BMG Music Club - new twist

Hi all,

I joined BMG some years ago -- you know, 12 CDs for the price of 1. Joined for the free CDs, bought a few additional CDs, then got tired of returning the cards, and dropped out.

Every now and again, they send me a packet of info to get me to re-join, and I always lose interest when I look over the album choices they offer for signing up -- lots of great artists, but never the exact title you are looking for (I'm not a fan of "best of" albums generally), and kind of mainstream, for obvious reasons.

Here's what's new: the latest blurb from them mentions that you can sign up via the Internet. I did, because when I checked it out, you can choose from 12,000 titles for your "free" albums! Searchable by category, artist (works better than the category search), etc. I have a huge wish list from recommendations made here at Audiogon. About half of the titles I looked for, they have! So I'm getting Kleiber's Beethoven 5th & 7th symphonies, Aretha Franklin's 2-CD gospel recording, a Dylan album, an Emmy Lou Harris album, and I can't remember what else. Looking forward to getting that box!

In the FAQ on their site, they address the oft-posed question of whether their CDs are physically of the "same" quality as the original labels. They claim that they don't make any CDs, and that all their CDs come from the original labels, specially-marked per a contractual agreement. I don't know if that makes anyone feel better...

One thing they don't specify on their site is what the infamous "shipping and handling" charges are. As I recall, it's something ridiculous like $3.00 *per CD*. Pretty steep -- it means those 12 CDs actually cost you about 50 bucks -- still a good deal if it's music you want.

Well, thought I'd pass that along in case there are other folks out there who throw those mailers out regularly like I do...

- Eric
Eric- I have been using them for years, its cheap if you become a member, typically CD's cost me under $7 ea. shipped to my door. Just take advantage of the good deals and pass up on the poor ones. Right now they have unlimited CD's $7.99 shipped, I didn't take advantage of it.
I am also a member of BMG, but keep forgetting about them. As it is, i have accumulated enough "music points" to pick up even a few more freebies. As the Michelin Man above mentioned, you can buy when the deals are hot and let it slide when you're not interested. If you really pay attention, you can increase your music collection for much less than buying at any retail establishment. Sean

PS... Should any of you decide to join because of my excellent sales schpiel, please use me as a reference. I'll get five free discs then. We can even split them, you can have three and i'll take two : )

PPS... Just kidding.
I think it's $2.50 on the shipping and goes down a bit on more than one cd. Ask them for a "positive option " on your account and you won't have to send back the cards. Ask after you pay the initial costs. The phone # was in Consumer's Report a few years back.
I joined BMG back in the early 80's when for classsical it was called the "International Preview Society". A promotion back then I took advantage of gave me 2 free (single) recordings a year, free for life, as long as I maintain my membership. 20 years later and I still get my card from them for what is now 2 CDs free per year for life. So I guess I have gotten about 40 free recordings this way.

I have also gotten a few free CDs from their Music Points system. Once a memeber my advice is to wait for the sales, like buy one, get 3 free; or 70% off (the current sale).

Their online site has actually been up for over 3 years. You can deny the auto purchases online as well, instead of the cards.

BMG stopped its mail-order club in Canada over a year ago. Columbia House is the only one left. With no competion, I might add.....still, I've bought all my Keb Mo from them and picked up nickel Creek and some other stuff I was surprised to see....oh ya, Rodney Crowell's "The Houston Kid" still one of my favs of the year.....but I do miss BMG
BMG CD quality is different with the one without the BMG label on it. Tese are cheap CDs produced by or for BMG and they realy compromise in sonic quality. You basically get whatever you've paid for. I'm in NY so I can shop for the bargain classical CDs for as low as $2 per each or double.
Marakanetz. While it is true BMG has its non BMG label club CDs made for the club in most cases, the rest is probably an urban legend/rumor. BMG is more than a club. It is one of the largest recording distributors in the world. It has over 200 record labels in 54 countries.

One of the big audiophile magazines did an extensive test and could not find a difference in the quality of any of the CDs. They lab tested them and did listening tests.

BMG has the manufacturing facilities, so making other company's labels under license is cheaper than buying and reselling. The club CDs come out of the same factories as their own labels they send to stores.

Sugarbrie, can you point me to the mag that did this test? I am also a member of BMG, but have used them only to purchase CDs that I am not that interested in, and would not buy but for the price. I have been concernced about the quality of the CD, so I generally only purchase items that I just want to have for occasional background music. I still purchase my "must have" items at the normal "retail" outlets, or at least Amazon, CDconnection, etc. Have you done any comparisons yourself to see if you can tell a difference? I have read many of your postings so I tend to trust your ears.
There is a couple test articles out there. The Stereophile one is at:

What the original posted "Eric" discovered is really old hat. I used to collect the BMG catalogs back in high school (almost decade ago). The trick was to collect as many as I could, so I could get all the catalog number for thousands of CDs. Without having the internet search engine back then, this was the lcosest I could get. They make it SEEM that you have to pick 12 (or whatever) CDs from the catalog they send you. but this has NEVER in the last 9 years been the case. As long as you have the catalog number of the CD you want, you can order ANY CD in that list of 12 of $0.01. ANY CD.

Friends used to love that fact I had so many catalogs, which pretty much allowed you to get anything for $0.01. I don;t know how many times I signed up under different names to get the 12 CDs for $0.01. It must have been 12 or 13 times, LOL. And a cool trick in the beginning was BMG wold often distakenly let you get BOXED sets, and still count it as one free CD, LOL. True. You'll never get away with that now. In fact they caught on years ago. But I still have the 10 discs Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd (etc) boxed sets, and each (laughably) only counted as one disc.

To this day I can't believe it worked. Though sadly those discs are all scratched to heck. Lending to friends, playing in cars, etc, took it's toll.

But yeah, BMG will let you choose any CD in their catalog for those initial 12 disc offerings. Not just they ones in the catalog they initially send you. Any CD. Though now they count 10 discs multisets as 10 selections (or they used to a few years ago, and rightfully should) and not 'one' selection. I still can't believe I got away with that. Someone was sleeping at the wheel on that order!
I am a member as well and have read posts before as to the concern about quality. Unless there are some exceptions, all the CD's I have gotten are excellent and I wouldn't be concerned otherwise.
I assume the $2.50 per CD postage and handling is enough to cover their costs. So they probably at least break-even if you never order another CD after the initial 12.
All the CDs I received from BMG in the past to be of "good" quality. I was unaware they may be marketing otherwise substandard CD pressing via their direct marketing. Though they seem to be just fine on my sub $5k system. Most seem be to be identical [packaging, etc] to their retail counterparts.

If they are substandard, I'd like to know about it!
here's an interesting web page on music clubs. i don't know how recent it might be but does have some useful links (the url owner, chip rowe, has, shall we say, eclectic tastes- parental guidance might be in order for the morally squeamish):

Kelly-You sick bastard, that was you at that swingers party, man you can't get away from these audiophiles anywhere! I thought I saw some dude there with a beard jamming out wearing a pair of sennheiser's thought he looked famaliar. I was the one in the middle of the tireguy sandwhich(which is a favorite for me:), if you catch my drift ;) see ya next year!
tim: sorry but i was actually wearin' the new closed back stax'. you musta had me confused with somebody else. oh yeah, forgot to mention, the function noted was on the same night we did the wrap party for "moulin rouge." that was me with ms. kidder. no, not the really short guy. -cfb
...and that's what I was talking about that even on the cheap CD-player you can hear differences between original and "Manufactured Under License by BMG" CDs.
I bet that with good ADC and CDRW you can burn CDs better than does it BMG.