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The US Market for Self-Improvement Products & Services

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  • 322 Pages
  • September 2023
  • Region: United States
  • Marketdata LLC
  • ID: 5393508
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Self-Improvement Market Recovers From The Pandemic, Worth $13.4 billion

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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 implement more virtual delivery of services. Several market segments have prospered, as Americans read more books, listened to more audiobooks and used more coaching services.

This Marketdata report is the ONLY comprehensive business analysis that exists of the self-improvement market worldwide, since 1994.  This study examines the $13.4 billion market for “self-improvement” or “personal growth” programs and products that seek to improve us physically, mentally, financially or spiritually.

  • Analysis of the market for: books, audiobooks, infomercials, motivational speakers, public seminars, workshops, holistic institutes, personal coaching, weight loss programs, apps, Internet courses, training organizations and more.
  • Nature of the business, $ value/growth and outlooks for each market segment.
  • Major topic categories covered: weight loss/exercise, business/sales skills, business opportunities/investing, improving relationships, and general motivational.
  • Includes the effects of the pandemic on all market segments.  

The study analyzes market segments/industry structure, the market’s $ size/growth (2003-2027 forecast), latest trends, latest survey findings of trade associations (ICF Coaching, Audio Publishers, National Speakers Assn.), the shift to Internet delivery of content, customer demographics, 15 in-depth profiles of top motivational speakers (Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Phil McGraw, Brian Tracy, Suze Orman, Robert Kiyosaki, Tim Ferriss, many others), top 100 infomercials list, and more.

Contains a chapter profiling the activities/products and revenues of the top motivational speakers, including 49 in-depth experts and company profiles:

  • Nightingale-Conant
  • Hay House
  • Landmark Worldwide
  • Skillpath
  • National Seminars Group
  • Fred Pryor/CareerTrack
  • Selfgrowth.com
  • Toastmasters
  • Dale Carnegie Associates
  • Franklin-Covey
  • Sandler Training
  • Omega Institute
  • Holistic Institutes
  • Robbins Research
  • The Chopra Center
  • Noom
  • Headspace
  • Calm
  • Internet program experts
  • and more

FREE with purchase: A "done-for-you" PowerPoint presentation covering the market's characteristics, structure, $ size, growth drivers, forecasts, and key operating metrics.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Study Scope & Methodology 

  • Explanation of where the information came from: “primary” & “secondary” sources: methodology, definition of the self-improvement market, scope of the research 

Executive Overview of Major Findings 

  • Highlights of ALL chapters - Discussion of market nature & definition, characteristics, major developments of past two years, avg. customer profile, why demand exists for programs, customer demographic profile.
  • Findings of interviews with market insiders: technology trends, marketing methods.
  • Changing of the guard: older gurus retiring and dying, who will replace them?
  • Effects of the pandemic: How the market pivoted to virtual delivery of services, recovery
  • Trends: focus on mean, Millennials, apps emergence, shortage of female experts, Internet’s larger role
  • Market Size & Growth, Segments: Table/Discussion of total market size, growth rates, outlook (2003-2020, 2021 & 2025 forecasts), estd. $ size of major segments BY DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL: Infomercials, motivational speakers, seminars, holistic institutes, self-improvement books, audiobooks, personal coaching, weight loss programs 
  • Market Segment Outlooks & Status Reports: discussion of mkt size/growth and characteristics/trends for: Infomercials (retail sales by topic), Motivational speakers mkt., \ Personal coaching market, Holistic institutes & training organizations, self-improvement books mkt. 
  • Audiobooks mkt., public seminars, Weight loss programs.
  • Status report of the U.S. Weight Loss Industry ($ size 2002-2022, performance of commercial vs. medical diet programs 2019-2023. 2023 diet season, 2027 F, industry reset to Rx obesity drugs, trends, dieter demographics/number, growth of commercial programs vs. medical programs.


  • $ Size of the self-improvement mkt. 2016-2027 Forecast, by mkt. segment
  • The Top U.S. Motivational Speakers - by Annual Estimated Revenues: 2016-2022
  • Estimated Size of the U.S. Professional Speaking Industry: 2025-2027
  • Estimated Value of U.S. vs. Global Coaching Industry ($ millions): 20026-2027 F
  • The Leading Public Seminar Competitors: 2015-2021
  • Estimated Infomercial Retail Sales, by Self-improvement Category: 2016-2023
  • Holistic Institutes & Training Companies Revenues: 2013-2027 F
  • Estimated U.S. Retail Sales of Audiobooks: 2009-2027 F
  • Size of the weight loss programs market: commercial & medical plans: 2017-2027 F
  • Size of the Total U.S. Weight Loss Market: 2020 - 2027 F

