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Thread: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

  1. #1
    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    http://www.nypost.com/business/38078.htm

    Columbia House, famous for its "12 CDs for a penny" record clubs, will launch its own adult video club with Playboy Entertainment at the end of this month. The service, called Hush, will sell pornography through direct mail and a Web site.

    While 50-year-old Columbia House is eager to cash in on the $12 billion porn business, officials are pretty hush hush about Hush.

    "This will be a separate subsidiary," said Jim Litwak, senior vice president of marketing at Columbia House. "It will be completely separate from Columbia House, and will not be marketed to current members. We are not using Columbia House at all, and are not talking to existing members; this is a separate business and deal."

    Columbia House, the nation's largest direct distributor of DVDs and home video, will handle distribution, while Playboy, which has an adult direct-mail list "in the millions," according to Litwak, will handle marketing.

    Litwak added that his company estimates that total adult video sell-through and rentals total $5 billion a year.

    He said Hush can grab a significant amount of the marketplace because of Playboy's wide reach and Columbia's direct distribution methods. The club would work similarly to the company's record groups subscribers would select from a monthly catalog of titles.

    Executives from Columbia House were roaming the aisles of the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas last week, meeting with producers and stressing that Hush will distribute adult content from other publishers besides Playboy.

    Hush also insisted that it is starting with no members and is not piggybacking on existing Columbia House subscribers. In the words of one company executive, it will be a "slow build."

    Last June, Columbia House struck a quiet deal with Playboy to add about 150 of its more "tasteful" product line to the Columbia House DVD Club, and it has also been test marketing adult titles through its Canadian subsidiary. Litwak said very few club members have complained.

    But considering the outcry over Janet Jackson and Nicolette Sheridan, Columbia House needs to tread carefully, said entertainment analyst Dennis McAlpine of McAlpine Associates.

    "Columbia House might bring in some negatives because of the association," he said. "It's more risky for Columbia House than for Playboy."

    It may be risky not to get into the flesh business, however.

    Traditional discount-book and record clubs like Columbia House and Time Warner's Book of the Month Club, which once enjoyed huge market shares, have been hard hit by the introduction of discount Internet distributors, such as Amazon.com, and eBay. Adult entertainment, meanwhile, has grown exponentially.

    Among the recipients of Hush marketing dollars, Litwak said, will be Howard Stern, with Hush spon soring contests on Stern's syndi cated radio show. Hush will also be promoted through direct mail and through ads in adult magazines, Litwak added.

    Columbia House was launched in 1955. It has over 8.5 million offline and online club members in the United States and Canada who pick from some 5,000 DVDs and 9,000 music titles through its various entertainment clubs.

    In 2002, the company was purchased by merchant banker Blackstone Capital Partners, with former operating partners Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music still owning minority stakes.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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  3. #2
    Member Crumbley's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    I'd hit it.

  4. #3
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    I guess it all depends on the definition of "porn" in one's mind. Some may see any nudity-for-entertainment as porn. I have never really considered Playboy stuff ar "pornographic". Would I want my daughter appearing in Playboy? NO! But IMO it is done with a tad more class (some may say it is all classless and that is fine). Hustler, Penthouse and all those other mags are porn IMO. Raunchy poses and/or sexual contact (man-woman, woman-woman, whatever) are porn to me. Unfortunately for me my wife thinks it is all porn. So I cannot even get Playboy without tension in the house. That is fine b/c I respect her feelings.

    There is a lot of money to be made in the world of freedom of the press. Hard to blame Columbia House for venturing into this world w/ the money that is spent on it each year. Sounds like a profitable venture. I can understand, however, why they are being hush-hush about it. It will never be viewed as acceptable by our entire society (my wife!). I may be wrong (imagine that) but I always thought of Columbia House and BMG as preying on the younger crowd with their CD offer thing. So I wonder if it the porn thing would really hurt their current client list (people refusing to do further business with them b/c of their morals).
    Small market fan... always hoping, but never expecting.

  5. #4
    A Little to the Left Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    I may be wrong (imagine that) but I always thought of Columbia House and BMG as preying on the younger crowd with their CD offer thing.
    I never did this (really!) but one of the biggest scams in college dorms used to be setting up a ton of fake names and signing up for the BMG thing. Since dorms are so transitory kids would end up with hundreds of CD's pretty much risk free.

    So if they did prey on kids I imagine they got payed back pretty often.
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
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    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan
    http://www.nypost.com/business/38078.htm


    "This will be a separate subsidiary," said Jim Litwak, senior vice president of marketing at Columbia House. "It will be completely separate from Columbia House, and will not be marketed to current members. We are not using Columbia House at all, and are not talking to existing members; this is a separate business and deal."

