Priscilla Jones

Matt Redman

Raymond &Co

Is the development of the Gospel /Christian Music culturally and economically depending on the USA influence, is it really representative of the British Gospel? : A comparison of the U K Music Gospel’s marketing with US Music Gospel’s marketing. ?

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I would like to thank those who have given me the opportunity and agreed to participate in this interview; I am forever indebted to people such as:

 Marcia Dixon: Gospel /Christian Music Public Relation  Ian Lloyds: Founder of the website ‘’Gospel Frontiers’’ (supporting and promotion Christian and Gospel /Christian Music from UK and US)  Mr James Battersbe : Manager of Wesley Owen Croydon (one of the branch of Wesley Group Wesley Owen, which is the biggest chain of Christian bookstores selling CD and DVD Music in the UK with 45 branches all over UK).  Muyiwa Olarewaju Presenter (Premier radio, Worship Tonight, Gospel Tonight. Premier Christian Radio -In London on 1305 1332 1413 MW - And nationally on Sky Digital 0123 -ntl Channel 886 – Free view Channel 725

 Jahan Cedenio: Presenter on Revelation Television


1. Introduction UK Gospel /Christian Music market is still a very young and an underground market that is undergoing a developing phase, especially when compared to its North American counterpart (Gospel music sales grew 11.6 per cent for the first six months of this year 2006, compared to the same period in 2005, which experienced 4 per cent decline during the same time frame. Meanwhile, gospel remains the only genre categorised by its lyrical content, a mixed bag that ranges from praise and worship artists to hard-core metal bands. Despite its collective success, Christian music accounts for only 6 per cent of the overall music industry). Internet etc….). In spite of these positive signs UK Gospel/Christian Music is still inexistent in the UK Music Industry sales statistic. One can accurately pinpoint a host of reasons as to why UK Gospel/ Christian music market is lagging behind. Among these are, a sheer lack of support for the artists from/and a neglect by both the UK music industry and a wider Christian community itself. And this appears to be extremely disheartening in light of UK Gospel/ Christian being a reservoir bursting with gifted singers and exceptional writers who, for some odds reasons, are not given their due and are generally shun by the mainstream media. The purpose of this assignment is to research the actual state of UK Gospel/Christian music and explain the multiple reasons as to why the UK Gospel/Christian music does not have a significant sale statistic. This assignment will also demonstrate that UK Gospel /Christian Music have the potentiality to establish itself in the UK and become a valuable source of revenue for the UK Music Industry. Thanks to this research, we will also have an understanding on how the UK Gospel/Christian market operates through the means of retail, radio, website, and argue whether the UK Gospel/Christian music actual development is the real representation of the British Gospel /Christian Music or simply a paste copy of the American Gospel Christianity today 1”.But lately, UK Gospel /Christian Music market has been showing encouraging signs of development, owing to the emergence of Christian-based networks (media, radio,


Christian Today newspaper is an operating division of Christian Today Limited.


/Christian Music? This will be examined by comparing the Gospel /Christian Music American marketing riverside to the UK Gospel/Christian music marketing. The information’s that have been collected are most qualitative and quantitative. The quantitative

information’s were limited because it has been difficult to find sales figures about UK Gospel/Artists music statistically. One could find much more ample information about USA Gospel/Christian artists and market than those from the UK. This research will also benefit the UK Gospel/Christian Music Industry; the UK Music popular study entities; the UK Music industry and anyone interested in the future of the Gospel/Christian music in UK. Review of the Literature: The literature used for this research abounds and consists of books, newspapers, articles found in specific websites via Internet and journals. The main source of information, which leads to other sources of research is the book “Sound Of Light” written by Don Cuscic. Amazingly there seem to be inexhaustible literatures revealing the history of Gospel/Christian but the one published by Don Cusic stands out in that he, like no others, makes a very detailed resume of each factor which has contributed to the emancipation of the Gospel/ Christian genre and style of music in USA such as the history, the marketing etc...This book is an important source of information and will be very often mentioned in this dissertation. On the other hand, books about the UK Gospel/ Christian music market have not been published yet, academics books instead, will be used to approach the marketing area of music acts. Most of the information’s were found through a series of articles, notably references on UK Gospel/Christian music. The articles contrary to the books give more actual statements and analysis of the Gospel/Christian music market through the years in America and UK; we will view an article such as “Is there really a Christian Music boom?”. The Gospel/Christian market also has their own magazine publication which gives news on every sector of the Christian market (music, books) such as “Christian Market” or “Christian retail”, “Christianity”.


Methodology: In order to define a music market, it is important to identify the consumers who buy the music and to know the music equally. Making an effective analyse requires that the qualitative and quantitative data’s be the most appropriated. The collection of qualitative information’s have been processed via articles, case studies and articles from Internet website, books, interview with personalities of (radio, organisations, magazine, television). The quantitative data have been collected via a sales report of a main organisation such as GMA (Gospel Music Association). The quantitative data about the UK Gospel/Christian music sales is not published yet and therefore inexistent at the moment. Statistic published by Music Industry organisations such as BPI2 or IFPI 3 have really been instrumental in proving that the genre of music played by UK Gospel/Artists is also part of the UK Music Market. As a result, the evaluation of the UK Gospel/Christian music market is difficult to estimate by figures. That is why these quantitative data’s, does not unfortunately give the real situation. Some data have been processed through a branch of a distributor Group (Wesley Owen). It gives a vague idea of the situation of the Gospel/Christian music product (CD) in one specialist retail shop.