The Motivational Speakers Market 

  • Discussion of number of professional speakers in the U.S., avg. earnings, estimated income for the top 17 speakers (table) - from speaking engagements, books, consulting, training, list of top speakers’ bureaus, how speakers operate
  • Effects of the pandemic, how speakers shifted to virtual services, effect on earnings 
  • Industry trends: what clients want, services mix is changing, more coaching
  • Demand factors: what meeting planners want
  • Industry size/growth: 2020, 2023 & 2027 growth forecasts
  • “State of the Speaking Industry: 2022, 2023 Report” - major findings, industry metrics
  • NSA discussion of industry trends, speaker demographic profile
  • Avg./high yearly earnings of motivational speakers, % from products/speaking/other services
  • Overview/size of corporate training market


  • Size of the total professional speaking market: 2005-2027F
  • Estimated annual income of the top speakers: 2016 & 2022
  • The World’s 50 Most Popular Motivational Speakers
  • List/ranking of top 101 self-improvement experts, compiled by Self-Improvement Online

In-depth profiles of top self-improvement experts/celebrities - descriptions of their organizations, biographies, revenue estimates/actual when available, products/services offered, books authored, speaking fees, consulting, specialties, headquarters address, websites, for: Anthony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Joel Osteen, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Suze Orman, Brendon Burchard, Brian Tracy, Tim Ferriss, Dr. Phil McGraw, Robert Kiyosaki, John Maxwell, Dave Ramsey, Gary Vaynerchuck, Malcomb Gladwell.

The Personal Coaching Market 

  • Definition & summary of the market, number of active coaches in U.S., worldwide, coaching specialties, differences between coaching and consulting, corporate vs. personal coaching, most common myths about coaching, phone coaching
  • Status report of the market, topics in demand, corporate vs. consumer customers
  • Findings of interview with ICF President: mkt. trends, growth, outlook, status
  • The market’s major trade groups and periodicals (address list)
  • Coaching metrics: Avg. annual earnings, fees, no. of clients, outlook, extensive operating ratios
  • 2023 ICF Global Coaching Study - Major Findings, PricewaterhouseCoopers Survey findings, consumer attitudes & awareness of coaching services, extensive metrics, no. of coaches and earnings by region, client profile, coach demographics, etc.
  • Results of 2020 ICF consumer awareness study, why people use coaches, why they don’t, their objectives, by sex, age
  • Profile of coaching users, by generation
  • Market $ size and projected growth, 2008-2019, 2020, 2021-2023, 2027 estimates & forecasts -
  • List of major coaching periodicals.


Estimated Value of U.S. vs. Global Coaching Industry ($ millions)

The Direct Response Market: Infomercials 

  • Discussion & analysis of infomercials as a sales/advertising medium, nature of the medium, mkt. size, why infomercials are popular, major product categories, production costs
  • Effects of the pandemic & recession on sales, why the market held up well in 2020, As Seen On TV
  • Demographic profile of infomercial buyers from: Electronic Retailing Assn. (by sex, age, income, why they buy, how much, how often, top motivating factors, DRTV demographics 
  • List of top 100 long and short-form infomercials, top 100 (Jordan Whitney) - show name, products, distributor
  • 2020-2027 Marketdata performance & growth forecast, historical share of total info. Sales by self-improvement programs, effects of weight loss drugs mkt. shift and the pandemic on sales of home exercise equipment 
  • List of top infomercial producers. 


  • Media billings, by product category: 2013-2023 (fitness, financial, personal development, exercise machines) 
  • Estd. $ mkt. size (retail sales) 2016-2023, by major categories (exercise equipment, diet plans, business/financial, general motivational) - self-improvement topic

The Self-Improvement Books Market and New Age Bookstores 

  • Status of book buying in 2020-2023 - Why book sales soared during the pandemic
  • Data from NPD Group (NPD Bookscan) and StatShot Annual Report
  • Discussion of recent self-help bestsellers, no of titles published, the importance of a book for gurus
  • List of bestselling self-improve. books in 2023, 2022, 2021, bestsellers by genre, e-books
  • Summary of “new age” bookstores mkt.: chains vs. independents, how many in the nation, products sold, growth, customers, specialties. estd. sales, share of sales by major topic
  • Marketdata and Simba Information $ estimates of size of self-improvement books mkt., 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020-2022, the major book distribution channels.
  • Discussion of increased focus by publishers on male and Millennial readers
  • Discussion/analysis of the diet books market, buyer demographics, what makes a bestseller, $ mkt. value


  • Monthly search volumes on Google & Amazon for 50 most well-known self-help books

The Self-Improvement Audiobooks Market 

  • Market status and growth (2011-2027 forecasts), strong unit sales growth in 2020-2022, buyer demographics, popularity rank for 14 topics, where audiobooks are purchased, segments, total audiobook sales vs. share for SI audiobooks, major competitors.
  • Latest 2020 APA consumer survey results on market growth, audiobook formats, sales trends, comparisons to earlier surveys, NPD Group survey findings
  • Consumer spending on audiobooks was very strong in 2020, discussion
  • Audiobook Buyer Demographics
  • Latest audiobook user surveys by Consumer Electronics Assn., APA, etc. (frequency of use, no. bought, where listened to, etc.) - why Marketdata estimates differ from APA’s
  • Self-improvement audiobooks mkt. size vs. total spoken audio mkt.


