DVD Clubs Discuss & Strategize about DVD Clubs like Columbia House

CH on endangered list?

Old 05-22-08, 10:12 PM
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CH on endangered list?

A post in the "BMG Music Service" thread mentioned that Bertelsmann plans to shut down the BMG CD club by 2010. In the article is this blurb:
"The US DVD club also didn't perform well, and Bertelsmann is considering shutting it down, too."

Here is the article that was referenced.

This could explain a lot of the changes we're seeing at CH and point to these changes being attempts to keep the business viable.
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Old 05-22-08, 11:18 PM
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Well, I've pretty much gotten all of the catalog titles that CH offers, and there's always a sale at Deep Discount or at Amazon, so CH's demise wouldn't significantly affect my future DVD purchasing.

I have had some great deals from them (and even better "deals"--getting the complete Black Adder and the Monty Python Megaset for $9.95 will always be a fragrant rose in my book of memories)-- but lately the changes and tsuris over codes from CH have made it more trouble than it's worth.
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Old 05-22-08, 11:31 PM
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Most people are downloading music now so the cd club probably isn't doing well because of that. Dvd's are a different story. It takes a lot longer to download a movie than it does music, so there still is a demand for dvd;s.
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Old 05-24-08, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by movieguru
Most people are downloading music now so the cd club probably isn't doing well because of that. Dvd's are a different story. It takes a lot longer to download a movie than it does music, so there still is a demand for dvd;s.
as I have stated many times, the dvd market is going to go out a lot faster than the vcr did. I sell on Ebay all the time, a just viewed once dvd goes for 2 to 4 dollars if I am lucky. Downloading movies from Netflix and Apple TV is actually quite fast and with Broadband 2 and FIOS around the corner 2010 seems like a reasonable estimate. Some people like my brother still can`t comprehend that all those 24.99 dvds he bought at Circuit City and Best Buy over the last 5 years are virtually worthless.
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Old 05-26-08, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bloopbleep
Some people like my brother still can`t comprehend that all those 24.99 dvds he bought at Circuit City and Best Buy over the last 5 years are virtually worthless.
Seriously, who buys DVDs with resale value in mind? Even if I couldn't get $200 for my entire collection - I wouldn't give a damn, because I'm not selling them.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:26 AM
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If you think DVDs aren't worth much used, imagine how worthless a hard drive of data is going to be. You won't be able to resell downloaded stuff at all. But I'm guessing the studios like that idea and also the fact that if your hard drive or whatever device you are using gets fried so does your collection.

I hope Columbia House stays around, even if its just for Blu Ray.
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Old 05-26-08, 07:21 AM
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dvd isn't going anywhere, neither is columbia house. the end.
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Old 05-26-08, 09:54 AM
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Wasn't there talk of Wal-mart (uggh!) wanting CD prices lowered to the $5 range which would lead other big box retailers to follow? It's hard to see CH competing on price in this scenario.
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Old 05-26-08, 06:04 PM
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More people are downloading music now than before, but "most" people are not downloading versus purchasing CDs. iTunes and similar stores are still less than 25% of the total market. This "death of the CD" business is a bit overdone. Heck, sales of vinyl LP records increased last year. It reminds me of Mark Twain: "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." Or Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "I'm not dead yet! I don't want to go on the cart!" A lot of folks want the physical product. A lot of folks want better sound quality than MP3s offer.

