Southern Gospel Perspective

My thoughts and opinions about Southern Gospel Music, both past and present. Feel free to comment and criticize...

Location: United States


Singing News Pay per View

I guess by now everyone has seen and/or heard about the Singing News website and their subscriber only sections.

My first thought on this was that it was a bad decision no their part. I mean the market for their content is fairly small anyway, and now they are further limiting the number of potential visitors by requiring them to be print mag subscribers. This would seem to be counter-productive at best. The truth is, I rarely visited there anymore, anyway. The content is available in many other places including and US Gospel News. The main reason when I did visit the SN website was for the personal appearance listing (which is now subscriber only), but I believe the slack in that area will be picked up rather quickly. In addition the information can be gathered by visiting the individual artists pages as well.

The bottom line that that the Singing News as a print magazine is now obsolete. Just like most secular print magazines, they have to come up with something to sell the "hard copies" of their magazine, and there really is very little to sell. The news? No, you can find that information all over the web and immediately, not months late. Concert listings? Already discussed that. Their chart? What a joke, the integrity of that is even in question in their own minds. Special interest stories? Perhaps, but and US Gospel News are doing more and more of this type of thing. I believe other outlets will also spring up around the web for that too. So, what is the cheese that is going to bring all us mice into a SN subscription? I'm not sure there is any. Obviously there are going to continue to be subscribers just to have something to hold and look through, but as far as new sales and growth? I don't know what the selling point is.

Which brings me back to their decision to go to subscriber only sections on their website. Perhaps this is their way of migrating from print to digital. Maybe they see this web thing as the wave of the future and want to be able to capitalize on it? One problem with this is that the beauty of the web is its freedom. The availability of information for free. So unless they can convince the Southern Gospel public that they really need the information that is behind door number three, this ploy will likely fail.

I have nothing against the Singing News and I have been a subscriber for years, so I wish them nothing but the best. I'm just not sure this decision in pointing them in that direction.