In the same week that they filed for bankruptcy, Billboard 200 reported its worst-selling Number One album in the chart's history.