The BMG Music Service — the mail-order company famous for offering CDs at deals like “12 for the price of one” — has revealed in an e-mail to subscribers that they will cease operations on June 30, 2009. The writing seemed to be on the wall in December 2008, when Rolling Stone reported on the company’s announcement that they’d no longer allow new subscribers to sign up; at the time the service said they were “very actively engaged with our existing member base and will be making more changes to serve them.” Instead, three months later BMG Music Service is encouraging current subscribers to join up with sister site yourmusic.com, which offers albums at a discount price of $6.99 with no shipping fees.
In the e-mail, BMG told subscribers, “You will receive one more Featured Selection Announcement email from us” and “You will still be able to shop at bmgmusic.com through May 31, 2009.” However, the service will cease to exist on June 30th, so if you have any “Music Points” or “certificates for free CDs,” you may want to stop hesitating and just order Viva la Vida already. BMG, Columbia House and similar services claimed a large chunk of CD sales in the 1990s. Columbia House stopped selling CDs when it was bought by BMG Direct in 2005; today Columbia House operates as a DVD club.
Even though we haven’t used BMG in more than a decade, news of its demise has filled us with a nostalgic sadness. 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.