Subscription Services Move Offline
In the 1970s and 1980s, myriad teens responded to Columbia House ads offering 13 records or tapes for $1. The catch? They had to buy several items at inflated prices (plus shipping costs) in the ensuing years. Customers were also sent (and billed for) monthly selections — unless they mailed back a refusal card by a certain date. Despite lots of fine print and a dubious reputation, the tactic worked, with Columbia’s 1996 sales peaking at $1.4 billion.