The U.S. Religious Publishing and Products Market

 
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Published Jan 1, 2000 | 242 Pages | Pub ID: LA562

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This Packaged Facts report examines the $5.7 billion market for religious materials at the turn of the new millennium. Sales data and forecasts are provided for 1995-2004 across three product categories: books, stationery/giftware/merchandise and audio/visual/software. An extensive discussion of marketing strategies and new product trends reveals how marketers such as Thomas Nelson, EMI Christian Music Group, Zondervan and Tyndale House are tapping into Americans' increasing and far-flung interest in the spiritual realm. The report also provides detailed demographic data about the consumers most likely to purchase religious products.
I. Executive Summary

Scope and Methodology
Scope of Report
Report Methodology

The Products
Three Categories
Christian Products and Specialty Outlets
Judaica a Discrete Market Segment
East vs. West
Market Rebounds with the Millennium
Crossing and Keeping Ideological Divides
The Expanding Definition of Religion

The Market
A $5.7 Billion Market in 1999
Books the Largest Category, Music the Fastest-Growing
Table 1-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Category, 1995-2004 (dollars): Books, SGM, AVS
Book Category Rebounds
Millennium Fever
The Importance of the Self
Increased Demand for Children's Religious Products
Religious Products Cross Over into Mainstream
$8 Billion by 2004

The Marketers
Religious Specialists vs. Mainstream Conglomerates
Totaling Up the Bestsellers
Conviction, Not Just Commerce, Drives the Market
But Competition Intensifies
Competition Becomes Intersegmental
Mainstream Marketers Are Off-and-On Competitors
Tie-Ins to the New Millennium
The Appeal of "Lite" Religion
Conspicuous Christianity
Marketers Target Interest Groups
VeggieTales
Limited Expenditures on National Consumer Advertising

Distribution and Retail
Three Overlapping Distribution Systems
Mainstream Distributors Increasingly Important
Overview of Shares by Distribution Channel
Figure 1-1: Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by General Distribution Channel, 1999 (percent): Christian Retailers, Mainstream Channels, Other Religious Specialty Stores
Beyond Books
Outlet Revenues Average $300,000 to $440,000
Mainstream Chains Outdraw Christian Bookstores
Independents Still Outnumber Chain Stores

The Consumer
Most Americans Profess Belief
Church Members Centered in Middle Class
Catholics and Baptists Are Largest Groups of U.S. Christians
Close to One in Five Americans Is Non-Christian
Who Are the Religious Products Consumers?
Bibles vs. Other Religious Books
Demographics for Religious Music
Audio Demographics by Genre
Who Listens to Religious Recordings?
Religious Products Sold Through Alternative Retail Outlets

II. The Products

Introduction
Scope of Report
Christian Products Dominate
Specialty Outlets Shape Market

Historical Summary: Christian Products
Ancient Market for Devotional Objects
Salvation and the Self
The Spread of the Bible
Emergence of U.S. Religious Market
Radical Change in the 1960s and 1970s
Televangelist Scandals of the 1980s
Market Rebounds with the Millennium
Crossing and Keeping Ideological Divides

Historical Summary: Non-Christian Products
Judaica a Discrete Market Segment
Two Divisions of American Islam
Orthodox Muslims
Black Muslims
East vs. West Since the 1960s
"Flower Power" Breeds New Age/Alternative Faiths
The Expanding Definition of Religion

Market Definition
Three Categories
Books the Leading Category
Bibles Are the Engine
But Religious Books Are Largest Segment
Religious-Oriented School Curricula
SGM the Most Diverse Category
Six Segments
AVS the Third Category
Audio the Largest Segment
Video Segment Still Being Defined
Software Tends to Be Holy Book Oriented
Products Classified by Degree of Religiosity

III. The Market
Figure 3-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products, 1995-1999 (dollars)

Market Size and Growth
A $5.7 Billion Market in 1999
Table 3-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products, 1995-1999 (dollars)
Books the Largest Category, Music the Fastest-Growing
Table 3-2: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Category, 1995-1999 (dollars): Books, Stationery/Giftware/Merchandise, Audio/Video/Software
Methodology: Overall Market Estimates

