Radio Airplay vs. CD Sales
December 3, 2007 3 Comments
I’ve been thinking some more about the prospect of a CD sales chart in the Singing News. I was thinking that this may be a more significant chart than the airplay chart. I quickly discovered that it is not a more important measuring stick of our industry, but instead a different paradigm altogether. Let me explain.
A radio airplay chart is significant because it shows in our industry which artists/songs are most popular with radio listeners, which is indicative of a larger subset of consumers than concert goers. It is an internal measure of our industry.
CD sales, on the other hand, are both an internal and external measure of the industry. Here is what I mean. CD sales figures still report the popularity of artists and to a lesser extent, songs, with SG consumers. However, it is also an external measure because it gives us an idea of market penetration. Beyonce sells millions of units of her CDs. How about the sales of Crabb Family, Gold City, BFA, and yes, Gaither CDs? How do those pure numbers stack up? Beyonce is a bad example, but stack it up against say, Diamond Rio for secular numbers, or NewSong or Phillips, Craig and Dean as a comparison to CCM industry numbers. Then look at a 5 or 10 year trend in these sales numbers. Are our CD sales numbers (or hopefully soon, digital download numbers), which represents the overall size/strength of the industry, growing? Are they steady, or are they declining? To me, this would give a good measuring stick of the strength and vitality of the industry as a whole.
What do you think?