  • Estimated U.S. Retail Sales of All Audiobooks & self-improvement audiobooks: 2009-2027 F
  • Leading publishers address list (address, phone, key titles published): Harper Audio, Simon & Schuster, New Star, Nightingale-Conant, Random House, TIME Warner, etc.) 

Company profiles: Nightingale-Conant, Audible.com, Centerpointe Research Institute. 

Holistic Institutes & Training Organizations 

(Self-improvement workshops, seminars, courses, retreats, training organizations)

  • Nature of the market, status and 15 U.S. centers’ philosophies, course offerings and prices, enrollments, growth since 1960s, nonprofit/for-profit status, specializations, estd. & actual revenues/budgets, workshop topics in demand, mkt. size and 2023 forecasts. 
  • Status of the market: pandemic devastates most facilities closed by lockdowns 
  • Analysis of revenue growth of institutes vs. training organizations

In-depth Company Profiles 

Holistic Institutes

  • Descriptive profiles and background, sample courses, no. attendees, for leading facilities: Omega Institute, Esalen Institute, New York Open Center, Oasis Center, Naropa, Option Institute, Wainwright House - 2021 financial statements/budgets/expenses by type 

Training Organizations

  • Franklin-Covey Co. - profile, history, training/consulting vs. retail business, financials: 2008- 2023
  • Sandler Training - profile, services, history, estd. revenues, no of franchises 
  • Dale Carnegie Training - profile, services, history, estd. revenues, no of franchises
  • Toastmasters International - profile, services, history, actual revenues
  • Hay House - profile, services, history, estd. revenues.


  • Company Revenues: Holistic Institutes vs. training Organizations: 2013-2027 F
  • Address List of top centers in the U.S., directors’ names, estd. attendance for each center

The Public Seminars Market 

  • Discussion/analysis of large group vs. small group seminars, difference in cost structure, profitability, fees, individual speakers doing public seminars, mkt. size and status report, why this is a difficult model to make profitable, estd. mkt. size., IRS Form 990 fiscal 2016-2020 actual revenues/expenses/profit statements) 
  • Discussion: Pandemic’s effect on the market was significant, some shifted to virtual events


  • The Leading Public Seminar Competitors: Revenues for 2011-2022

Company Profiles: (Description of company operations, courses, specialties)

  • Fred Pryor/CareerTrack (Park University)
  • Learning Strategies Corp.
  • Skillpath Seminars (Graceland Univ.)
  • National Seminars Group (Rockhurst Univ.)
  • Landmark Education
  • Success Resources America (formerly: Peak Potentials)

Self-improvement Websites, Apps, Online Courses 

Status Report of The U.S. Weight Loss Market 

  • Summary/status of the industry in 2019-2020 - recent and emerging trends, Marketdata forecasts, why commercial diet companies held up better than medical programs in 2020
  • 2020 Performance of leading commercial, medical, online chains (Medifast, NutriSystem, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers - public & private companies)
  • Discussion of major industry trends, major mkt. developments since 2019
  • Reasons why commercial diet companies are growing again, untapped mkts., lack of customization, poor manage
  • 2020 performance of: commercial programs, medical programs
  • Discussion and $ size of the digital (virtual) weight loss market
  • Discussion of the weight loss apps market.


  • Marketdata estimates of the 10 major segments of the diet industry, $ values (1989 to 2020) - diet soft drinks, artificial sweeteners, health clubs, commercial programs, medical programs by type, low-cal foods, retail meal replacements, diet pills, diet books, etc.) 
  • Comparative $ size of commercial vs. medical weight loss programs markets
  • Revenues of commercial diet centers, market share of top chains (2010-2020).
  • The Largest U.S. Weight Loss Companies & Brands, By Sales: 2020
  • Revenues of the commercial weight loss chains: 1989-2025F.

Reference Directory of Information Sources 

  • (Names, addresses, phone, key contacts at relevant trade groups, journals, periodicals in the field) 

Companies Mentioned

  • Nightingale-Conant
  • Hay House
  • Landmark Worldwide
  • Skillpath
  • National Seminars Group
  • Fred Pryor/CareerTrack
  • Selfgrowth.com
  • Toastmasters
  • Dale Carnegie Associates
  • Franklin-Covey
  • Sandler Training
  • Omega Institute
  • Holistic Institutes
  • Robbins Research
  • The Chopra Center
  • Noom
  • Headspace
  • Calm
  • Internet program experts