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BPI (British Phonographic Industry)

IFPI (represent the recording industry worldwide )


Systematic Presentation of the Data The data’s used below is taken from the USA Market notably for the GMA 2007 (Gospel Music Association) give the statement of The Gospel/Christian music by genre of music. From this data, we have a clear picture of how the American Gospel/Christian performs statistically in the US market and from this very same data; we can also conclude that their market is as established as any other music market.

List of Appendices: 1. USA Gospel/Christian Music Market 2. UK Gospel/Christian Music (History) 3. UK Gospel/Christian music Artists 4. UK Gospel/Christian Music Scene (Records label, Music publishers, Distributor (retail/e-retailers), Television Channels, Radios, Magazines, Awards Ceremonies , Live Music Events, Music Festivals. 5. (Public relations –Finance)


2. The Gospel /Christian Music The Definition: What does Gospel/Christian music mean? In order to come up with an appropriate definition of this, we should take into account that from artists to music labels, or yet again, common music listeners and fans, the meaning varies and differs. Most of the time, when talking about the Gospel/Christian music, it is often referred to the ethnic community which sings and plays it, or to a religious group but rarely, mention about its contents (style of music, lyrics) is made. If we analyse the word Gospel itself it means according to wikipedia: “the agape message proclaimed by Jesus of Nazareth”. However, this same message is also the base of the Christian religion. This same Christian Religion is also divided in various group (Baptist, Catholic, Pencostist, Adventist). The reason of this disparity between these two words in term of music is associated with the style of music. Both music have in fact a strong relation with the Christian religion, it is simply their ambassador.

In the definition of the Christian music you have the word ‘Gospel music’ which appears currently, Christian music can be broken into several categories: Hymns, Contemporary Christian music,Gospel music, and Christian alternative rock Wikipedia. The importance given is not about the title of the music but more about the style of music played. Gospel music is often more attributed to a ‘’Black’’ style of music and Christian music more to ‘’White” style of music . The reasons are simply historical. The black community have been brung in USA as slave and forced to adopt later the christian religion. They have then expressed their faith via music in another way that the White notably the way to sing.


According to James Battersbe manager of the Westley Owen Croydon branch one of the first distributor Group and biggest chain of Christian bookstores (selling CD and DVD Music) in the UK with 45 branches all over UK. Christian music genre is divided as following”:  Black Gospel Music  Praise & Worship  Contemporary Christian  Rock  Hip hop  Jazz  Children  Hymn Traditional  Instrumental  Southern Gospel

The most popular are the Black Gospel and Contemporary Christian music.


The Black Gospel Music: The Black Gospel Music has various definitions given by entities, dictionary etc... But the one which is the most common is that black Gospel music traces its roots from the black community implanted in America. According to Don Cusic, music provided a release from troubles rather than quiet, inner strength to tame the spirit mainline churches sought to impart The Baptists preferred trained voices singing the melody in a “concert demeanour” standing erect with proper enunciation…..on the other hand the holiness singers would sing spontaneously during a church service. Gospel music has developed from church to mainstream thanks to such a personality as Thomas A. Dorsey and through Black Churches. The emancipation of Gospel music has started with quartet concert, “by this time, gospel singing has become a business and admission fees to concerts were standard. Both these concerts and recordings helped gospel music reach a wider and eventually multiracial audience.” Horace Clarence Boyer. The black Gospel music is described as a music which is sung by a choir and led by a lead singer. Gospel singers are famed for possessing sultry and captivating voices, for example we have in mind, Mahalia Jackson as opposed to christian music, of which the emphasis is put more on the lyrics than on the vocal aspect. What is remarkable in the US, is that Gospel Music has television channels and top 10 charts of their own (See appendice 1 Billbard Christian and Gospel Chart). For decades now, the way Gospel music was initially played in churches has somewhat changed; this is in respect of becoming more standardized and espousing a more commercial approach. Hence its meddling with urban music known as rap, hip hop and contemporary R’nb, galvanized by the likes of kirk Franklin, Mary Mary. Black Gospel music represent 22% of the sales in the US Gospel/Christian music statistic.


The Contemporary Christian Music: The Contemporary Christian Music (or CCM) is a genre of popular music which is lyrically focused on matters concerned with the Christian faith. The term is typically used to refer to the Nashville, Tennesseebased pop, rock. Wikipedia. In another word, the contemporary Christian music is a secular music with the christian message. It is a new modern way to express the christian faith. The Contemporary Christian Music or CCM also draws criticism from those who feel it is simply a "Christianized" imitation of mainstream music, thus lacking originality and creativity. The term "Contemporary Christian Music" originated in the late 1960s in reference to the emerging pop and rock "Jesus music", the musical outpouring of the hippie Jesus Movement of the time. . Wikipedia Contemporary Christian music.. from its beginning was defined by the contents of its lyrics without and identifiable christian element present the whole idea of the genre was to provide an alternative to the “ World”. Barry Alfonso p30.

