Columbia House May Go Back To Its Roots…Mailing Vinyl Records

Many music Heads undoubtedly remember Columbia House Music. In junk mail and in magazine tear-out ads (with lick-and-stick album covers), the distributor offered vinyl, 8-tracks, cassette tapes, and eventually compact discs to consumers by mail. To gain subscribers, the Terre Haute, Indiana-based company often promised bulk mailings of music, for as little as a penny. For many who lived through the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s, this service (as well as competitors like BMG) allowed personal music libraries to sprawl.


Originally launched by Columbia Records (a division of CBS), the mail-order company was absorbed by BMG Direct Marking, its biggest competitor in 2008. In August of this year, Columbia House closed its doors, due to changing music mediums.

Since the August shut down, Columbia House ended up at bankruptcy auction. Its new owner, John Lippman, believes that for this company, its future lies in its past. According to The Wall Street Journal, Lippman has been encouraged by the data proving strong upticks in vinyl album sales. With that information, the mail order company may tantalize turntables by returning to its roots: mail order vinyl.

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Lippman, a former Wall Street executive, purchased Columbia House for $1.5 million. It is not stated if the company will keep its storied name, as Columbia Records remains a prominent Sony-affiliated label.

Other companies, such as Vinyl Me Please, That Special Record, and VNYL, have already established themselves as successful in the curated vinyl subscription market.

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