Gospel/Christian Music Sales Up At Mid-year Point
August 4, 2006 at 10:32 AM (PT)
The GOSPEL MUSIC ASSOCIATION (GMA) reports an 11.6 percent increase for Gospel/Christian music album sales in the first half of 2006. According to NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN, gospel music album sales experienced a double-digit percent increase in sales at the mid-year point in 2006, compared to the first half of 2005.
This marks the first time since 2002 that gospel music sales have risen in the first half of the year. When factoring in rising digital tracks sales (which were not tracked until two years ago), the total sales impact of gospel music adds up to a reason for rejoicing, says JOHN W. STYLL, President of the GMA.
As of JULY 2, 2006, 17,952,000 gospel music albums, including those sold via digital download, have been sold year-to-date compared to 16,085,000 albums for the same six-month time period in 2005. That represents an 11.6 percent increase in sales in a 2005 to 2006 year-to-date comparison. In contrast, the overall music business reports a four percent decline in album sales.
According to STYLL, no trend or style of gospel music has sparked the sales growth. “Take any album’s individual success out of the charts and gospel music sales are still up. Both seasoned artists and new names are finding their way onto the charts. Consumers are buying gospel music where they want to buy music, whether at a Christian store, a general market retailer or on their computer. If there is any explanation behind the growth trend, it might be that we are seeing more acceptance in the marketplace for the gospel message, and hopefully, we are also finally experiencing a decline in music piracy.”