Here we go… to quote the title of a Clint Eastwood movie, we are going to talk about “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” of getting a #1 song. Now I know I take a big chance here by ticking off some people but please know my heart in providing this post. This is not to knock you down or to critique the current standard of chart promoting but here it goes.
Let’s first talk about the MYTH OF THE #1 SONG.
If there are 1000 regional groups in the U.S. then we have 999 groups who think that if they could just get a #1 song then their careers would change for the better. While you might see some increase in exposure and booking requests, it’s not promised.
Here’s what a #1 song will guarantee you… a piece of paper that you can print off with your name at the top that you can take to have framed for future gloating and reminiscing. Because of how our charting system is setup, every #1 song is not based on the amount of spins from each radio station. It should be but it’s not. Which means that most songs that reach the top of the chart will not even be reflected in the BMI report.
Many of our charting positions are based on favors not spins. Based on trade offs and requests of radio promoters instead of the requests of the listeners. I will talk about that in dept later but for now just know not every #1 song got the actual spins to be #1.
Don’t get me wrong! Having the #1 song in the Southern Gospel Music industry is a nice compliment and I congratulate every artists who is able to make it to the top. I help people get their by being a Tier 1 charting station for the Singing News. Is it perfect? No but it’s the best representation available.
It’s a challenge. It’s a game. It’s a rush to promote your music and see how high you can cause it to climb the charts. I get it.. it’s fun!
I just don’t want you to spend loads of money promoting your music to find out later that the ROI (Return On Investment) is not what you thought it would be. The charting system is not based on single downloads or record so the money value of your #1 song will not measure out to your investment unless your ministry is already at a level in which it can produce the results on its own.
Getting a #1 does not guarantee you more bookings… though it could give you a little more exposure. It will not cause booking agents to want to book you unless you have several top charting hits that creates a demand for your ministry.
Let me say this even though this will be another post for another time… but many of you have no business sending your music to radio. God has not called you to run your career in that lane. Some of you have been called to be nothing more than a regional group that provides great ministry within the
And why are spending more money trying to promote a song then you actually spent on the production of your song?
So go after the #1 song and have fun in doing it. You just now know a little more then you did when it comes to what the actual #1 song will get you. It will get you a piece of paper. A few phone calls of congrats and something for you to say in your concerts that doesn’t even matter to your congregation.
The audience doesn’t care how many songs you have in the charts. They don’t care when you say, “This is our #1 song”. Why don’t they care… because they came to hear you sing, minister and leave uplifted.
With that said, let me end this post by saying that the Southern Gospel music charts (and there are many) are only in place to feed the ego of the artists. We only have the charts to make us feel good about our music and to give us goals within the industry. I just wish we could work as hard to make music better versus trying to promote a half produced song and get upset when no one likes it.
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