This is the question one commenter asked last month in response to Kingsway’s failure to address trade customers’ concerns about being effectively priced out of the market by their practice of comparing their online shop prices to their own RRPs. Astonishingly, as I prepare this post more than a month later, neither Kingsway nor David C Cook have yet shown the courtesy of offering a constructive response. No doubt if there have been any changes since, someone will let us us know via the comments.
To answer the question, however: both yes and no: no, in that Kingsway are the sole supplier of their own products; but yes, in that there are plenty of other artists out there on other labels — Kingsway do not have a monopoly on good Christian music.
Some other Christian music suppliers that come immediately to mind are:
- Caritas Music Publishing: Own label plus Bagpipes of Caledonia, Chandos, Collegium, Decca, Deutsche Gramophone, Hyperion, Naxos, Phillips, Taize, UCJ, Universal and many more. Carriage-free shipping on all orders.
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From the archives:
- Caritas Music Celebrates 12 Years (02/02/2010)
- Caritas Music :: New Bookshops or Music Stores welcomed (19/08/2008)
- Elevation: Own label products including ICC Recordings from events such as Greenbelt, Keswick, New Wine and Spring Harvest. Distributors for Vineyard Records UK. Carriage-free shipping by 2nd class post standard, 1st class available for a “nominal fee”; normally same day despatch on orders placed by 11am.
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- Integrity-Provident: Own label artists plus Gaither.
- Kevin Mayhew: Excellent range of traditional and contemporary church music, along with artists such as Margaret Rizza.
- Lindisfarne Scriptorium: Specialists in Celtic spirituality.
As for Kingsway product itself, until Kingsway are inclined to put their house in order and are able to bring their ordering process up to speed, in real terms we’re better off ordering via STL anyway: with STL we know that if a product is in stock, it will be normally be shipped same day if ordered online before 4pm (2.30pm for telephone, fax or email), and if you’ve signed up to STL’s Retail Partnership programme you have the extra advantages that come with that.
In short, then, there is no shortage of alternatives to Kingsway, and it makes much more sense as a long term strategy to trade with companies that want to work with us than with a company that seems by its deeds if not by its words to have set itself against us.