Updated January 12, 2005
- The Christian/Gospel category of overall music sales is the sixth most popular genre according to SoundScan's 2004 year-end report. Gospel music sales outpace sales of Latin, soundtracks, jazz, classical and new age genres.
- Christian Retail stores accounted for 37.6 percent of gospel music sales, while mainstream retail outlets sold 59 percent of all gospel music sales. Christian retailers' sales grew from 2003 by nearly one percent and mainstream sales were unchanged. Non-traditional sales (representing direct, venue and website sales) were down 18 percent.
- The overall top-selling records on the Christian SoundScan Overall Albums chart for the year (reflects yearly sales for all titles in the Christian SoundScan system, regardless of genre or catalog status) were Beautiful Letdown - Switchfoot; Merry Christmas with Love - Clay Aiken; Casting Crowns - Casting Crowns; Almost There - MercyMe; Passion of the Christ Soundtrack; Undone - MercyMe; WoW Hits 2005; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; Wire - Third Day and WoW Gospel 2004.
- The top-selling records in Billboard's Gospel Albums chart were WoW Gospel 2004, I Need An Angel - Ruben Studdard, Somethin' 'Bout Love - Fred Hammond, Throne Room - CeCe Winans, Live From Another Level - Israel & New Breed, My Christmas Prayer - BeBe Winans, Best Is Yet To Come - Martha Munizzi, Ultimate Gospel - Elvis Presley, Gotta Have Gospel, and I Need You Now - Smokie Norful.
- The top-selling records in Christian SoundScan's Rock/Alternative/Rap Albums chart were Beautiful Letdown - Switchfoot, Wire - Third Day, Carried Me: The Worship Project - Jeremy Camp; MMHMM - Relient K, Wonder What's Next - Chevelle, Welcome To Diverse City - tobyMac, Offerings II: All I Have To Give - Third Day, Sea of Faces - Kutless, and Where Do We Go From Here - Pillar.
- The top-selling records in Christian SoundScan's Praise & Worship Albums chart were WoW Worship (Red); Worship & Faith - Randy Travis, WoW Worship (Yellow), Adoration: The Worship Album - Newsboys, Arriving - Chris Tomlin, Hymns Ancient and Modern Live - Passion, Illuminate - David Crowder Band, iWORSHIP: A Total Worship Experience, Songs 4 Worship: Shout to the Lord, and Worship - Michael W. Smith. (Designation as a Praise & Worship album is made by music labels, therefore some recordings with a prevalence of praise & worship content may not be included on this chart.)
- Christian labels report that digital downloads is a promising growth area, helping to expose music fans to the deep catalog of music which is now available through all major legal downloading services and Christian retailer LifeWay Christian Stores. Christian SoundScan is not currently set up to record sales of digital single downloads, so those sales are not available to report in 2004. However full albums digital downloads are included in the total year-end unit sales reported for 2004.
- Video sales were up five percent. VeggieTales: An Easter Carol was the number one selling video at Christian retail in 2004.
- The top markets for gospel music in 2004 were Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Washington D.C., Houston, Philadelphia, Tampa, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.