$11 Billion Self-Improvement Market Lacks Direction

Tampa, FL (PRWEB) March 26, 2012

Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., a leading independent market research publisher since 1979, has released 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: Infomercials, Holistic Institutes, Books & Audiobooks, Motivational Speakers, Websites, Seminars, Personal Coaching, Online education, Weight Loss and Stress Management Programs.

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, tapes, CDs/DVDs, seminars, workshops, websites and online universities, personal coaching, infomercials, and consulting.

According to Research Director, John LaRosa: It appears that small, entrepreneurial companies fare better in this market than large corporations. We expect them to fill voids in the market. Lackluster performance by such companies as Nightingale-Conant, and, more recently, OWN, show that many dont yet understand the self-improvement consumer, or don’t embrace new technology.

Major Findings:

Market Value

The U.S. self-improvement market was worth an estimated $ 11.17 billion last year. We forecast 5.5% average yearly gains from 2010-2014. The recession took a toll on most market segments. (see attached table for market segment $ values)

Market Remains Leaderless, Troubled

OWN Channel Fizzles

In late 2010, Marketdata analysts had expected Oprah Winfreys new OWN network, launched in Jan. 2011, to become the premier self-improvement TV channel. That has not happened. Discovery Communications, the new channels financier, has invested $ 312 million into a new channel fraught with poor viewership and multiple management shake-ups. The industry still has NO trade association or magazine.

Rather than create compelling new programming that would boost ratings, OWN has relied on Oprahs long-time partners such as Dr. Phil, Suze Orman, Dr. Oz, and Rosie ODonnell (whose show was just cancelled). Shows are repeated several times a day. This is not resonating with viewers, who were expecting to see different self-improvement gurus, exposes, interviews and documentariesnot just Oprah. As a result, other entrepreneurs have been quietly putting together plans and funding to create their own self-improvement TV channel.

Public Seminar Producer Meltdown

Attendance at live events and small training seminars (a $ 400-500 million market) has taken a major hit, due to increased travel costs. Webinars have filled the void, more popular due to lower cost and 24/7 availability. In addition, the mega-seminar producer, Get Motivated Seminars, is in turmoil, beset by a nasty divorce between founder Peter Lowe and his wife Tamara. But, the shows go on. Booker T. Equity LLC, under CEO Joseph Johnson, purchased LifeWin, Inc , Get Motivated Seminars and related entities in January. Reporters at the Tampa Tribune found that the company makes its money by referring seminar attendees to investment advisory firms that offer costly follow-up workshops and courses. So, these stadium-sized events with big name celebrities wind up being essentially sales lead generators.

Shift to Digital

Self-improvement services are increasingly being delivered via audio, video and over the Internet. Coaching is performed by phone. Motivational speakers tired of the road can hold live tele-seminars or webinars. This broadens their market to consumers that dont want to spend the money on travel and lodging. Gurus can also provide e-courses for home study, at the consumers convenience.

Guru Goes Too Far

Another setback to the self-help movement was self-help guru James Rays 2009 Sedona, AZ sweat lodge fiasco, where three people died and Mr. Ray was ultimately convicted in June 2011. He was sentenced to two years in prison for each death, although he wasnt convicted of manslaughter. Ray must finish 85% of his sentence and could be in prison for 600 days. This event reveals the extremes that some consumers go to in search of enlightenment, and how easily they are manipulated.

Books Flat is the new up. There were no blockbusters last year, or the prior year, as the market was flooded with political content. Marketdata estimates that self-improvement book sales were worth $ 776 million in 2011 and will be worth $ 854 million in 2014.

Audiobooks Market This is now a $ 2.39 billion segment that grew in units but not dollars in 2008-2009.. The APA says that 24+ million Americans now listen to audiobooks. Of this total, self-improvement titles account for $ 455 millionor about 17% of all audiobook sales.

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 were worth $ 1.37 billion in 2011.

Motivational Speakers This segments sales, for the top 10 speakers, plus the operations of Franklin Covey Co., are estimated at $ 336 million last year. All 5,000 U.S. speakers take in more than $ 1 billion per year. Many speakers are aging, retiring, and are cutting back schedules on the road. There is a notable lack of speakers serving the Generation X or Y younger consumer.

About The Study

The U.S. Market For Self-Improvement Products & Services, Nov. 2010, is an independently researched multi-client study. March 2012 Market Update included. 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.

About Marketdata

Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., is a 33-year old independent market research and consulting firm that publishes market reports and industry studies covering a wide range of service and niche markets. It has tracked the self-improvement market since 1994, and is the only company tracking it on a regular basis.

Contact Information

John LaRosa, Research Director, BS, MBA

Marketdata Enterprises, Inc., Tampa, FL

Phone: 813-907-9090

Fax: 813-907-3606


email: john(at)marketdataenterprises(dot)com

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