Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The record club's old

It's been a few years since there's been much evidence of the Britannia Music Club advertising in British magazines; now, it's American counterpart, the BMG music service, is closing.

This is one of those 'buy one full price, get a squillion CDs free' deals that used the offer to lure you in, before announcing that you'd be stuck having to buy at least one record a month for the rest of your natural life; fail to choose a record, and you'd be sent the "club choice". Which would usually be rubbish.

It's hard to see what could possibly have gone wrong. Although Rolling Stone has an idea:

At one point in the service’s history, BMG offered “10 CDs for the price of half,” meaning you could get 10 albums just for buying one-half priced CD, and that’s it. The total math, after shipping charges, came out to roughly $27 for 10 CDs. Thus, we pretended on the subscription forms that our suburban home was an apartment complex, created a ton of aliases and signed up for the service over 25 times, raking in 250 CDs in the process. It ate up a lot of stamps responding “Not Interested” to each month’s spotlight release mailers, but in the long run it was worth it. Share your fond memories of the music service in the comments.

Of course, ultimately it was the decline in physical sales, and CD prices, which did for these clubs. Why pay seven bucks for a CD you don't want when you can get something you do, for the same price, from Target?

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