Still, BMG is not making a lot of money (apparently), and the owners would like to shut it down and employ their capital in a more profitable sphere, as is their right. The DVD club might go away too because the discounts at retail are now so good, but DVDs are hardly going away. When we see Blu-Ray players for $49.99 and Blu-Ray discs in the Walmart discount bin for $5.99, then I'll worry.
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Old 05-26-08, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikael79
Seriously, who buys DVDs with resale value in mind? Even if I couldn't get $200 for my entire collection - I wouldn't give a damn, because I'm not selling them.
example I thought that way too but now I am kicking myself after getting 2 hdtvs this year and watching blu-ray. I wish I had converted earlier as I only get about 12 hdtv channels, I regret staying with dvds as long as I did because there would be more hdtv content available if more people included myself switched earlier. it`s hard for me now to watch something in standard def now after going blu.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:19 AM
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One of the things that really screwed CD sales is the fact that they kept the prices too high. That made getting MP3s that much more appealing because who wants to pay 20 bucks for a CD with 2 good tracks on it?
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Old 05-27-08, 08:49 AM
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Who pays $20 for a cd?
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Old 05-27-08, 12:51 PM
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I paid almost 20 bucks for CDs for years before you could order them online. Every store used to sell them for 18 -19 retail.
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Old 05-27-08, 01:31 PM
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^I've been ordering CDs "online" since about 1990. There was a place called "Noteworthy Music" that had killer prices. You connected via a proprietary client which kept their inventory synched with a local copy on your computer. You browsed the inventory and set up your order "offline". You called their number via modem, placed the order and re-synched the inventory database. Even with LD charges (for synching the database and ordering) and shipping the prices were $5-$15 (or more) less than *any* BM. Even then I used BMG and CH CD clubs by cycling accounts to get better prices. Still do.
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Old 05-27-08, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by dadaluholla
Who pays $20 for a cd?
The point is, who pays even $10 for a CD with two good songs on it? Even $5 would be stretching it for me, if there are only two good songs on it. Plus, how do you hear it to know there are only two good songs on it? Too many people have been burned too many times buying things they haven't heard all the way through. When a new album was $3.99 (vinyl) -- I remember those days -- you might be more inclined to take a chance.

Now at $3-4 for a BMG CD, I'm not so fussy.
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Old 05-27-08, 02:23 PM
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^When was that?

I (think I) remember new releases and other decent albums being $5.99/$7.99 minimum around 1982. Am I wrong, or is your memory from before or after mine?

Keep in mind that, due to the value of the dollar changing, you're looking at a multiplier of anywhere from 2 to 5 (more or less), depending on how you compare dollar values. For example, a record for your $3.99 in 1976 (just a guess) is an equivalent of something like $11-16 today. And a $5.99 in 1982 for me is about the same. If you go back much before 1976, you're looking at bigger multipliers, and if you go forward past 1982, the prices on albums became more volatile because of the introduction of CDs.

I'm not trying to defend the prices of CDs or albums, but I have never really understood the whole "CDs are too expensive" thing. I think they were, when they debuted, and they stayed high for about 10 years, but then they dropped down to around the same prices that albums always were, in comparable dollar values, over time.

I haven't bought a new CD in a *long* time, for the other reason previously cited (number of decent songs vs. crap/unknown ones).
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Old 05-27-08, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BobO'Link
^I've been ordering CDs "online" since about 1990. There was a place called "Noteworthy Music" that had killer prices. You connected via a proprietary client which kept their inventory synched with a local copy on your computer. You browsed the inventory and set up your order "offline". You called their number via modem, placed the order and re-synched the inventory database. Even with LD charges (for synching the database and ordering) and shipping the prices were $5-$15 (or more) less than *any* BM. Even then I used BMG and CH CD clubs by cycling accounts to get better prices. Still do.
I forgot about Noteworthy. They were great. Friends and used to pool orders from them and reduce shipping costs to virtually nothing per disc. And their prices were great!!
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Old 05-27-08, 04:39 PM
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I have never understood the whole "there are only 1 or 2 good songs on it..rest are crap"thing.People that say that should not even buy CDs(and I am guessing that they aren't).
I was never big on buying singles.In my 23 years of buying LPs,cassettes and CDs the only time I can remember buying an album and liking only a couple of songs is when I bought the second Culture Club album when I was in the 8th grade.
When I buy music I figure,well I paid the money and the artist took the time to write and record the damn thing.And you know what?With the exception of the album mentioned above,I always like EVERY song(some more than others,of course).
Than again,by now I know who to spend my money on,and whenever one of my faves puts out a new album,I buy it and I enjoy it.

Last edited by rider555; 05-27-08 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:53 PM
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before mp3`s , I use to just tape of the radio.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by bloopbleep
as I have stated many times, the dvd market is going to go out a lot faster than the vcr did. I sell on Ebay all the time, a just viewed once dvd goes for 2 to 4 dollars if I am lucky.
I'd imagine that some of that's due to the fact that most of these DVDs can be purchased new for ~$9.99 within about 6 months of release, and this has been the case for a year+.

Downloading movies from Netflix and Apple TV is actually quite fast and with Broadband 2 and FIOS around the corner 2010 seems like a reasonable estimate.
This is an argument I hear a lot but struggle with. I think that people are incredibly unaware of just how many households in the US still have dial-up. Millions of homes-- mostly in rural areas-- have no access to broadband internet, and I don't foresee telecom companies going to the expense of laying FIOS cables out in the middle of nowhere.