Market Composition: By Product Type
Book Category Rebounds
Table 3-3: Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Category, 1995-1999 (percent): Books, Stationery/Giftware/Merchandise, Audio/Video/Software
AVS Category Undergoes Consistent Growth
Figure 3-2: Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Category, 1997 vs. 1999 (percent): Books, Stationery/Giftware/Merchandise, Audio/Video/Software
Religious Books Lead Book Category
Table 3-4: Size and Share of U.S. Religious Book Retail Sales by Segment, 1999 (dollars and percent): Religious Books, Bibles, Curricula
Methodology: Publishing Industry Sales Estimates
Religious Books a Publishing Industry Niche
SGM Category Falters
Table 3-5: Size and Share of Stationery/Giftware/Merchandise Retail Sales by Segment, 1999 (dollars and percent): Giftware, Stationery/Cards, Apparel, Jewelry, Church Supplies, Other
Methodology: SGM Estimates
AVS Category Is Fastest Growing
Table 3-6: Size and Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Audio/Video/Software Products by Segment, 1999 (dollars and percent): Audio, Video, Software
Methodology: Audio/Video/Software Figures
Christian Music a Recording Industry Niche
Christian Products Garner Lion's Share
Non-Christian Market Fragmented

Market Composition: Other Patterns
Christian Retailers Claim Two-Thirds of Market
CBA Stores a Dominant Force
Mainstream Retail Channels Gain Strength
Table 3-7: Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Distribution Channel, 1999 (percent): Christian Retailers, Mainstream Channels, Other Religious Specialty Stores
Direct Marketing at $150-$200 Million
Bible Belt the Heart of Christian Segment
Christmas Shopping Season Drives Sales
The Religious Holiday Calendar
Table 3-8: U.S. Religious Product Selling Seasons (Holiday, Religion, Time of Year, Categories Simulated)

Factors to Market Growth
Millennium Fever
The Importance of the Self
Baby Boomers Age, Become More Introspective
Increased Demand for Children's Religious Products
Religious Products Cross Over into Mainstream
Many Christians Reject Traditional Forms of Religious Expression
Table 3-9: Growth of U.S. Christian Denominations, 1967-1997 (percent): 8 Denominations
Expansion of America's Judeo-Christian Heritage
A Jewish Revival
Muslim Population Increasing Rapidly
Heightened Interest in Buddhism
Popularization of New Age
The Allure of the Web
Increased Media Coverage of Religion
Potential Red Flag: The Ancient Boom-and-Bust Cycle
Figure 3-3: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products, 1999-2004 (dollars)

Market Projections
$8 Billion by 2004
Table 3-10: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products, 1999- 2004 (dollars)
Music Remains Fastest-Growing Category
Table 3-11: Projected U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Category, 1999-2004 (dollars): Books, Audio/Video/Software, Stationery/Giftware/Merchandise

IV. THE MARKETERS

The Marketers
Many Small Marketers
No Dominators
Religious Specialists vs. Mainstream Conglomerates
Publishers of Religious Books
Bible Publishers
The Catholic Niche
Spanish-Language Products
Publishers of Christian Fiction
Children's Products
Judaica Publishers
Islamic Publishers
Buddhist Presses
New Age Publishers
SGM Marketers Vary Widely
Three Types of Music Companies
Labels
Distributors
Publishers
Marketers of Contemporary Christian Music
Videocassette Marketers
Software Marketers
Table 4-1: U.S. Market for Religious Publishing and Products: Selected Marketers and Products (120 Marketers and Their Products)

Competitive Overview
Market Leaders
Conviction, Not Just Commerce, Drives the Market
But Competition Intensifies
Competition Becomes Intersegmental
Nelson the Most Diversified
Tyndale and Zondervan Diversify as Well
Specialty Publishers Are More Consistent Competitors
Myriad Smaller Marketers Compete in SGM
Spin-Off Products Swell SGM Category
Mainstream SGM Players
Mainstream Giants Invade Music Market
Software Segment Continues to Evolve
Keeping Tabs on Disney

Competitive Profile: Bertelsmann AG
Bertelsmann AG
Heavy Internet Investments
1998 Acquisition of Random House
Random House Religious Books
Doubleday the Leading Catholic Mainstreamer
Doubleday Signs William Bennett
Bantam Books Tend Toward New Age

Competitive Profile: Gaylord Entertainment Co
A Diversified Entertainment and Communications Company
Gaylord Acquires Word Records from Nelson
Word Second Only to EMI Christian Group
The Myrrh Label

Competitive Profile: Jewish Lights Publishing
Relatively New Player
Examining Jewish Identity
Ecumenical Books

