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The U.S. Market for Religious Publishing and Products


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The phenomenal (and some would say surprising) success of Mel Gibson’s “Passion of Christ” has reignited the market for religious products - books, music, videos, stationary, giftware and software. This report takes a fresh look at the religious products market, addressing the new consumer (younger than one might think), the diversification of the market and the impact “new” media (such as the Internet) has had on more traditional marketing methods.

Report Methodology
The information in The U.S. Market for Religious Publishing and Products is based on both primary and secondary research. Primary research involved on-site examination of the retail milieu, interviews with marketing, public relations and industry analysts within the religious products market and consultants to the industry. Secondary research entailed data-gathering from relevant trade, business, and government sources. Figures provided on national consumer advertising expenditures are based primarily on data (copyright 2003) compiled by CMR/TNS Media Intelligence U.S., the leading provider of strategic advertising and marketing communications intelligence. The analysis of consumer demographics derives from Simmons Market Research Bureau survey data for fall 2003.

The report looks at every segment of the religious products market, examining trends for growth and projecting sales of products through 2008. It analyzes consumer demographics and their current and projected impact on sales of religious products. It provides up-to-date competitive profiles of marketers of religious products - including a look at smaller, up-and-coming companies - and discusses the influence of demographic trends as a driver of retail trends. The report also spotlights new products and current distribution trends, and offers readers trends and marketing opportunities within the religious products industry.

What You’ll Get in this Report
The U.S. Market for Religious Publishing and Products makes important predictions and recommendations regarding the future of this market, and pinpoints ways current and prospective marketers can capitalize on current trends and spearhead new ones. No other market research report provides both the comprehensive analysis and extensive data that The U.S. Market for Religious Publishing and Products offers. The report addresses the following segments:

  • The Market (including market size and composition, and projected market growth)
  • The Marketers (including discussions of specific marketer brand and market shares)
  • Distribution Strategies
  • The Consumer (who’s buying what, and where)
  • The Products
  • Trends and Opportunities

Plus, you’ll benefit from extensive data, presented in easy-to-read and practical charts, tables and graphs.

Scroll down to see a more detailed outline of the contents of this report.

How You Will Benefit from this Report
If your company is already competing in the religious products market, or is considering making the leap, you will find this report invaluable, as it provides a comprehensive package of information and insight not offered in any other single source. You will gain a thorough understanding of the current market for religious products, as well as projected sales and trends through 2008.

This report will help:

  • Marketing Managers identify market opportunities and develop targeted promotion plans for religious products.
  • Research and development professionals stay on top of competitor initiatives and explore demand for religious products.
  • Advertising agencies working with clients in the religious products industry understand the product buyer to develop messages and images that compel consumers to purchase these products.
  • Business development executives understand the dynamics of the market and identify possible partnerships.
  • Information and research center librarians provide market researchers, brand and product managers and other colleagues with the vital information they need to do their jobs more effectively.


Chapter 1: Introduction

  • Scope of Report
  • Report Methodology
  • Product Categories
    • Books
    • Stationery, Giftware & Merchandise (SGM)
    • Audio/Video/Software

  • A Religious Revival In The Offing
    • The Passion of the Christ
    • The Da Vinci Code
    • The Purpose-Driven Life
    • Left Behind Series
    • Joan of Arcadia

  • The Market
    • Religious Products Market Estimated At $6.8 Billion
    • Table 1-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Category, 1999-2003
    • Largest Category: Books
    • SGM Posts Modest Growth
    • Christian Music Sales Down
    • Figure 1-1: Share of Religious Products by Category, 2003

  • The Marketers
    • Media Conglomerates, Religious Specialists Fight It Out
      • Religious Books
      • Three Major Players In AVS Segment
      • SGM
      • Zondervan And Thomas Nelson Dominate CBA’s Best Sellers List
      • Zondervan Dominates ‘Christian Living’ Category

    • Factors To Market Growth
      • Aging Baby Boomers Seek More Meaning To Life
      • Growth in Conservative Churches
      • Customized Belief And Faith
      • Religion And Daily Life
      • Interest In Judaism
      • Interest In Islamic, Buddhist Titles

