New partnership offers online, offline promos

Entertainment club giant Columbia House announced Wednesday it has partnered with America Online, the world’s largest Internet service provider, to push its membership services through a series of online and offline promotions.

Although specific financial terms of the multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal were not disclosed, Columbia House, with more than 15 million members, will promote its music, video and DVD clubs on AOL’s Shopping Channel as well as on AOL.com, CompuServe, Digital City and Entertainment Asylum Web sites.

In return, Columbia House will offer options enabling its members to request AOL software and will bundle the software in its product mailings. It has guaranteed AOL a minimum number of new memberships.

Co-branded home page

AOL’s more than 16 million members who click on the various Columbia House icons and advertisements will be directed to a customized, co-branded home page designed especially for the AOL audience with special offers created specifically for members.

Columbia House is jointly owned by Sony Corp. and Time Warner Inc.

“We’ve achieved excellent results to date from expanding our traditional Club business into the online environment,” said Bill Ostroff, vice president, Columbia House Interactive. “There is no better way for us to strengthen our presence in this medium than partnering with AOL.”

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