The Perception; The way Gospel/Christian Music is perceived is largely due to the existing relation with the Christian religion; more evangelist than catholic, to be more precise. What sets the Gospel/Christian Music apart from the secular music or “Music of the world” as it is referred by Christians is the message behind the lyrics. Fans of secular music listen to Gospel/Christian music only during a specific period or particular events like Christmas or Easter. traditionally the most sung ever. However, it is important to note that the perception and identification of the Gospel Music is different according to the region “But what do most people think when they hear the term "Gospel music?" Jerry Williams, Gospel Music Channel’s director of programming, says the initial image people get is either traditional black gospel music or traditional southern music. 10 This is the main reason why a tune such as “Oh Happy Days” is

Humbar president of the channel believes it depends on the person's age and region where they were raised. For a person raised in the Midwest, it could mean southern or contemporary music while for a New Yorker, gospel music could signify black gospel. United by one. .Indeed, in the USA Gospel/Christian music is established and has its parts in the listener habits via radio, television as other genre of music such as Pop, Rock. But in spite of this, the Gospel/Christian music is viewed differently by different communities. The

separation of the Gospel in two colour Black and white and by the style of music is a very palpable issue. Although Gospel music has its roots in the “Church” and is only the way it is expressed musically which determine its style (white or black). This has created conflicts between both communities. Black Gospel style of music has been copied and used in other types of music and that has created conflict such as this example in the article “whites are taking gospel music? - controversy over white gospel singers.Lisa Jones. In fact, many Blacks have suggested that history is repeating itself and that Whites are taking, or trying to take gospel music, the same way Langston Hughes said they took - or tried to take - blues and spirituals. Lisa Jones. The “perceived War” about to whom belong Gospel music and who has the right to keep its under control which is waged by the US black and white community is made through the music style that one community borrows or takes from the other. This notice can be one among several reasons why there is a difference between Gospel/Christian genres of music which, nevertherless spread the same message: The main difference with the secular music is the message via the lyrics and not really the music genre. The message in Gospel/Christian remains the same whatever the period of year. On the other hand, secular music mostly keeps the same message and topics (lyrics) but it is more characterised by the style of the music than the lyrics.

Nowadays. the Gospel/Christian music has adopted other music genres such as rock, rap, metal, dance, pop. Hip hop (secular music) which is the CCM (Contemporary Christian music) for commercial reasons and to also attract the young christians generations who are influenced by the secular music; and in order to be present in secular market and to be separated from its strong religious image. 11

That initiative has influenced some artists to distance themselves from the original purpose of the Gospel/Christian music, according to the example of GMA which was obliged to change the directive of the Dove music Awards. GMA has a new definition gospel 1998, because of the obvious pseudo-Christian lyrics flooding the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), the Gospel Music Association (GMA), for the first time in their 30-year history, created lyrics criteria for the eligibility of Dove Awards. The 1998 definition stated: GMA4. 3. American Gospel /Christian Music Market The History: The United States as a nation was founded and formed largely by Protestants, who remain a powerful national group. USA contrary to UK has a Christian religion environment that is very strong. “America is a highly religious country, and has been since its earliest days. Nearly every religion in the world has adherents or organized institutions in the United States. American religious institutions are large, powerful and influential in social and political life. Even Americans who are members of no established religion are likely to believe in God” American Religion. The Black Church Nearly 90% of African-American church-goers attends predominantly-black churches, mostly Baptist. The black church has existed as a separate entity for hundreds of years. Black churches have contributed many notable American religious and political leaders, the most prominent of whom have been the civil rights leader the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. American Religion. The Gospel/Christian music has developed above all in USA by the involvement of the music industry (radio), music Publisher and the Media (television). “Independent Labels permitted Gospel Groups to record material they wanted in the manner they wanted. This allowed Gospel to develop “naturally instead of having to conform to record company preconceptions about commerciality” James R. Jr.Goff. Before the Gospel/Christian music was effectively played and sung in Churches only until some personalities and entrepreneurs decide to make it known via quartet group by touring all over USA and by the creation of publishing company. It has permitted Gospel/Christian to achieve a level of popularity and

4. Gospel

Music Association


wealth, which has reached the Music Business industry interest.

Nowadays, the Gospel/Christian has

adopted new style of music as Hip Hop, Rock, even Metal. Over the past five years, new artists, a new attitude and a new sound have pushed gospel recordings up the charts” Shawn. E. Rhea. The Expansion and growth:

The Gospel/Christian genre of music is growing from year to year in USA, it is displayed via the albums sales. ‘’ 1976 to 1986 are key to understanding the Christian music during this period contemporary Christian music industry became the major force in gospel music through its commercial success, it influenced southern gospel and black gospel between, 1985 and 1995 the sales of Christian recording grew by $298 million In the late 20th and early 21st centuries Christian music has proven itself to be a resounding success in the commercial market. Don Cusic P395. According to Nielsen Soundscan “The Christian/Gospel category remains the sixth most popular music genre reporting total album sales of 39.2 million units. These figures represent sales for the 52 week period January 3.2005 through January 1, 2006’’.


The most popular styles of Gospel Music are AC/Pop (22%), Black Gospel (22%), Rock (19. %). Gospel/Christian music sales figures appeared in the Music Industry music genre statistic and have its own top charts recognised by the national albums and singles statistics as Billboard (see appendice 1). According to GMA Market Overview 2007 the Gospel/Christian music has ten markets as following:

The reason of the success of Gospel/Christian music through decades is explained according to Shawn E. Rhea “improvement in the production quality of music, more upscale marketing and packaging of the artists and their albums, more favorable demographic and sales research and better record distribution”.