    • Advertising and Promotion
      • Publicity Rather Than Advertising
      • All-out Publicity For A Film
      • Churches Key To Reaching Consumers
      • Cheaper Options For Reaching Consumers
      • Advertisements Are Minimal And Through Specific Media

    • Retail and Distribution
      • CBA’s Market Share Declining
      • Christian Retailers Try To Attract, Retain Consumers
      • Wal-Mart, Other Discounters Eye Christian Market

    • The Consumer
      • Religious Worship Becoming More Contemporary
      • Religious Belief Low Among Young Americans
      • Church Attendance On The Downslide
      • Older Americans Are Religious; Middle Agers Buy More Products
      • Future Outlook

Chapter 2: The Products

  • Scope of Report
  • Emphasis on Christian Products
  • Christian Products
    • History of Religious Products
    • Rise of Protestantism
    • Spread of The Bible
    • The Spiritual Awakenings
    • Emergence of U.S. Religious Market
    • Televangelism
    • Balancing Ideological Divides

  • Non-Christian Products
    • Judaica: Discrete Market Segment
    • American Islam
    • Orthodox Muslims
    • Black Muslims
    • Eastern Spirituality
    • New Age/Alternative Faiths
    • Spirituality

  • Market Definition
    • Three Categories
    • Leading Category: Books
      • Main Segment—Bibles
      • Religious Books Expand Their Categories
      • Religious-Oriented School Curricula

    • Most Diverse Category: SGM
      • Six Segments

    • AVS The Third Category
      • Largest Segment—Audio
      • Video Segment
      • Software

    • Products Classified By Degree of Religiosity

Chapter 3: The Market

  • Market Size And Growth
  • Between $4.2 And $7 Billion
  • Methodology Varies Among Sources
  • The Market
    • $6.8 Billion Market In 2003
    • Table 3-1: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Products by Category, 1999-2003
    • Market Segments
      • Books: Largest And Fastest-Growing Category

    • Table 3-2: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious Books by Category, 1999-2003
    • SGM Posts Modest Growth
    • Table 3-3: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious SGM by Category, 2003
    • Figure 3-1: Share of Religious SGM Market, by Category, 2003
    • Christian Music Drags AVS Segment Down, But Shows Growth Signs
    • Table 3-4: U.S. Retail Sales of Religious AVS by Category, 2003
    • Figure 3-2: Share of Religious AVS Market, by Category, 2003

  • Market Composition
    • Religious Books Share On The Rise
    • Figure 3-3: U.S. Retail Sales by Category Share, 2003
    • Figure 3-4: Share of U.S. Retail Sales by Category, 1999 vs. 2003
    • Religious Products Share In Overall Market
    • Figure 3-5: Religious Products Share of Overall Market, Books and Music, 2003
    • Figure 3-6: Growth of Religious Products and Overall Category, Books and Music, 2003
    • Sales By Distribution Channel
    • Figure 3-7: Channel Distribution of Religious Product Sales
    • Sales Peak Around Christmas
    • Table 3-5: Selling Seasons for U.S. Religious Products
    • Bible Belt: Good Christian Product Sales

  • Factors To Market Growth
    • Aging Baby Boomers Seek More Meaning To Life
    • Growth In Conservative Church Adherents
    • Table 3-6: Largest U.S. Religious Denominations
    • Customized Belief And Faith
    • Religion And Everyday Life
    • Renewed Interest In Judaism
    • Interest In Islamic, Buddhist Titles
    • Increased Media Coverage Of Religion
    • Overall Market Trends
    • Religious Faith Assumes Importance In Politics
    • Religious Diets Make Headway
    • ‘What Would Jesus Drive?’
    • Outlook

  • Market Projections
    • Market To Reach $8.64 Billion In 2008
    • Figure 3-8: Projected U.S. Sales of Religious Products, 2003-2008

Chapter 4: The Marketers

  • Books
    • Bibles
    • Christian Living
    • Prayer Books

  • Products for Women
  • Products for Children, Teens
  • Spanish-Language Products
  • E-Books
  • Music Products
  • Judaica
  • Islam
  • Buddhism
  • New Age
  • Gifts and Merchandise
  • DVD & Videocassettes
    • Jonah Makes a Big Splash