Competitive Profile: News Corp
A Multi-Pronged Mainstreamer
Publishing Arms Serve Christian and Non-Christian Segments
Zondervan Is Bible King
Zondervan Expands into Christian Fiction
Zonderkidz Forms in 1998
Zondervan's SGM Entries
Strong in Software
HarperCollins Leads Among Mainstreamers
Harper San Francisco

Competitive Profile: Provident Music Group
Formed in 1997
4HIM Records for Benson
Reunion Records Is Home to Michael W. Smith
Essential Records Crosses into Mainstream with Alternative and Rock
WoW Gospel Spin-Off Debuts in 1998

Competitive Profile: Shambhala Publications
Roots in 1960s Counterculture
Shambhala's Early Successes
An Impressive Array of Authors
Exploring Spiritual Traditions
Spiritual Fiction
Crossing the Line Between Books and SGM
AVS Offerings
Publishing in an Altered Cultural Climate

Competitive Profile: Thomas Nelson, Inc
1999 Sales of $262 Million
The Leading Christian Corporation
Nelson Leads Among Religious Book Specialists
Competing in Mainstream Retail Outlets
Nelson Targets Children's Market
Thomas Nelson Presses Its Advantage
Nelson Sells Word Records to Gaylord Entertainment
Nelson's Software Entries
Product Catalog Available on CD-ROM and Web

Competitive Profile: Thorn EMI Plc/EMI Music
EMI Christian Music Group Is Music Leader
Sparrow Records Boasts Many Stars
Star Song Transfers Artist Roster to Sparrow
ForeFront Is Christian Rock Leader
TheWow Phenomenon
Chordant Distribution

Competitive Profile: Time Warner
The World's Largest
The Celestine Anomaly
Other New Age Publications from Warner
Warner Alliance Markets Contemporary Christian Music
Warner Christian Distribution
Turner Home Entertainment Leads in Video

Competitive Profile: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc
Tyndale the Other Top Independent
Tyndale'sNew Living Translation
The NLT Evolves intoThe Book
Tyndale Cashes In on Millennium Fever with Left Behind
Tyndale a Pioneer in Children's Video

Competitive Briefs: Selected Other Marketers
Bethany House Publishers
Big Idea Productions, Inc
Broadman & Holman Publishers
Cook Communications Ministries
Crossway Books/Good News Publishers
Hampton Roads Publishing Co.
Harold Shaw Publishers
Harvest House Publishers
Health Communications, Inc
Integrity, Inc
InterVarsity Press
Jewish Publication Society
Kregel Publishers
Liguori Publications
Logos Research Systems, Inc
Moody Press
Parallax Press
Parsons Technology
Paulist Press
Simon & Schuster
Snow Lion Publications
Tarcher Books (Penguin Putnam, Inc./Pearson Plc)
Ulysses Press
Wisdom Publications

Marketing Trends
Tie-Ins to the New Millennium
Spirituality Preferable to Religion
The Appeal of "Lite" Religion
Marketers Target Interest Groups
Category Crossovers
Conspicuous Christianity
Tie-Ins to Special Occasions

New Product Trends
Millennium Fever
Christian Apparel
Bible Trends
Niche Bibles Are Still Popular . . .
. . But Consumer Interest May Be Waning
VeggieTales
Interdenominational Children's Products
Spanish-Language Products
Christian Fiction
Other Religious Fiction
A Proliferation of Advanced Judaica
Buddhism American-Style
A Resurgence of Recovery

Advertising and Promotion
Limited Expenditures on National Consumer Advertising
Advertising Dollars for Alternative Media
Overall Consumer Ad Expenditures Estimated at $25 Million
Reliance on Trade Advertising
Trade Ads for Books
Trade Ads for Stationery/Giftware/Merchandise
Trade Ads for Audio/Video/Software
The Role of Trade Shows
Examples of Religious Product Advertising

Media Profile: The Christian Networks
Successful Recovery from 1980s Scandals
The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc
The Christian Network, Inc
Christianity Today, Inc
Focus on the Family Publishing
Fox Family Channel
Guideposts
INSP The Inspirational Network
PAX TV
Trinity Broadcasting Network
Z Music Television

V. Distribution And Retail

At the Distribution Level
Three Overlapping Distribution Systems
Mainstream Distributors Increasingly Important
Spring Arbor Leads Among Distributors
Ingram Acquires Spring Arbor
Ingram and Barnes & Noble Withdraw Merger Filing
BookWorld Steps In