The market today: What makes the strength of the US Gospel/Christian market is its distribution network. According to Denton Josey ‘Jesus Sells” annual sales for Christian retail total more than $4 billion according to In USA contrary to UK, the Christian product notably music products have the support of ministries ‘lifeway operates as a non-for-profit store with all profit going to support the mission work of Baptist missionaries’ Dentor Josey. These distributors do not sell only books, music but also adopted the policy of merchandise. ‘’The sales are so relevant that the secular market world has noticed the niche market and acted on it’’. Denton Josey The explosion of bookstores and even supermarkets of Christian items including CD is a phenomenon. The Christian bookstore is similar to a scaled down model of the mall or Wal-Mart. Inside are toys, books, CD's, movies, jewellery, interior design items and clothing. At first glance, it seems the only thing that makes this store different is its odd variety. But these bookstores have a faithful following from their devout customers. Denton Josey. Christian/Gospel music sales in 2006 represent music that is sold at both Christian and mainstream retail and is compiled by the GMA from Nielsen Christian. But it is not only the music which is concerned it is also the cinema. Christian films have booming since a couple of years and with the success of such films as the passion of Christ Christian and faith-based films, have seen a sharp increase in production within the past years. Kevin Jackson. The phenomenal success of the movie “Passion of the Christ” by Mel Gibson has increased the demand for Gospel/Christian songs. Recently a movie such as “Amazing Grace” released on 23 January 2007 has used contemporary Christian artists songs as soundtracks such as Chris Tomlin “Amazing Grace song” signed on the record label Sparrow.


4. The UK Gospel /Christian Music Market

Is there an UK Gospel /Christian Music Market? Foremost, it is imperative to define our understanding of a music market. First a market is composed by consumers who purchase the same type of product. The product here is the Music on the form of a CD or digital. The Music Industry evaluates a market more through the sales and classifying the profile of the listeners. The UK Gospel/Christian Music does not appear yet as a musical genre or not at all in the statistic of the UK Music Industry trade. There is no overview of the market contrary to the USA (see appendices 1). The audience of Gospel/Christian music is composed in general by black and White Christian community. UK is a cosmopolitan society and has various religious beliefs. 71.6% of the UK population is Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) and belongs to the ethnic groups (74% black Caribbean, 69% Black African and 76% white) Marketing Magazine April 2007. The English Church Census 2005 mentions along with that “this increase (churches) was seen among Baptists, independent churches, new/houses churches …went from 94,000 in 1998 to 153, 000 in 2005 almost entirely because of the massive growth of the Black and other non-white ethnic churches in Inner London. Effectively, “10% of Churchgoers are now black 44% in inner London and 83% are white in all England. The Caribbean and African minority community has increased as showed in the diagram above:


The black community and Minority Ethnic (BME) which have a significant presence in UK (London). Based on the 2001 Census figures, 38.7% i.e. 1.8 million of the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) population are Christians. BME Christians are present in all denominations in the UK: from independent fellowships to large international bodies; from Black-led or Black-majority churches to mainstream White-led or whitemajority Churches. CTBI 5 Concerning the white Christian, according to the Christian Research 2005: There is an increase of churches in the Herefordshire, which is a rural locality situated in the west midlands from 9,700 in 1998 to 9,900 in 2005. The UK Gospel/Christian music does not know the same expansion contrary to USA. This is mainly due to its history background and social environment. In the early 1980's the English public experienced an enormous explosion and outpouring of black British Gospel ushering in a new era…. A major figure and ambassador of UK Gospel is Basil Meade who dared to form and nurture an interdenominational choir (LCGC) before successfully presenting it to the public domain. According to Muyiwa Olarewaju Presenter on Premier Tonight, Worship Tonight, and Gospel Tonight. Premier Christian Radio “ UK Music Market Gospel is still quite young at the same no so organised but is full of opportunities and must sell to be recognised on the secular market. (Interview 1CD A). The Gospel/Christian UK market is quite dominated by urban music style in the Black community and Pop, Rock, Worship in the White community. The Gospel/Christian artists most of the time are independent (promote and sell their CD themselves) or are signed by record labels such as Survivor, ICC, Kingsway. One of its particularities is that it is more oriented in the churches Market. According to David Daniel “A lot of groups do seem to be just interested in focusing on the church alone, ministering in churches and saturating the small UK Gospel Industry” Crossrhytm.


Churches Together In Britain and Ireland.


The UK artists such as (Raymond & Co, David Daniel, Nu Life, Paula, Siani, and Nua) and Matt Redman are the few which have a relevant presence (see Appendices 3). According to Ian Lloyds (Listen interview 1 CD) UK Gospel as music genre is split in three ways British Gospel (From Black Churches), UK Gospel (from Black Churches) Christian music (the largest market predominantly, white music industry). However, the emergence of Television Channel, retail shop, website, Christian music distributor in UK prove that there is a demand for Gospel/Christian product notably music (see appendices 4).

The American influence: The supremacy of American music in the world is also present in Gospel/Christian music. The UK Gospel/Christian music genre is influenced heavily by the American Gospel/Christian music style. This is due to the dominance of American Gospel/Christian artists in the international and local Gospel/Christian music scene but it is also due to the influence of Christian Churches Ministry. The recent increase of live events involving most of the time well known American artists more than UK artists has a strong impact on the UK Gospel/Christian music scene. According to Hunt Stephen the North American Health and Wealth gospel has an impact on the UK churches scene within the context of globalisation. Congregation such as KICC is a good example without doing a deep analysis, we can notice the presence American preachers and artists in some conference. They employ the same way of Christian American congregations to administrate and manage their their ministries. The Faith movement in the UK can be discerned as only a small and marginalised rendition of neo-Pentecostalism this form mostly emerges through a number of independent congregations that replicate a site for the importation of the North American Model” Dr Simon Coleman. British Gospel/Christian music has a label which is not necessary relevant of what is really happening on the churches scene but it not represent real UK Gospel/Christian music scene. As in USA the UK Gospel is attributed to the black community but in the fact in the major live music events sees the presence of white Christian music playing role. UK Gospel/Christian music is White and Black.