    Funny. I know someone very well who works at Columbia House. Phone employees were told they must suggestively sell this product. If they refuse termination will result. I would guess they would only suggest to certain profiled customers, though- I don't know. Sound like the company might be a bit dishonest. :thumbdown
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
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    Mod Law zombie-a-go-go's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    I'm so there.
    "It's easier to give up. I'm not a very vocal player. I lead by example. I take the attitude that I've got to go out and do it. Because of who I am, I've got to give everything I've got to come back."
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  8. #7
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    At least we can still count on Wal-Mart to stay out of the porn business.
    /r/reds

  9. #8
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted
    At least we can still count on Wal-Mart to stay out of the porn business.
    Yeah.
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  10. #9
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    So if its 12 CDS for a buck is it 12 Chubbies for..never mind...
    Last edited by deltachi8; 01-13-2005 at 03:28 PM.
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  11. #10
    Plays The Right Way Hap's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful
    I never did this (really!) but one of the biggest scams in college dorms used to be setting up a ton of fake names and signing up for the BMG thing. Since dorms are so transitory kids would end up with hundreds of CD's pretty much risk free.
    I did that several times when lived in a boarding-house style apartment building. The house had eleven rooms and the mail was simply left in the lobby, where the residents had to get it themselves. I would always used a fake apartment number like 1D or 12. I would always use a generic name like Roger Jones or Jon Davis or David W. Smith. When I tried to get creative and use Shirley Betty Humpter and Oliver Clothesoff, I would receive their form letter asking me to provide more information on my identity. Anyway, they "caught up" with me eventually (seven years), and my real name is red-flagged in their system.
    .

  12. #11
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Hap
    I did that several times when lived in a boarding-house style apartment building. The house had eleven rooms and the mail was simply left in the lobby, where the residents had to get it themselves. I would always used a fake apartment number like 1D or 12. I would always use a generic name like Roger Jones or Jon Davis or David W. Smith. When I tried to get creative and use Shirley Betty Humpter and Oliver Clothesoff, I would receive their form letter asking me to provide more information on my identity. Anyway, they "caught up" with me eventually (seven years), and my real name is red-flagged in their system.
    A friend of mine who is a singer/songwriter has a line in one of his songs that sings "I'll never pay for the dozen CDs from BMG music club..."
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  13. #12
    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsfaithful
    I never did this (really!) but one of the biggest scams in college dorms used to be setting up a ton of fake names and signing up for the BMG thing. Since dorms are so transitory kids would end up with hundreds of CD's pretty much risk free.

    So if they did prey on kids I imagine they got payed back pretty often.
    I had a similar tactic in college. I was an RA in a dorm and had front desk duty. I would call in a pizza for delivery and give a fake name and a room # that didn't exist. When the guy showed up and asked me to call the room #, I would tell him he was the victim of a prank. and would tell him I was sorry. As he walked away I would tell him I would take the pizza for a couple bucks and more often than not, I would get it. :mhcky21:
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
    -Todd Snider

  14. #13
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by 919191
    I had a similar tactic in college. I was an RA in a dorm and had front desk duty. I would call in a pizza for delivery and give a fake name and a room # that didn't exist. When the guy showed up and asked me to call the room #, I would tell him he was the victim of a prank. and would tell him I was sorry. As he walked away I would tell him I would take the pizza for a couple bucks and more often than not, I would get it. :mhcky21:
    I delivered Pizza in college and when that happened to me, if the guy at the desk made such an offer I would always counter offer with a price higher than the original - just to let them know I was on to the game. Plus, if I didnt come back with the order I got charged for it, If I did it was written off as waste and we usually ate it.

    It didnt happen often as we called to confirm the orders 90% of the time, if we couldnt confirm we didnt deliver.
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

  15. #14
    Member 919191's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by deltachi8
    I delivered Pizza in college and when that happened to me, if the guy at the desk made such an offer I would always counter offer with a price higher than the original - just to let them know I was on to the game. Plus, if I didnt come back with the order I got charged for it, If I did it was written off as waste and we usually ate it.

    It didnt happen often as we called to confirm the orders 90% of the time, if we couldnt confirm we didnt deliver.

    It was 25 years ago I was doing this, and I didn't do it alot, because I figured I would blow it. I also spread it around to different places.
    I've been to dinner at Jimmy Buffet's house, and I've eaten it at a homeless shelter. And there's great joy and harrowing terror to be found in both places.
    -Todd Snider

  16. #15
    smells of rich mahogany deltachi8's Avatar
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    Re: Columbia House Plans Porn Club

    Quote Originally Posted by 919191
    It was 25 years ago I was doing this, and I didn't do it alot, because I figured I would blow it. I also spread it around to different places.
    OH, i dont hold it against ya or anyone who tried it - when your in college and poor any angle that can work....
    Nothing to see here. Please disperse.


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