  • Software
  • Table 4-1: Selected Religious Retailing Marketers and Products

  • Competitive Environment
    • Overview
    • Leading Publishers
    • Diversification Intensifies Competition
    • Business Consolidation for Survival
    • Big Idea Productions Goes Under
    • Gregg Gets Acquired
    • Competitive Music Industry
    • SGM—Extending the Brand
    • Competitive Music Industry
    • SGM—A Brand Extension
    • E-book Fastest Growing Segment
    • Cross Over Appeal
    • Spiritual Licensing
    • Share the Passion

  • Trends in Children’s Marketing
    • Reaching Faith-Based Youth
    • A Wide Variety of Products
    • Challenges in Reaching Kids

  • Competitive Profiles
    • EMI Christian Music Group
    • Overview
    • Divisions

  • Harvest House Publishers
    • Overview
    • Major Publications

  • Multnomah Publishers
    • Overview
    • Publishing Divisions

  • Random House
    • Overview
    • Publishing Divisions

  • Shambhala Publications
    • Overview
    • Divisions

  • Thomas Nelson
    • Overview
    • Publishing Divisions
    • Women of Faith

  • Time Warner
    • Overview
    • Divisions Relating To Religious Media

  • Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
    • Overview
    • Major Divisions

  • Zondervan
    • Overview
    • Major Divisions

  • Crossway Books/Good News Publishers
    • Overview
    • Major Divisions

  • Jewish Lights Publishing
    • Overview
    • Major Publications

  • Jewish Publication Society
    • Overview
    • Major Publications

  • Logos Research Systems, Inc.
    • Overview
    • Major Divisions

  • Moody Publishers
    • Overview
    • Major Divisions

  • Provident Music Group
    • Overview
    • Major Divisions

  • Other Marketers
    • DaySpring Cards
    • Bob Siemon Designs
    Chapter 5: Product and Promotional Trends
    • Publishing
    • Growth In Sales Of ‘Christian Living’ Books
    • Diverse Categories In Religious Books
    • New Book Product Trends
      • Scripture And War
      • Pop Culture And Holy Writ

    • Traditional Themes In Christianity
      • Back To Foundation
      • Catholic Traditions
      • Across Religions

    • Spirituality Among Non-Christians
    • Spirituality Sans Religion
    • Bible-Related Titles
    • Biblical People
    • Popular Reference
    • Peeping Into The Future

  • Books On Prayer
    • Sales Are Mixed
    • Revival Of Traditional Prayer Forms
    • Prayer Guides And Formal Prayers
    • Neo-Traditional Approach To Prayers 99
    • Prayer Transcending Religion
    • Religious Comics And Magazines

  • AVS & Media
    • Religious Videos In Demand After ‘Passion’
    • Table 5-1: Top-Selling* VHS - Religion & Spirituality
    • Table 5-2: Top-Selling DVDs* - Religion & Spirituality
    • Religious TV Movies
    • Jewish Videos For A Wider Market
    • New Title Introductions
    • Christian Songs In Billboard’s Top 200

  • Advertising And Promotion
    • It’s Publicity Rather Than Advertising
    • ‘Passion’ Benefits From Publicity
    • Focusing On Authors’ Appearances
    • Churches Key To Reaching Consumers
    • Cheaper Promotions—Postcards And Email
    • Advertisements Are Minimal And Through Specific Media
    • CBA Launches Ad Campaign

    Chapter 6: Retail and Distribution

    • Three Major Retail Channels
    • More Sales Through Mass-Market Channels
    • CBA’s Market Share Declining
    • Christian Retailers Try To Attract, Retain Consumers
    • Smaller Independent Stores Try To Find A Niche
    • Discount Stores Eye Christian Market
    • Wal-Mart Enters Christian Market
    • “Christian Merchants”
    • Selling in Bulk

  • Major Distribution Channels
    • Thomas Nelson: CBA Major Channel But ABA Growing Fast
    • Table 6-1: Retail Sales by Channel for Thomas Nelson*
    • Navpress: CBA Dominates With 85% Share
    • Baker Publishing Group—CBA Has 45% Share
    • Table 6-2: Retail Sales by Channel for Baker Publishing Group, 2003

  • Major Religious Retail Chains And Groups
    • Family Christian Stores
      • Overview
      • Specialized Stores
      • Promotions