The Signs of Development: First we must situate the music industry market environment where is the UK Gospel/Christian music. According to the Department for culture media and sport (DCMS) report 2006, the music industry is one the UK’s biggest and most culturally significant creative industries and a big player in the national economy – contributing nearly £5bn annually (of which £1.3bn comes from exports earnings), and employing some 130,000 people). 85% of people buy at least one album per month, according to a recent survey of 1,000 Internet users by research firm. XTN Data. And legal song downloads, on which record companies and shops alike are staking their futures, more than quadrupled last year .In spite of these positive point, Gospel/Christian music does not have its place as a genre of music in the UK music chart. However, various relevant signs have occurred recently and during the last years showing the emergence of various tools which can contribute to the proliferation of the UK Gospel/Christian music such as: The media : . The first UK Christian Channel God Channel has established its new branch in USA in 2006. In February 2005, GOD TV began broadcasting in Australia and New Zealand, reaching a further 360,000 people. Now GOD TV is available in the USA where people are seeking a fresh alternative to traditional Christian broadcasting. GOD TV commenced broadcasting on DIRECTV on October 1st providing some 15.5 million American viewers with a new breed of Christian television on America’s largest satellite platform (see Appendices 4). The emancipation of Gospel/Christian channnels television on the Skynetwork such as RevelationTV, Inspiration, Wonderful and recently “Word Network” “America’s leading black Christian TV station was officially launched in the UK recently” Voice Magazine 30 April 2007. Awards Ceremonies The emergence of Awards Music ceremonies such as Oasis Music Awards (First ever Gospel music & Churches Awards on 27 July 2006) or GEM Awards (Hackney) Birmingham (see appendices 4),


Music Festival H3, Greenbelt, Creation. Soul Survivor. The radio Launching of Hope Fm on 27 May 2007 and existence of radio such as Premier, and internet radio such as etc... Cross Rhytms, Flame, Revival, Magazine Magazine, Press such Christianity, Woman Alive, Relevant Record label Survivor, CCI, Kingsway, Exhibition The national Christian Resources Exhibition Music publishing; There are few Gospel/Christian independent music publishers in UK, the. BMG controls an extensive collection of gospel songs and EMI has a branch Christian music publishing. Both are resource for sales of the printed music and do copyright clearance. Emi Christian music publishing owns 50% interest in Thank you Music, the United Kingdom’s most prolific worship music publishing. Tricia Whitehead. It represents more than 300 writers and 30,000 songs. Music Live events Celebration of Gospel Music (CGM), Gospel Gathering UK.


The Economic Impact: One of the most prevalent attribute of the Music Industry is that of being interested in “What can be sold” and act as any other business. The economic impact of the Gospel/Christian music industry can be founded in its consumers. The Gospel/Christian community are wealthy (Churches, individual, ethnic group). According to Christian Research “How Christians use their money and why? (Survey based on a population of 1200 people who attend evangelical churches in the UK. Evangelical Christians [care use their money very differently from the average person in UK. They are considerably more generous in their giving. They also save much and borrow much less. The survey also demonstrates that older people are the most generous, especially when it comes to charities, 3.7% over 50 and 2.6% for younger respondents. The over 50 give also 7.9% of their income to their churches. The under 50 are giving less as a proportion of their income to Christian charities but they give to churches as much because they have higher incomes. The Christian community belongs most of them of ethnic groups. Ethnic groups seem to represent

considerable revenues for the advertising; however the advertising does not use this in full. The secular market tends to hesitate to advertise for ethnic community. Before Advertisers were scared to involve Gospel/Christian because of the religious perception’’ Krissah Willams. These days, the trends has radically changed, recently in UK the company has used the image of a gospel choir in its advert. This may be an open door for eventual and future advert projects. Marketers are negliging a wealthy market; in fact according to the Marketing Magazine 18 April 2007 “blacks, Asians, Chinese are spending per month (average) each £219. £246, £220 in food, going out, clothes … music.These communities play also an important social role “the importance of black-inspired music genres to the UK has been recognised politically through the backing of events such as the MasterCard MOBO Awards by major political figures” PR Newswire.


5. The Issues According to presumption of personalities of Christian radio, television etc. Gospel/Christian Music is a niche and underground market, which does not actually bring enough revenue. Other sources mention that there is a lack of investment by entrepreneurs and a weak marketing strategy. Some also declare that the UK political environment does not encourage the enthusiasm and interest in the Gospel/Christian music as in the USA.

After analysis of the interviewees we can notice the fact that they all mention in different ways the unorganisation of the UK Gospel/Christian music market. An unorganised market: The founder of the organisation “Gospel Frontiers” describes the UK Gospel/Christian market as small and dominated by the USA. To declare that a market is unorganised we must first define the term “market” and ‘unorganised’ (without organisation). A market is a social arrangement that allows buyers and sellers to discover information and carry out a voluntary exchange of goods or services Wikepedia.. In the general definition a market is an offer (producer) and a demand (consumers). To satisfy the demand the producer must make available the products to its customers. The customers must find the product via various forms of distribution channels to purchase it. There is market where there is distribution. The UK Gospel/Christian music does not have the same level of distribution as in USA.


