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Kind of a bummer (I got lots of good stuff when I was a member of this club during the 80s/90s) but not exactly shocking news either...


BMG Music Service shutting down

March 10, 2:25 PM ·


Brick and mortar music stores aren’t the only outlets adversely affected by the digital download era. First the Columbia House Music Club bit the dust, now BMG Music Service is closing up shop.


Current members recently received an email informing them that the BMG Music Service is being discontinued as of June 30, 2009. They will have until May 31 to redeem certificates or make purchases on the club’s website - bmgmusic.com.


The closing marks the end of an era. For years, both Columbia

House (originally known as the Columbia Record Club) and BMG Music Service (originally known as the RCA Music Club) provided music connoisseurs a way to start or add to their music collections in bulk, with their “6 for the price of one” or “Get 11 albums free” offers.


I can still remember as a young teenager getting my introductory shipment of a dozen or albums from Columbia House and thinking, “Wow, I’ve got every album I’ve always wanted.”


A few thousand albums later, I’m still working on that – but that’s another story.


The history of the record clubs starts with Columbia, which was founded in 1955 and was originally owned by CBS Records. RCA Records started up the RCA Music Service shortly thereafter. For most of the years the clubs were in competition with each other, CBS recordings were not available from the RCA club, and RCA recordings were unavailable through Columbia House.


The specifics of the offers changed over the years, but RCA always offered a better deal. With a smaller library of albums, RCA offered fewer “up front,” but required members to only buy one more to complete their membership commitment. Columbia House loaded you up on the front end (11, 12, or more albums), but the membership fulfillment commitment was 5 or 6 albums within three years.


Sony acquired Columbia House in 1987 when they bought CBS Records; the same year, RCA was acquired by Bertelsmann Music Group, and its music club was renamed BMG Music Service.


The clubs have not totally vanished - Columbia House still runs a DVD club, and BMG is going to continue its yourmusic.com service, where CDs are sold at reduced prices. But I can’t help but feel that another piece of recent Americana is fading away.


Future generations of young music fans will never know the joy of opening a big box of CDs and thinking, “Wow, I’ve got every album I’ve always wanted.”

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The "record club" business model is pretty well obsolete. When those clubs first started up back in the day, their bread-and-butter customers were people in rural/out-of-the-way areas who didn't have a record store close by. Nowadays, of course, those people can just go to Amazon or any of a zillion other sites that sell the same CDs, at far better prices...


When I got out of the BMG club in the early '00s the list price for most "new release" CDs in their catalog was $17.98, plus another three bucks and change to ship the damn thing to you. Screw that. :thppt: Apparently nobody told the folks running these clubs that their customers had other, cheaper options... :lol:

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Yep, I grew up in very rural mid-western Wisconsin. BMG was really my only way of getting my music fix in mass. There was a music store an hour away in a mall but had to rely on my parents to get me there.


I could barely bring in the radio station 93x KXXR out of Minneapolis from my upstairs bedroom in the farmhouse. That is how I knew what bands to order from BMG. I would sign up with fake names and BMG never cared as long as they got their "1 penny plus S&H".

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I would sign up with fake names and BMG never cared as long as they got their "1 penny plus S&H".


Hahaha, I knew so many people who pulled that scam... but I never did, guess I was too moral (or I was afraid my parents would catch me after a few packages with odd names on'em started showing up at the house) :lol:

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Gee...they must've finally got tired of people taking the intro cds and then bolting. :lol:



Guilty :anon:


same here! I also signed up with fake names to get all the free ones & then bolt...I usually would pick the double cd best of sets of things non metal that I wanted like DIANA ROSS & THE SUPREMES, SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRALCLES, GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIMENT FUNKADELIC among others... :P

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Bertelsmann ..... funny coincidence ...


About 20 years I bought my first TV set from the Bertelsmann club - I was a member - with my first hard-earned cash. Yesterday I threw it into the scrap bin. It nearly broke my heart. :crying: :crying:

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