Exploit growing gospel market - Grange
Minister of Culture Olivia Grange is urging promoters of gospel music to exploit the many opportunities available locally and overseas within the genre.
Gospel music is a growing genre, she said, and her ministry wants to position Jamaica to take advantage. "One of the major goals of my ministry is to position our cultural and creative products at the centre of the sustainable development agenda of the Government of Jamaica. Culture is big business. The world knows this. We know this," the minister said at the launch of the 2016 CUJ Gosplash at the Courtyard Marriott in New Kingston Wednesday night.
She was not actually in attendance, but her presentation was made verbatim by Lenford Salmon, special adviser in her ministry. The minister used statistics from the market in the United States to justify her claims. She cited figures compiled from 2012 that show that Christian, or gospel, music is one of the fastest-growing areas in the recorded music industry. Total music sales of the genre have amounted to more than a half-billion dollars each year over the last decade.
The figures also show that there are more than 1,400 radio stations with more than 80 million listeners of gospel in the USA. Listeners age 12 years and up spend about nine hours a week listening to gospel radio programming formats, and 73 per cent of gospel listeners are 25 to 54 years old and they account for more than 50 per cent of record sales. "This shows the immense economic opportunities that await us in this lucrative market. It's there for us to exploit," she said.