Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Is the Christian Music Industry Dying?

thirdday.jpgRecently I was checking some concert schedules to see if my favorite Christian musicians are touring this summer. My family and I love Third Day’s current stuff and we’re nostalgic for the likes of Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. There’s a really cool Christian night club in Cincinnati so we also get to see a lot of young, new bands.
And then I ran across one of the more surprising and uninspiring headlines: “Christian Music Industry is Dying.” And the post went even further to suggest that the Christian film industry might not be very far behind. Hmm, what to feel about this?
S. David Acuff’s post at Wired 4 Film’s site reflected a sobering viewpoint. (Wired 4 Film, by the way, sees itself as a “movement to create paths out of the ‘ghetto’ or what Phil Cooke calls the ‘Christian Bubble’ and into the marketplace…”
Citing Scott McClelland’s Collide magazine piece, Acuff pointed to five reasons why the Christian music industry is dying:


• “The major labels aren’t in danger of going under anytime soon, but they’ll be forced to depend on dwindling revenue from their song catalogues
• “The term CCM, or Contemporary Christian Music, will go away.
• “Christian music that matters won’t have any affiliation with the Christian Music industry but instead will be written, recorded and released in the mainstream.
• “Worship music serves a purpose within the church, which guarantees its survival
• “The big names from CCM’s glory days (Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, etc.) will survive but many artists from the last decade will be left looking for a reason, roaming through the night to find their place in the world.”
Wow! I sure hope he’s right! In my mind, having a Christian music industry creates a feeling that the concerts are for church-goers and amount to sort of a Holy Huddle. The best and brightest of musicians–in my view–ought to be playing to audiences of all backgrounds, and the music should stand up against anything else that’s out there, Christian or otherwise. I have such respect for acts like Nickelback and Faith Hill, where faith-based music isn’t labeled “Christian.” If Third Day didn’t have the label, I think so, so many more people–especially young people would be exposed to their songs, and they’d love ’em!
The idea of faith-based guys (or gals!) forming bands to play for general (secular?) audiences is not a new one. “U2″ is the most current and famous. “Kansas” (think “Dust in the Wind,” “Carry On My Wayward Son”) was one of my early favorites.
The end of the Christian music industry may or may not be coming. But the end of the industry doesn’t mean the music will die. In fact, it may play to a wider audience and have a deeper impact.

  • kevin

    I have to agree with your view on this.
    Christian music should be able to compete against the main secular artists and having a CCM label attached could be more of a hinderance than a benefit.
    I guess though that some bands and record companies will want to try and keep that label because it can mean having a marketplace almost by default.

  • Your Name

    There are so many really great christian based songs on the market. It is a shame that non-religious radio stations will NOT aire them, either because they feel it is not politicly correct or because they are afraid of offending the non-christian listeners. If changing the label will help to aire these songs, than great, bring it on. These songs are a blessing and a wonderful way to witness…. Thank you and God Bless

  • Bill

    I’m of the same belief as well. Honestly, most “Christian Music” can really stand on it’s own against anything secular wise. Not all, but most. Putting the Christian label to it really narrows the audience they will get. And if you talk to nearly every Christian artist out there, they want to talk with those that aren’t necessarily believers as well. So, let the music stand on its own.
    On the other hand, I wouldn’t include Worship music in that same thought as it does have a singular focus/purpose. But the Christian Pop/Rock/etc, let it stand by itself and succeed on its merits. If it’s good and truly inspired, then it will succeed.

  • escorts

    I don’t think christian music is going extinct, but rather, it’s evolving. As young bands seek to become more popular and even sell more records or boost the number of downloads for their songs, they begin to make music that is more edgy and fits with the top selling sounds. At some point, a christian band can reach a crossroad and have to decide which master to serve; Either the god of fame/fortune or the sovereign creator of the universe. And in a world that is ruled by the wicked one, bands succumb to the lure of fame or wealth and choose to walk the line between worldly and christian. I’ve even heard one so-called christian band use some borderline (if not over the top) lyrics such as when the singer talks about not being able to control his desires and falls for a vip escort he booked a date with from a well known escort guide.
    It used to be that borderline was playing electric guitar heavy metal style, but as we get closer to the end of days, the influence of this world becomes more prevalent.

  • bobby

    I’ve heard that song but i don’t remember the name of it. I do recall the lyrics and how it mentioned escorts in it and how he had a heavenly gfe that could never be.

  • Jasmine Blue

    So,I’ll be 16 years old. I’m going to be on America’s Got talent this summer. I have been battling on which genre of music I should choose. I know even if I don’t win the show, that there will be alot of opportunities being thrown at me. By reading this artical, I decided not to go with the christian music industry. Christian teens and all teens need someone who’s doing it right off stage and on stage to look up to. A lot of these teen pop stars are changing before are eyes and I want to fill that place to show something different. I’m a very unique person and I have a lot to shows teens. You don’t have to be “Bad” they call it, to appeal to a soul.Hopefully, I’ll make it !

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