Exploiting listening devices is much simpler
David Bruce Murray has been cranking out some provocative and thoughtful stuff about the nuts and bolts of the industry lately. Much of it is first-rate and insightful. But his latest list of ideas about how sg could be a “leader” in exploiting the popular of listening devices like iPods is well-intentioned but unnecessarily complicated.
Rather than spending time dreaming up or implementing gimmicky promotions to draw new-media consumers to southern gospel, gospel music should focus on getting as much music and video from every era of southern gospel history (including, of course, the present) onto iTunes in the proper categories and cross-listings.
For one thing, the iTunes approach has got to be the least costly way to tap into the single most proven paradigm for provisioning music and other entertainment media digitally. It also simply doesn’t make sense for labels, artists, or distributors in a economically struggling genre to dump resources into any other web-based product or digital service line that will - even it’s wildly successful - only reach a sliver of the gospel-music buying population as it currently exists.
Really, though, it’s somewhat stupefying (but entirely emblematic of sg’s lack of vision as an industry) that we’re still talking about this, that gospel labels have been so slow to put even a modicum of their artists’ music on iTunes, to say nothing of all the old music for which they hold some rights of distribution.
I have argued for quite some time now (and here and here) that sg has to think about and begin committing to digital content provision, and/but the ubiquity of iTunes makes it the only sensible focal point for digital media initiatives for southern gospel right now (though, full disclosure, I have advocated my own overcomplicated proposals at times too).
Indeed, given the inertia among individual labels, one could make a pretty persuasive case that the Southern Gospel Music Guild and/or GMA - in their roles as promoters and custodians of white gospel music - have an obligation (or at least a really prime opportunity) to spearhead a task force solely charged with coordinating the effort to get gospel music on iTunes. SG on iTunes is not just good bidness but one of the best ways to keep gospel music from becoming (even more) obselescent, or worse, entirely forgotten in the age when things cease to exist for all practical purposes if they’re not accessible online.Email this Post