October 12, 2009 2 Comments
Last week I posed the question about what it would take to generate buzz and excitement around Southern Gospel that exists in other music fields. What do I think it’s going to take? I think it’s marketability and exposure. SG tends to market itself towards a very narrow group of people, those who listen to SG and not much, if anything, else. Hence why the only places you see press releases/ads for SG music are the Singing News and websites like SGN. I think it’s time for Southern Gospel to broaden their scope. There are a lot of Christians who listen to other types of music, both secular and sacred. SG needs to market itself to people who listen to a lot of different styles, and seek to be included in that mix. A believer who loves Pop or Adult Contemporary music would probably enjoy the Perrys song “Almost Morning”, or a lot of what is released by The Ball Brothers or Brian Free and Assurance or the Nelons. “Almost Morning” to me would sound at home on the Delilah radio show. Someone who likes Country music would enjoy Jeff and Sheri Easter among a plethora of others. Expand your target audience broader than just the “I live and breathe Southern Gospel” crowd.
That’s all well and good, but how would you go about doing such a thing? Well my suggestion is most likely to cause some controversy, but you have to be able to market to that broader audience. That includes marketing in mainstream sources. Place your ads in Billboard, Rolling Stone, Country Weekly, and other mainstream music media. Submit your projects to the above mentioned places or other outlets that do reviews like the LA Times, Washington Post, etc. Advertise in Contemporary Christian media as well. Granted, you may get turned down by some of the mainstream places, but if your music is good enough, you might get lucky and get the review. As far as the ads go, something tells me the folks at Country Weekly or Billboard don’t really care who is giving them the $$ for the ads. It’s a fairly aggressive strategy, but it may be what it takes to grow the genre.