The Distribution: The UK Gospel/Christian music is principally distributed by specialist music books retailers such as Wesley Owen and e-retailer, Christian Bookstores as Dominion, CCL, etc. (See appendices 4).There are around 700 Christian bookshops in the UK – at least one in most towns and cities. However, this figure includes everything from very small shops, and even market stalls. The number of websites selling Christian products has grown over the last few years with everyone from large chains such as Wesley Owen through to small independents all offering an ecommerce option to consumers . This distribution network are managed by major distributor such as STL Based in Carlisle, England, STL Distribution is recognised as Europe’s leading distributor of English language Christian books, gift, music, software and videos. Working with virtually all of the publishers and originators of Christian product, the STL Distribution warehouse stocks a vast range of products. STL Distribution is the distribution arm of IBS-STL U.K. and retailers as Wesley Owen (see distribution). Ian Matthews Christianity Magazine In spite of this wide distribution networks, fewer UK artists CD are found on the shelves, much less on the shelves of distributor such as Tesco. When you visit the Tesco website and research ‘Gospel music or Christian music’ you have as artist reference “Elvis Presley”. Where are the UK Gospel/Christian artists?. In the USA, the availability of Gospel/Christian CD is very wide. Gospel/Christian music can be found in every main distribution Christian and even secular music retail shop such as Wal-Mark. In the article “Support them or Lose them” of Ian Mathew relates the opinion of Phil Whittall editor of the trade publication Christian marketplace. ‘’Christian retailing faces a challenging future but there are signs of the biggest challenge for retailer and publishers alike is to persuade the majority of churchgoers to buy its products. That gives a negative map of the Christian retail distribution describing as struggling. Indeed some churches have their own distribution and then does not allow artist to me known other than in their congregation. To be more exposed, the UK Gospel/Christian music must prove to the music retailers such as HMV, Virgin and Tesco that they can sell. The Christian or secular retailer distributes products they are sure will sell.


This must certainly be due to a lack of marketing sales strategy. “Music is significant, but not significant enough for me,” says Malcolm Stockdale. “It’s an area which we need to get customers behind. We sell plenty of ‘praise and worship’ music, but how do you get the younger people in? It may be something to do with the price of CDs – if they are used to paying £9.97 at Tesco and Asda for mainstream chart music it can seem expensive to buy a new Christian album. Obviously this is only for the top 40 albums, and it is difficult in the Christian market as no artist sells the volume needed to give this price.” Ian Matthews Christian Magazine. Contrary to UK where all the music product can be found only in the specialist shop , in USA small shops have given their place to wide distributors channel such as Wal-Mart, Target, Barnes, Noble, LifeWay. Recently target stores have also demonstrated a commitment to promoting Christian music by providing distinct and prominently displayed Christian music sections in their stores The marketing strategy of these distributors is to make the churchgoers buy Christian product everywhere.According to Geoff Wallace ‘’the country (UK) needs strategically placed Christian books and resources where customers (both Christian and enquirers) can see a wide range of position Christian material. .Milmon F.Harrison. These large distributors sell also Christian merchandise product which make them have a relevant profit. According to Jim Donio, spokesman for NARM ‘’The other big news for the genre this year is that the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) is sponsoring a big merchandising campaign for gospel., says that 150,000 point-of-purchase items (posters, flats, divider cards, shelf talkers and tent cards) will be sent to retailers. "The campaign was piloted last year, and six companies participated," he says. "Now there are 27 member companies participating. Clearly, the genre is taking off." Thanks to national distribution such as Wal-Mark, Gospel/Christian music has been able to develop its own market all over America and become recognised nationally as a genre of music. Refer to Ian Lloyds founder of the organisation “Gospel Frontiers” The UK Gospel Music market is small and dominated by USA, majors distributors such as STL offer directly distributor (competitive price), but in the context of the digital the UK market can be positive. Lack of investment and isolation of artists in Churches” (listen interview 1). These facts reflect the sad state and weakness of the UK Gospel/Artists distribution. The market can be said of being ‘unorganised’ when considering underlying factors that are a poor distribution and artist’s promotion. 24

The Marketing: The CD or digital tracks of UK Gospel/artists are marketed via Gospel/Christian networking (television, Internet, radio, e-retailers and via specialist retail shops like Wesley Owen, CCL (see appendices 4). Unlike the USA, the UK Gospel/Christian Gospel music are not promoted in national distributions, and this despite the fact that Gospel/Christian music has a market in other words (existing purchasers). churches congregation. Poor distribution can also mean poor marketing initiatives. Nowadays, UK Gospel/Christian market knows the same beginning that US has experienced a long time ago ’ Gospel music became an accepted part of the American music scene but the acceptance did not come easy and the growth came after fighting barriers erected between the secular and gospel worlds. James R. Jr Goff. Although UK Gospel/Christian community have their own television, radio, magazine and other networks which cater to them, the Gospel/ Christian artists are not really exposed enough to a Christian and national audience (the secular market). The fact that UK Gospel/Music does not have any information about the sales figures is self-explanatory enough and tends to demonstrate a non-interest of the UK Music industry statistic entities for that particular type of music. The analysis of the tools that an UK and American Gospel/Christian artists uses for their marketing will demonstrate what issue and what can be improve to make them and then the whole Gospel/Christian music noticed by the UK music industry. The marketing and promotion of an artist whatever the music genre is elaborated thanks to various tools such as (public relation, distribution, media, radio, magazine.). Due to the type of music they play, the way Christian artists behave in public brings more issue than their peer artists evolving in the secular music. They are not expected to have reports of scandalous conducts, but rather display a squeaky clean image at all times. UK Gospel/Christian music has whatsoever no relevant substantial financial support from their respective


