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No More ‘CDs For a Penny’: Columbia House Blames Streaming for Bankruptcy

The music died for Columbia House on Monday when its parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

As anyone with a dusty Hootie & the Blowfish album probably knows, Columbia House became popular in the 1990s as the business that would sell you eight CDs for a penny.

The Complicated Relationship Between the Music Industry and the Internet 2:30

Then came Napster, iTunes, and now Spotify, which offers more than 30 million songs for zero pennies. Other streaming services, like Apple Music and Tidal, also give consumers a nearly endless supply of albums for a monthly fee.

"The business has been in decline for approximately two decades, driven by the advent of digital media and resulting declines in the recorded music business," Columbia House's parent company, Filmed Entertainment, said in a statement on Monday.

Even iTunes seems outdated now. In the first half of 2015, on-demand streaming of music was up 92.4 percent, while CD and digital track sales were down 10 percent, according to Nielsen. Ironically, sales of vinyl records — which is what Columbia House sold when it was founded in 1955 — were actually up by 38 percent.

Related: Turntables and an iPhone: Why Spotify and LPs May Be the Future

Not that anyone was receiving albums in the mail from Columbia House recently. It shut down its music club in 2010 to focus on selling DVDs -- another technology that is threatened by digital streaming.