BMG, RIP: CD Club Stops Letting People Into Its 12-CDs-For-One-Cent Lair

Maura / December 24, 2008

BMG Music Club, the last of the old “12 CDs for a penny” clubs from the old days, which taught many a CD-crazy youngster about what a “collection agency” was back in the day thanks to its strategy for mailing its monthly selections if a card saying “I don’t want this” wasn’t promptly returned*, has stopped accepting new members, although the flack quoted by Billboard said that the club was “still very actively engaged with [its] existing member base.” (Translation: Don’t stop sending those postcards back anytime soon!)

The funny thing about the CD clubs was, of course, the way they devalued physical product way, way before the Internet came around—at least if you were smart/creative/ethically flexible enough:

# The Golden Rule
Join, Fulfill, Quit, Repeat. Do not use their so-called “special member deals”, like buy-one-at-half-price. Want more CD’s? Quit and rejoin!

BMG has a one membership, per person, per year restriction. As the restriction is per person, per year, each person at an address should be able to have one membership per year. One suggestion: while a member, use the ‘join a friend’ offer to sign someone else up at the same address. The current member, after fulfilling the membership, quits and uses the ‘friend’s’ membership. Repeat.

Please keep in mind the above BMG membership restriction when reading the next two paragraphs.

+ The stated policy of BMG and CH/CDHQ/PLAY is that they reserve the right to refuse any application. I have been a member of BMG and CH many times, a member of CDHQ once, had a CDx membership converted to BMG, and had my old CH and CDHQ memberships converted to PLAY memberships. As the clubs usually offer preferred memberships to members who have quit or allow past members to rejoin on their own, the clubs’ policy evidently is to allow former members in good standing to join, fulfill, quit (repeat) at will.

After quitting, the club might ask you to rejoin by mail and/or by phone. Be forewarned: the offers to return may not be the best offers then available from the clubs.

Ah, those were the days, when getting your music for low or no cost took work, right?

BMG Music Service Stops Taking New Members [Billboard]
CD Club FAQ: Ethical Issues []
BMG Music Club []

* Cough.