Failing to act so will raise eyebrows from the Christian Community and provoke a strict condemnation by the public; and the artist must near ask forgiveness to his audience to be accepted again, contrary to the secular market where everything is allowed even the more extravagant. In order to access the secular market, some Gospel/Christians adopt a secular marketing way; “Kirk Franklin are marketed like any other music star. This has caused great concerns among traditionalists who feel the music must stay close to the church to retain its power”. mbsolutions. Even though Gospel music has somehow been permeated by secular forms of music, and this has become acceptable by members of the churches, there is still a dominant line of thought whereby lyrical contents of Gospel music should be essentially inclined towards spreading positive messages and a Christian-faith. Advertising (TV, Magazine) Most of independent or major record label advertise the release of a new artist via television. Advertising can contribute to bring more revenue. According to BPI report “Record company TV advertising expenditure was 91,074 thousands pounds’’ in 2007. After an analysis of the price of Advertising TV spot of Gospel/Christian television channel, it seems that the expenditure is not high contrary to a secular channel television. In this case, why the UK artists are not advertised more? It is true that Internet will and already replaces other methods of advertising, but television is still an important way to make an artist breakthrough above alll in the case of emerging market as the UK Gospel/Christian market. As mentioned above the consumers of Gospel/Christian music are most from the ethnic minority. According to marketing magazine April 2007“Britian Ethnic minority consumers tend to be more brand-loyal than the white population”. This loyalty can consequently be used for music products. Gospel/Christian Music is used in various

products adverts in USA. In the article of Krissagh Williams “There ‘s been a growing interest in this faith bases market from mainstream corporate America, initially there was a lot of hesitation due to religious nature of it. It is only recently that in UK a company as has used the

image of a Gospel choir to advertise; it is maybe a sign of a new trend which will develop. As far as 26

magazines are concerned, it is very rare to see an UK Gospel/Artist do the front of secular or even Christian magazine.

To be in a magazine and television record labels must have the appropriate finance to do an efficient campaign. The Churches ministries although having the potential finance do not invest enough in the promotion of their artists notably the black churches contrary to the white church as Hillsong. The concentrations of the churches and record label on themselves create barriers which prevent the artists to be more exposed. But you have an exception as British artist named Matt Redman. After the analysis of the marketing campaign of two artists such as Raymond&Co (UK) and Cece Winans (USA), we have noticed that an important part of the success of Raymond&Co is based strongly on the network with the American market thos from their record label to their distribution. Their record label is effectively an American Christian major label (Integrity) which has strong retail presence in the US Christian and mainstream marketplace (Sony-BMG Distribution). Despite, the fact that Raymond&Co has started their career and appeared in UK Awards ceremonies MOBO, Oasis Gospel Awards their success and reputation has been established thanks to live music appearance in American ministries conferences which are also nevertheless broadcasted by UK Christian television channels. We have also noticed that it is possible to find the Cece Winans CDs in Supermarket as Walmark but Raymond&Co is not even on the Tesco or Asda. Website. The question here is the physical distribution is really necessary in taking in consideration of the digital? in the case of the Gospel/Christian music it is because even if the digital sales is increasing throught the year the cd still sale in UK.


The Secular Music: One important issue of the Gospel/Christian music is the influence of the secular music. Secular music is another word the “ World’s music’’. What is the world’s music is various style of music such as pop, rock, dance, r&b, Hip hop but it is more than that for the Christian world. It is not ended at the style of the music but it is above all related to the message that these musics spread.

A good example it’s Rock music which is attributed to the ‘’Devil music’’ because of its noisy violent music style and its dark message. In the Christian World, Christian music must be the mirror of the Christian faith. Dressed in the clothes of teenage rebellion but preaching God's word, Christian rock is on the warpath in America. Martom Hodgson. The fact that nowadays teenagers adopt the look and music style of the secular world singing God song’s seem strange for some Christian communities. The secular music impacts the Christian teenagers. Artist as Kirk Francklin has understood this point and has adapted his music to the teenager musical taste with its hit Stomp (mix of basic gospel and rap). “In recent years, contemporary superstar Kirk Franklin has single-handily ushered in the new popularity and acceptance of gospel with his contemporary hip-hop sound. Many young people who never may have attended church are learning about God and how to live their lives through Franklin's hip gospel sound” Jet 1998. By adopting the secular music genre Christian teenager’s shows that they are still belong to the society even if they are different by their faith and way of living. The music industry notably in UK must considerate this as a positive point because teenager are the ones who generally purchase music more than adult. The confrontation between secular and Christian music is also reflected between Christian and secular music industry. If we analyse the case of the rock band Mutemath “ American rock band mutemath have filed suit against Warner Brothers Records and word records for negligent misrepresentation for marketing their music to the Christian Market. Although members of Mutemath are openly Christians, they did not want their music marketed to the Christian community by Word (Christian record label) because they wanted mainstream credibility first and to market Christian industry after being successful in the mainstream. Cross 28

This case illustrates well the conflict between the secular and Christian world. Secular market means, fame, financial success, wide audience, recognition. The case of Mutemath is quite surprising because the American Christian market is very wealthy and established, so why do they prefer the notoriety of the mainstream first and then after the notoriety of the Christian market?. The reasons we can conclude can be the financial success given by Warner Brothers via distribution, investment, or because they want the secular market be aware of their Christian faith via their song’s lyrics?. Other example show that it is only the talents of some Christian bands that determine their reputation.

