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Columbia House hopes you'll come back for vinyl records

The service may have failed at movie discs, but it's betting that vinyl's comeback will keep it afloat.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
12.26.15 in AV
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To put it mildly, Columbia House has seen better days. The mail-order service went bankrupt this summer, and it's hard to see the allure of regularly buying movie discs when downloads and streaming are within easy reach. The company thinks it has an answer, however: it's restarting the Columbia House Record Club with a focus on vinyl records. It's betting that the resurgence of the old format and the popularity of subscription services (think Birchbox or Lootcrate) will draw in a younger audience. Columbia hasn't nailed down the launch details yet, but it'd return to the outlet's roots with membership and steep discounts.

Whether or not it succeeds is another matter. Although vinyl sales are soaring, they still make up just 7 percent of the music market. Moreover, Columbia House isn't exactly a household name for younger generations. If you grew up with iTunes, Spotify and YouTube, why would you yearn for a mail service that even your parents don't use? Still, you have to give credit to the firm for seeking out a niche where physical copies are still in vogue -- it beats trying to pretend that online media doesn't exist.

[Image credit: Tom Simpson, Flickr]

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