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Self-Improvement Market Recovers From The Pandemic, Worth $13.4 billion

Bright Spots Include Personal Coaching, Books, Apps, Audiobooks

New Market Report
New Market Report

Self-improvement is ingrained into American society."

September 5, 2023: Marketdata LLC, a leading independent market research publisher since 1979, has released the 14th edition of its best-selling report, a 322-page report entitled: The U.S. Market For Self-Improvement Products & Services . This is the ONLY publicly available analysis of this business. The report traces the market from 2003-2027 Forecast, examining these markets: Personal Coaching, Motivational Speakers, Infomercials, Apps, Holistic Institutes, Self-Help Books & Audiobooks, Training Organizations, Public Seminars, and Weight Loss Programs.

According to Research Director, John LaRosa: “The personal growth market, like many others, took a hit in 2020 due to the pandemic and recession. However, the downturn was not steep, only 7%. The market has recovered since then and is robust, as operations return to normal and companies utilize a mix of virtual and in-person delivery of services.”

Major Findings:

Market Value… Marketdata estimates that the self-improvement market in the U.S. was worth $13.4 billion in 2022. The market bounced back about 24% in two years, fueled by growth in personal coaching services, self-help books and audiobooks, and self-help apps.

Demographics… Traditionally, the Baby Boomers have been the main consumers of self-improvement. They still are an important group, but the tide is shifting, as Millennials now number 75 million. They are the future of this market, but there are few experts now catering to them.

The Internet… is playing a larger role is the self-improvement market, as more content (such as MP3 downloads, e-books, webinars, online courses, “academies”, “universities” and “masterminds”, etc.) is being delivered online, and apps are exploding in number.

Self-improvement Books… A popular book is still the basic starting point and platform for motivational speakers and experts. As Americans hunkered down at home during the pandemic, print book sales in the United States in 2020 had their best year since 2010. Based on continued strong interest in self-improvement books, coupled with the lack of a diet book best-seller, Marketdata estimates that the market grew by 9%, to $708 million in 2022.

Self-improvement Audiobooks… Sales of audiobooks are growing strongly, according the Audio Publisher’s Association. The APA says that 24+ million Americans now listen to audiobooks. Marketdata analysts think that sales grew 12% in 2021 and another 10% in 2022, to a value of $667 million.

Personal Coaching… The U.S. personal coaching market was worth $2.08 billion in 2022 – up a very strong 77% from 2020 levels. Americans, especially Millennials, embraced coaching more widely, and the number of coaches grew. There are roughly 31,000 active U.S. coaches, who earn an average of $67,800 per year.

Self-improvement apps… This market is estimated by Marketdata to be worth at least $762 million in the United States in 2022, projected to grow to nearly $1 billion by 2027. Meditation apps such as Headspace and Calm, and websites, have built large followings. The Noom weight loss app takes in more than $400 million a year.

Motivational Speakers… Professional speakers take in more than $1.7 billion per year. For an elite group of 17 elite motivational speakers, 2022 revenues are estimated at $368 million. The “average” income is about $80,000, but the big names earn much more. Many older speakers are dying, are retiring, or are cutting back their road tours, shifting focus to online courses, book writing, and webinars. Some of their sons and daughters are picking up the reins.

Weight Loss Programs… Commercial and medical programs combined constitute a significant $6 billion piece of the self-improvement industry. However, with the entry of new prescription obesity medications to the market, dieters flocked to MDs but NOT commercial diet programs. 2022 and 2023 saw growth come to a halt and a 28% drop in revenues is forecast this year.

The infomercial channel has become less important as a distribution vehicle. Less and less self-improvement programs are being sold here, other than exercise equipment and weight loss programs. The big boost in sales of fitness products and exercise machines for home use is over, as sales began to fall sharply during 2022.

Holistic Institutes… The 15 major holistic institutes in the country were devastated by the pandemic. One went out of business. Revenues plummeted from $135 million in 2019 to just $54 million in 2020, rising moderately in 2022.

Training Organizations… The consumer training market was estimated to be worth about $687 million in 2022. Franklin-Covey, Sandler Training, Dale Carnegie and Toastmasters are the key players.

“Seventy percent of self-improvement book buyers and seminar participants are women, and they are more likely to live on the east or west coasts of the United States. However, there are still very few female mega-stars in the self-improvement field", according to John LaRosa.

About The Report

The U.S. Market For Self-Improvement Products & Services, published in September 2023, is an independent “off-the-shelf” market research study. The report is 322 pages in length, with 49 guru and company profiles and 54 tables and charts. It costs $1,795 and is available for purchase at:… A detailed Table of Contents is available via the website or email. Contact: Marketdata LLC, 7210 Wareham Drive, Tampa, FL 33647, (813) 971-8080. John LaRosa is available for interviews and presentations. A 41-pp. Overview of major findings is available for $99.

About Marketdata

Marketdata is a 44-year-old market research and consulting firm, with a specialty tracking service, healthcare and niche markets not covered elsewhere. The company has tracked the self-improvement market since 1994 – the only firm worldwide to do so.

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