"The WOW partnership was established in the summer of 1995 with the first release, WOW 1996 in November of 1995. Our goals were to introduce more people to the genre of Christian music by mirroring the pattern of the hugely popular pop compilation series in the UK, Now That's What I Call Music, which combined the best songs and artists from across the industry," explains Bill Hearn President/CEO of Capitol Christian Music Group. "Compilations were not a big part of the US market at the time and many people doubted the consumer would respond as they did in the UK. Quite to the contrary, WOW 1996 was a huge success and the beginning of a series of products that would help grow the Christian and eventually Gospel category of music significantly."
WOW releases offer carefully curated collections for the ultimate Christian music fan with each project highlighting the top songs from the most impactful artists in the genre. Over the last 20 years, the entire WOW branded series, which includes WOW Hits, WOW Worship, WOW Gospel, WOW Christmas and additional specialty releases, has sold more than 30 million units. From the inception, the WOW partners also committed to allocate a portion of the proceeds from the brand to a variety of charitable endeavors and ministries.
"I certainly remember the day Bill shared the idea of WOW. It wasn't crazy, but it was untested, and we initially faced some skepticism," recalls Terry Hemmings, President/CEO Provident Music Group. "That said, I am not surprised at the success WOW has experienced given that the consumer receives all of the big CCM songs for the year in one high value package. But perhaps the most important impact of WOW is the work that has been accomplished utilizing the charitable funds generated. Over the years, numerous ministries and care organizations have been the beneficiaries of grants created specifically from WOW earnings. Additionally, the WOW partners have sponsored industry events and opportunities to gather and give back. I remember a day spent filling bags with food being sent to feed children in poverty stricken areas. Hundreds of members of our community participated and enjoyed a time of fellowship together. This all grew from Bill's idea, which turned out to be a good one."
"As we reflect on the first 20 impactful years of the WOW brand, I am excited about the enormous potential that lies ahead for the next 20 years," shares Rod Riley President/CEO of Word Entertainment. "I would love to see the WOW brand itself continuing to expand where fans live and breathe, ultimately continuing to connect our artists and their music to existing and new consumers. The depth and breadth of the creative community within Christian music is undeniable; I see the WOW brand continuing to be an effective vehicle in reflecting this to music fans everywhere."
Marketing efforts for WOW Hits 20th Anniversary will include aggressive retail positioning, comprehensive online advertising and a variety of radio promotions. Additionally, the WOW Facebook page and WOW social media channels will be sharing vintage photos and classic stories while also inviting fans to share their favorite WOW artist and song memories from the past 20 years.
WOW Hits 20th Anniversary Track Listing (not final sequence)
1. Steven Curtis Chapman - Dive
2. MercyMe - I Can Only Imagine
3. Amy Grant - El Shaddai (2005)
4. Michael W. Smith - Above All
5. Point Of Grace - Keep the Candle Burning
6. Nicole C. Mullen - Redeemer
7. Avalon - Testify To Love
8. Jaci Velasquez - On My Knees
9. Jars Of Clay - Flood
10. Casting Crowns - Who Am I
11. DC Talk - Jesus Freak
12. 4Him - Basics of Life
13. Audio Adrenaline - Big House
14. Switchfoot - Dare You To Move
15. Chris Tomlin - How Great is Our God
16. Mandisa - Overcomer
17. Crowder - How He Loves
18. Laura Story - Blessings
19. Third Day - Cry Out To Jesus
20. Newsboys - God's Not Dead
21. Jeremy Camp - There Will Be A Day
22. Hillsong United - Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)
23. Matthew West - Hello, My Name Is
24. Natalie Grant - Held
25. TobyMac - Me Without You
26. Francesca Battistelli - Free To Be Me
27. Tenth Avenue North - By Your Side
28. for KING & COUNTRY - Fix My Eyes
29. Big Daddy Weave - Redeemed
30. Brandon Heath - Give Me Your Eyes
Source: Merge PR