$11 Billion Self-Improvement Market Moves Online

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Oprah's OWN Network To Be The "Next Big Thing"

The Market is following the technology--moving to lower-cost Internet-based delivery of services.

Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., a leading market research publisher since 1979, has released the 8th edition of a 360-page report entitled: The U.S. Market For Self-Improvement Products & Services. This is the ONLY publicly available study about this $11 billion business. The study traces the market from 2003-2014, examining these markets: Infomercials, Holistic Institutes, Self-Help Books & Audiobooks, Motivational Speakers, Websites, Seminars,Personal Coaching, Online education, Weight Loss and Stress Management Programs.

According to Research Director, John LaRosa: "There is no shortage of demand for products and programs that cater to Americans' desire to make more money, lose weight, improve their relationships and business skills, cope with stress, or obtain a quick dose of motivation. An elite handful of celebrities have leveraged their names to build multi-media empires consisting of: books, CDs, DVDs, seminars, boot camps, personal coaching, infomercials, and consulting. However, there is a "changing of the guard" as many gurus are nearing retirement and cut back their schedules. The 20-35 age group is virtually untapped."

Major Findings:

  •      Market Value… The U.S. self-improvement market was worth $10.53 billion last year, versus $11.06 billion in 2007 -- a 5% 2-year decline. We forecast 5.5% average yearly gains from 2010-2014. The recession took a toll on most market segments.
  • The Next Big Thing…. OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, will debut on January 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. Oprah is such a major force driving sales of self-improvement books, DVDs, seminars and workshops and more that we believe this new network will influence more self improvement consumers than any other guru or motivational speaker. Marketdata believes that, in addition to generating ongoing exposure for established celebrities such as Suze Orman, Dr. Oz, Bill Greene, and Dr. Phil, she will nurture and launch the careers of new and up and coming self-improvement gurus. By virtue of Oprah's tremendous reach in a variety of media, she can literally turn an unknown name into a best seller overnight.
  • Infomercials… Infomercials were hit hard by the recession, as retail sales plunged 31% from 2007 to 2009. Self-Improvement programs had $1.04 billion in sales last year - for only 37% of the total - the lowest share in 10 years.
  • Audiobooks Market… This is now a $2.39 billion segment that grew in units but not dollars in 2008-2009. Of this, self-improvement titles accounted for $406 million--about 17% of all audiobook sales. 24+ million Americans now listen to audiobooks.
  • Books… Last year's overall book sales fell 1.8%. Flat is the new up. There were no blockbusters last year, as the market was flooded with political content. Marketdata estimates that self-improvement book sales were worth $406 million in 2009 and will be worth $854 million in 2014.
  • Personal Coaching… This service also took a hit. Fees were cut and more coaches entered the field, as the unemployed found it an easy field to enter. Sales by the 30,000 coaches fell about 13% to $1.29 bill. In 2009.
  • Motivational Speakers… Revenues of the top 10 speakers, and the Franklin-Covey Co., were estimated at $296 million last year. All 5,000 U.S. speakers take in more than $1 billion. The big names are still big and Suze Orman has been in heavy demand lately, due to the financial crisis. Many speakers are aging, retiring, and are cutting back schedules on the road. They're creating more webinars and online courses to deliver their messages.
  • Seminars…. Attendance at live events and small training seminars (a $400-500 million market) has taken a major hit, due to increased travel costs. Webinars (free or fee-based) have filled the void, becoming more popular due to their lower cost and 24/7 availability.

According to John LaRosa, "What's apparent in this market is that products and services are increasingly being delivered via audio, video and over the Internet. Coaching is performed by phone. Free information on the Web is rampant, and speakers are giving away more information to entice buyers. Motivational speakers tired of the road can hold live tele-seminars or webinars. This broadens their market to consumers that don't want to spend the money on travel and lodging. Gurus can also provide e-courses for home study, at the consumer's convenience. Consumers can listen to an audiobook while driving in their car. Soon, more self-improvement content will be delivered via cell phones as well. The bottom line is that more self-improvement content is going digital."

About The Study

"The U.S. Market For Self-Improvement Products & Services", Nov. 2010, is an independently researched multi-client study. The study contains 360 pages, 50 tables, 56 competitor profiles. It costs $2,195 and is also sold by chapters at lower cost. A free table of contents is available from: Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., Regents Park Drive, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33647, (813) 907-9090. A 36 pp. Overview is available to the public for $79. John LaRosa is available for interviews.

Also: See our Self-Improvement website: MyPersonalGrowth.com

Contact Information

John LaRosa, Research Director, BS, MBA
Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., Tampa, FL
Phone: 813-907-9090
Fax: 813-907-3606


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