    • LifeWay Christian Stores
      • Overview

    • Parable Group
      • Promotions

    • Bible Factory Outlet
      • Overview
      • Store Growth
      • Promotions

    • Mardel Christian & Educational Supply
      • Overview
      • Hybrid Store Format

    • Other Major Retailers and Marketing Groups
      • Berean Christian Stores
      • Lemstone Christian Stores
      • Covenant Group
      • Munce Marketing Group

    • Selling on The Web

    Chapter 7: The Consumer

    • Note On Simmons Market Research Bureau Data
    • Largest Groups Of American Christians: Catholics, Baptists
    • Table 7-1: U.S. Adult Christian Population by Denominations
    • Figure 7-1: U.S. Adult Christian Population by Denominations, 2003
    • Figure 7-2: Change in U.S. Adult Christian Population by Denomination, 1998-2003
    • Ratio Of Christians To Non-Christians
    • Table 7-2: U.S. Adult Non-Christian Population by Religion, 1998-2003
    • Figure 7-3: U.S. Adult Non-Christian Population by Religion, 2003
    • Young Americans Adopting Unconventional Beliefs, Religions
    • Little Difference In Gender Among Religious Followers
    • American Christians And Jews: Predominantly White
    • Education Level
    • New Age Christians And Jews More Affluent
    • Table 7-3: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Christianity by Denomination (Catholic, Baptist, Methodist), 2003
    • Table 7-4: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Christianity by Denomination (Lutheran, Christian Church, Pentecostal/Charismatic), 2003
    • Table 7-5: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Christianity by Denomination (Other Protestant, Presbyterian, Other Evangelical Christian), 2003
    • Table 7-6: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Christianity by Denomination (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Episcopal, United Church of Christ), 2003
    • Table 7-7: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Christianity by Denomination (Russian, Greek or Eastern Orthodox and Unitarian), 2003
    • Table 7-8: Demographic Characteristics of Non-Christians by Religious Affiliation (No Religious Preference, Other Religion), 2003
    • Table 7-9: Demographic Characteristics of Non-Christians by Religious Affiliation (Judaism, Islam), 2003

  • Attitude Toward Religion
    • Most Americans Believe in God, Do Not Attend Religious Services
    • Table 7-10: Adult American’s Belief in God, by Religion, 2003
    • Table 7-11: Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Adults Favoring Belief in God, 2003
    • Table 7-12: Frequency of Worship Attendance by U.S. Adults, 2003
    • Older Americans Have High Religious Membership
    • Table 7-13: Membership in Religious Bodies, 2003
    • Table 7-14: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Membership in
      • Religious Bodies (Church/Temple/Synagogue, Church Board and Religious Clubs), 2003

    • Elderly Americans: Positive Attitude Towards Religion
    • The South: Most Religious Region
    • African-Americans Tend to be More Religious
    • Table 7-15: The “Religious” Profile: African Americans and Asian Americans
    • Table 7-16: U.S. Adults With Positive Attitudes and Opinions Toward Religion
    • Table 7-17: Demographic Characteristics Relating to Attitudes and Opinions Toward Religion, 2003
    • Table 7-18: Demographic Characteristics Relating to Attitudes and Opinions Toward Religion, 2003
    • Increase In Financial Contributions To Religious Bodies

  • Consumer Use of Religious Media
    • High Consumers Of Religious Media: Middle-Aged Americans
    • Table 7-19: Audience of Religious Radio and Television, 2003
    • Table 7-20: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Usage of Religious Audio-Visual Media, 2003
    • Religious Book Buyers Skew African-American, Southern
    • Table 7-21: Sales of Religious Books Compared to Total Book Sales, 2003
    • Table 7-22: Demographic Characteristics Favoring Buying Religious Books, 2003
    • Figure 7-4: Bible Readers by Age Group, 2003
    • Spiritual Life Of Teens
    • Religious Teens Confident About Appearance
    • Table 7-23: Characteristics of Religious and Non-Religious Youth
    • Worship Becoming More Contemporary
    • Table 7-24: Worship Service Elements Used At Least Once a Month in Protestant Churches 1998 and 2003
    • Figure 7-5: Changes in Use of Worship Elements in Protestant Churches, 1998 and 2003

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