THE SCREENSHOT BELOW shows Kingsway’s announcement telling everyone on their mailing lists to “check out your local HMV” for Worship Central’s Spirit Break Out, where people will be getting “a dose of God-soaked, Spirit-powered, Jesus-centered live worship” — and that’s what it’s all about, right?
“All about Jesus”, in the words of Tim Hughes.
I’d love to echo Kingsway’s enthusiasm, I really would. But what I see isn’t so much an opportunity as a missed opportunity — because the truth is that HMV don’t get Spirit Break Out: HMV don’t get it at all. To HMV, it’s just another money-spinner, another chance to rake in the £££s and set their tills ringing, just like iTunes.
And the people who do get it, the people who genuinely understand what it’s all about? The people for whom it really is all about Jesus, namely Christian retailers? They’re left out in the cold with a standard trade discount from Kingsway of 35% 33%* against Kingsway’s £12.99 RRP (apart from a few who may have secured more favourable terms through advance orders). That’s a retailer buy-in price of £8.44 £8.70*, which compares to the real market pricing as follows:
- Kingsway RRP: £12.99
- Kingsway direct price: £10.99
- iTunes price: £7.99
- HMV price: £7.99
- Amazon prices: £7.99 CD / £6.99 MP3
I ask quite simply: how can this in any sense be fair? Yes, it’s great that at least one bricks & mortar retailer can match the iTunes/Amazon price… but imagine how much better it could be: imagine not only the impact upon the UK’s struggling Christian retailers but also the outreach potential if Kingsway dropped the artificial RRP and used their own selling price as the starting point — then went a step further and declared that they’re making the album available to retail at £7.99 across the board!
Imagine a Christian publisher operating their business on a level-playing-field basis!
How about it, Kingsway? Is it all about Jesus? Or is it really all about the price?
And last but not least: I know since last year’s discussions you’re no longer comparing your actual selling prices with your own RRPs publicly on your website, and that’s great: thank you. But you are still doing so behind the scenes in your direct mailings. I’m sure that’s just an oversight, and no doubt now that you’re aware of the matter you’ll straighten things out in your one-to-one dealings too, so thanks again.
* Updated 28/09/2011 following Melanie’s comment – thanks Melanie!