Now Christian rock is starting to cross into the mainstream: Flyleaf have toured with secular bands such as Korn, and Christian bands such as POD have seen their albums go platinum on the general market. Major record labels including EMI, Sony and BMG have launched religious imprints or bought shares in Christian labels. Martin Hodgson Guardian. It is true that some Christian artists have compromise their faith to be accepted in the secular market by singing songs for example without named God or Jesus in order to avoid the religious image which is sometimes rejected by the secular audience. They have chosen to sing ‘’ Positive music” instead. Lack of Financial Support but …. Contrary to USA, UK Gospel/Christian music and their artists do not have enough support from their own churches, ministries and even their music industry but some initiatives have recently started to grow and will contribute in the future to the beginning of a new approach. According to CCAuthority 6 (2004) ‘’ African Gospel Artists getting help from UK non Profit, there are a great number of African Gospel Artists that have excellent ministries but thought no fault of their own, their records cannot reach the buying community, the difficulties to have a record label backing them. The lack of finance has been indeed noticed first in the local churches itself. According to an article of Kimberly Ward musician who plays for churches does not have what they deserve ‘if I play secular I get pay well’, the problem isn’t lack of money as many of the larger churches are able to pay musicians. But what UK Gospel/Christian music really need are organisations


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which can centralise all the talents (Black/White) and respond to their requests in order to assist and promote Gospel/Christian music in whole UK. For example, In USA Funds organisation offer emergency financial assistance to musicians in need according to Price, Deborah Evans Billboard 2006 ‘’ When we founded the Gospel Music Trust in 1983, the late Herman Harper had no idea his vision, would grown to represent all genres in the religious music community. There are several national and regional associations both professional and consumer-oriented groups that work to promote the various forms of gospel. National organization includes the Gospel Music Assn, Music Workshop, Quartet Convention, Country music assn, etc... The leading organization is the GMA. Stooksbury, Cindy.

Music Awards as the Oasis and Gem have been organised in UK not a long time ago to reward the best UK Gospel/Christian artists and have been successful since. They have been sponsored by company such as EMI Music Cmg Distribution and other entities as radios, ministries (see appendices 4 Awards Ceremonies). Contrary to the American Christian Music awards Oasis for example is after analysis just a show demonstrating the UK Gospel/Christian talent but there is nothing that show their contribution to the Gospel/Christian sales increase. They insist on the participation of Gospel/Christian artist to their events as the moment crucial. However, in spite of this sponsorship finance, the UK Gospel/Christian music product is still not distributed in supermarket and music retail shop other than Gospel/Christian retail shop. According to Roney Henderson (see interview (email) “you can purchase copies in the local market especially in the areas where there is a concentration of black majority churches. An organisation that could oversee this problem would be great help. In reference to sales of gospel music in the UK, anyone who wants to find out the sales of gospel music in the UK need to contact the major Gospel record labels.” The problem is not really and far to be resolve. The financial support can be provided by the distribution deal offer by the major label. As we have mentioned above, the issue of distribution is a barrier for the recognition and breakthrough of UK 30

Gospel/Christian artists. “While the Christian music labels are still run by people with deep evangelical community, their multinational parents have dramatically increase distribution capabilities. BusinessWeek

According to Kymo Dockett “ Many of these artists are independent artists without a distribution deal so it is difficult to validate just how many Christian hip hop CDS are actually being sold each year” WTW7. With the arriving of Myspace, artists tend to market themselves without the support of a record label. In the case of Gospel/Christian artists, it will create an isolation more than ever. UK Christian records labels must make effort to promote them over the Gospel/Christian community gate. Initiative have started with television program such as ‘’out the box’’ on Revelation TV such program allow Gospel/Artist to express themselves and maybe make record label discover new talents. Some Gospel/Christian artists have won secular competition such as Pop Idol (Will Young). The question is how can an UK Gospel/Christian artist can have a music career such as a secular artist ?


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Conclusion: The economical development of UK Gospel/Christian music will be done via the purchase power of its customers. UK has an important healthy source of gospel/Christian music lovers. Culturally is not going being built by the ethnic music identity, the American music influence has already done its impact. Gospel/Christian music ‘s distribution must be improved to allow UK music consumers know and purchase them. This effort must be done via the UK Music Industry and the Gospel/Christian music industry which must join their common effort. Major Label as EMI which artists sales have dropped can may be take in consideration the cosmopolitan music talents UK has. British society has the reputation to discover new music talents why do it make an exception for the Gospel/Christian Music genre?. The strength of the American music industry is their potentiality to innovate and open the door to new genre of music and market. UK music industry must then follow this example in adapting its own structures by opening the distribution to new genre of music. The UK Gospel/Christian music is a copy of American music style but not in term of marketing strategy and distribution organisation. There is a long journey before arriving to the same level of popularity as in USA. This journey can be successful is all the signs of development are used efficiency and in the purpose to make Gospel/Christian music be recognise nationally as music genre and then have its own sales statistic in the UK Music Industry.


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