At the Retail Level
Overview of Shares by Distribution Channel
Figure 5-1: Share of U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by General Distribution Channel, 1999 (percent): Christian Retailers, Mainstream Channels, Other Religious Specialty Stores
Marketing as Ministry
Beyond Books
Outlet Revenues Average $300,000 to $440,000
Mainstream Chains Outdraw Christian Bookstores
Independents Still Outnumber Chain Stores
Parable Marketing Group
Munce Marketing and Buying Group
Investing in the Independents
Christian Chains Continue to Expand
Christian Products Hit Mass Market
Nelson Breaks into Mainstream
Wal-Mart, Target Take the Lead
The Book and Music Club Scene
Prospects for the World Wide Web

Retailer Profile: Family Christian Stores (FCS)
The Leading Retailer
Major Buying Spree
Maintains Community Contacts
Plan to Go Public Aborted

Retailer Profile: Christian Superstores
Superstores Come on Strong
Full-Service Christian Resource Centers
Most Chains Have Superstores
Formidable Managerial Tasks

VI. The Consumer

Introduction
Note on Simmons Market Research Bureau Data
Most Americans Profess Belief
Church Members Centered in Middle Class
Catholics and Baptists Are Largest Groups of U.S. Christians
Close to One in Five Americans Is Non-Christian
Older Americans Maintain Christian Traditions
Upscale/Downscale American Christians
Non-Christians Are Upscale
Household Factors and Religious Orientation
Table 6-1: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Membership in Church/Temple/Synagogue, 1998 (U.S. Adults)
Table 6-2: U.S. Adult Population of Christians by Denomination, 1998 (number and percent): 13 Denomination
Table 6-3: U.S. Adult Population of Non-Christians by Religion, 1998 (number and percent): No Religious Preference, Other Religion, Jewish
Table 6-4a: Demographic Characteristics Favoring U.S. Christians by Denomination, 1998 (U.S. Adults): Catholic, Baptist, Methodist Table 6-4b: Demographic Characteristics Favoring U.S. Christians by Denomination, 1998 (U.S. Adults): Lutheran, Pentecostal/Charismatic, Christian Church
Table 6-4c: Demographic Characteristics Favoring U.S. Christians by Denomination, 1998 (U.S. Adults): Presbyterian, Other Protestant, Episcopal
Table 6-4d: Demographic Characteristics Favoring U.S. Christians by Denomination, 1998 (U.S. Adults): Other Evangelical Christian, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, United Church of Christ
Table 6-4e: Demographic Characteristics Favoring U.S. Christians by Denomination, 1998 (U.S. Adults): Russian, Greek or Eastern Orthodox, Unitarian
Table 6-5a: Demographic Characteristics Favoring U.S. Non-Christians by Religious Affiliation: Jewish vs. Muslim, 1998 (U.S. Adults) Table 6-5b: Demographic Characteristics Favoring U.S. Non-Christians by Religious Affiliation: No Religious Preference vs. Other Religion, 1998 (U.S. Adults)

Purchasers of Religious Products
Who Are the Religious Products Consumers?
Churchgoers vs. Religious Product Users
Bibles vs. Other Religious Books
Readers of Religious Works
Demographics for Religious Music
Audio Demographics by Genre
Who Listens to Religious Recordings?
Religious Products Sold Through Alternative Retail Outlets
Demographics for Alternative Retail Outlets
Table 6-6: U.S. Adult Purchasers of Religious Products by Category, 1998 (number and percent): Religious Books, Bibles, Audio Products
Table 6-7: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Religious Literature by Category: Religious Books vs. Bibles, 1998 (U.S. Adults)
Table 6-8: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Audio Products at Religious Articles Stores, 1998 (U.S. Adults)
Table 6-9: U.S. Adult Purchasers of Religious Audio Products by Genre: Gospel vs. Contemporary Christian Rock, 1998 (number and percent)
Table 6-10: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Religious Audio Products by Genre: Gospel vs. Contemporary Christian Rock, 1998 U.S. Adults
Table 6-11: U.S. Purchasers of Religious Products Through Alternative Retail Outlets: Mail Order vs. Phone Order, 1998 (number and percent)
Table 6-12: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Purchase of Religious Products Through Alternative Retail Outlets: Mail Order vs. Phone Order, 1998 (U.S. Adults)

Appendix I: Examples Of Consumer And Trade Advertising
Appendix II: Addresses Of Selected Marketers, Distributors, Retailers, Trade Organizations, And Major Media