Storage issues, eliminating physical media, and the possibility of alienating a large segment of the market might make this transition slower than you think. That and the fact that the industry will still be clinging to/trying to push this newfangled technology they like to call Blu-Ray.

Last edited by excom101; 05-28-08 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 05-28-08, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by excom101
I'd imagine that some of that's due to the fact that most of these DVDs can be purchased new for ~$9.99 within about 6 months of release, and this has been the case for a year+.

This is an argument I hear a lot but struggle with. I think that people are incredibly unaware of just how many households in the US still have dial-up. Millions of homes-- mostly in rural areas-- have no access to broadband internet, and I don't foresee telecom companies going to the expense of laying FIOS cables out in the middle of nowhere...
I'm one of the ones out in the boondocks on a phone modem. There is wireless broadband available here but it is way too expensive for me. And even wireless doesn't have anything close to the capacity needed for efficient High Def downloads. So far.
Storage issues, eliminating physical media, and the possibility of alienating a large segment of the market might make this transition slower than you think. That and the fact that the industry will still be clinging to/trying to push this newfangled technology they like to call Blu-Ray.
Nevertheless, for those who DO live in areas with decent broadband access, especially Verizon's FIOS and the like, it is likely that VOD will supplant physical media for renting and some purchases. I agree that some sort of physical medium will be with us for some time to come and will coexist with downloading for many years.


The OP's report that Columbia House is losing money on the DVD club is not hard to believe. Most CH customers don't know how to optimize an account and get the low prices we do (if they did CH would be losing even more money). Instead they see the high CH prices and compare them to weekly sale prices at Target, Best Buy and stores like that. I can see why CH comes off poorly in comparison, as viewed by the average customer.

The Columbia House record club business model has been around a long time. But that doesn't mean it will last forever.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:49 AM
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I guess I'd better open a bmg account and order those Rush CD's i've been putting off.
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Old 05-29-08, 09:09 PM
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^If you do, use this link: http://www.bmgmusic.com/bmgfreecds/ to get a 15/1 offer instead of the standard 12/1.
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Old 05-29-08, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by lizard
The OP's report that Columbia House is losing money on the DVD club is not hard to believe. Most CH customers don't know how to optimize an account and get the low prices we do (if they did CH would be losing even more money). Instead they see the high CH prices and compare them to weekly sale prices at Target, Best Buy and stores like that. I can see why CH comes off poorly in comparison, as viewed by the average customer.

The Columbia House record club business model has been around a long time. But that doesn't mean it will last forever.
I don't disagree with any of that at all.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:42 PM
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I built my cd collection off BMG. I've been a member for as long as I can remember, probably 15-16 years (been too long to remember). I haven't bought many cd's over the last few years, but I still have the account open just in case I want a few. I would still buy cd's from b&m's every now and then, and I've always been able to find new cd's on sale for $9.99 - $12.99; you just have to be patient. I don't think I've EVER paid more than $15.00 for a single disc cd, and that was only if I didn't want to wait. I would also wait 'til BMG had killer deals like B1G3Free and such. Boxed sets are also much cheaper to get from BMG than at b&m's, especially close to Christmas time. I'm also in the same camp as rider555. There are probably a few songs on some cd's I absolutely hate, but I usually like to listen to an entire album, and hit repeat on songs I like a lot. To me, people that only buy one or two songs of an album are cheating themselves from the artists they like. I also agree that there is a greater number of people interested in owning the music with the best possible sound quality, as opposed to just owning the music on some mp3 player. That may eventually change if the sound quality of burned music increases.

I know the prices of cd's have increased over time due to inflation, but I don't see them for $20. I might have to actually look though, cos it's probably been over a year since I've actually thumbed through a rack.

I like the convience of mp3's, but I will always buy a cd and burn it myself instead of pay for a download. I'd rather have the original to enjoy sometimes on a quality stereo, and just have an mp3 player to listen to whenever. I would be shocked if they actually dismantled their cd music club, but I guess they would turn their focus on more profitable endeavors. It's seems logical that their membership levels have declined over time, and their profit margins aren't what they used to be. I'm sure their still making money, just not enough for them.

I've never joined their dvd club, but I've been tempted to for years.
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