After 60 years of offering “eight CDs for a penny,” Columbia House has reportedly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and will finally be going out of business.
Rolling Stone reported that Columbia House director Glenn Landberg attributed the company’s lack of revenue to the digital and online music market that is rapidly growing today.
The company earned its peak revenue in 1996 with $1.4 billion, a staggering distance from the 2014 earnings of only $17 million.
According to Stereogum, Columbia House originally thrived in and around the ‘80s as a mail-order record club, offering either eight CDs or 12 cassette tapes for the mere cost of one penny. When its once-competitor, BMG Music Service, bought out the company in 2005, Columbia House was transformed into a mail-order DVD club instead.
However, this attempt to reinvent a source of profit was also met with difficulty as websites like Netflix and other streaming sites have become more popular, according to Rolling Stone.
Rolling Stone also reported although Columbia House still has 110,000 members, the company is swimming in debt. While the company’s assets total to about $2 million, they owe about $63 million to various creditors.
Columbia House’s parent company, Filmed Entertainment Inc., stated their plans on PR Newswire.
“After careful consideration, and with recognition of the continued decline in the physical DVD market, the company has determined that the best course forward to maximize value is to sell the business through an open auction process under section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.”
Filmed Entertainment Inc. further stated that the company’s financial advisor, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, has been compiling a list of potential buyers, according to PR Newswire.
Columbia House will continue to service its members throughout the process until completion.