Columbia House Singing the Blues as they File for Chapter 11

The one time mail order music giant has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday. Filmed Entertainment is seeking to let go of the remains of its business after almost twenty-years of declining revenue.

The entertainment group filed at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan,  blaming the creation of digital music and changes in technology for their death.

Columbia House peaked in 1996, with $1.4 billion and hit their low point last year with net revenue just being $17 million

“This decline is directly attributable to a confluence of market factors that substantially altered the manner in which consumers purchase and listen to music, as well as the way consumers purchase and watch movies and television series at home,” Said FEI director, Glen Langberg  in court papers.

Columbia House began in 1955, as a division of CBS Inc. When they stopped offering stacks of CDs and cassettes for as little as a penny in 2010, they began specializing in DVDs as its only remaining product line. The DVD club has 110,000 members, according to court papers.

“The thing I remember most is their unwillingness to change with the times,” said Mark Rubenstein, a former art director at Columbia House. “The writing was on the wall,” he said. “They either didn’t see the writing or didn’t want to read it.”

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