If you were alive in the ’90s, chances are you remember seeing an ad for Columbia House, the company that promised you 12 CDs for a penny. You’d stare at the list of albums in their magazine inserts and think of how much better your life would be if you owned all of the seemingly endless number of albums on the list, from Matchbox Twenty’s Yourself or Someone Like You to Hootie and The Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View. Of course, it was all a big scam, and your parents were probably right to turn down your requests to just give it a try on the grounds of “what could possibly go wrong?” But oh, we could certainly dream, couldn’t we?
Well, now Columbia House is re-launching, and this time they plan on selling the world vinyl, presumably at an initial cheap price that gets increased considerably over time:
How many for a penny, you ask? Not sure yet, but John Lippman, the man who bought the company out of bankruptcy this month, wants to use social media to get millennials interested in buying big stacks of vinyl via mail. Lippman told The Wall Street Journal, “You can see a yearning and an interest to try a new format.” Apparently Lippman thinks records are new, which is cool, because that means he’s a baby. And who doesn’t want to buy stuff from a baby? Nobody, that’s who.
The obvious problem with that logic is that records are decidedly not new. Even the vinyl revival has been going on for nearly a decade now. Still, this could be mildly effective, if (old) people want to use the service to re-introduce themselves to the format gradually. More importantly, if Columbia House brings back their magazine inserts, I’ll finally have some decent waiting room reading at my next dentist appointment.