$580M in One Year — Multi-site Churches

featured-how-trendsAccording to research studying the 8,000 multi-site churches in America, 57 percent of them will launch an additional campus in the next 12 months and spend $580,549,500 on technology for those new multi-site venues.*

While I’ve written about the unique opportunities for A/V/L vendors in the fast-growing trend in multi-site churches (see HERE and HERE), I’ve compiled the most recent data and provide my trend analysis that should speak to the massive growth curve within this segment of the house of worship market. If your organization wants to learn how to generate new sales within this vertical, keep reading.

Quantifying the Multi-site Church Market

Because your marketing and sales teams make informed decision from useful data, here’s a quick snapshot of what the multi-site church market represents.

Multisite Churches Spend $580MM - Infographic

Mind. Blown. This ain’t your grandpa’s church market.

I have also written about the overall church market and provided other stats and trend analysis for rAVe, in case you’ve missed some background on just how large the house of worship market really is for A/V/L sales.

Qualifying the Multi-site Church Market

Multi-site churches are such a new, explosive segment of the market that it’s amazing to consider that in the 1990s there were less than 200 multi-site churches. Today, it’s over 8,000, and the research shows a 50 percent+ increase in the next 12 months!

This kind of growth is why, as the title states, there’s over $580 Million* in technology sales that will happen in those new church multi-site venues. But, don’t forget that half a billion dollars is only one portion of the church market. Consider also that the churches with existing multi-site will likely be making upgrades to existing campuses and the number jumps considerably. And, of course, these 12,500+ churches are only about 4 percent of the entire house of worship market!

Remembering that data that shows 52 percent of multi-site campuses are renting space and are in a portable set up/tear down venue, there’s a unique opportunity to think about how to market your existing technologies as they fit into a highly portable, fast setup environment. Rack-based, caster-mounted systems suddenly become awfully important for a lot of gear, leading to sales opportunities for well-designed plug-n-play systems that are easy for volunteers to set up and tear down with speed, efficiency and simplicity.

Consider as well that the majority of multi-site church venues have been around for less than four years, and the “ah-ha” moment for upgrading their initial purchases is both becoming necessary due to significant increases in technology and the chance to replace gear that’s been worn hard in portable venues. It’s not even a small stretch to see that over a billion dollars of technology could likely be purchased just within the multi-site church venues over the next 12 months*. Plus, as of the date of this writing, there are many churches that start a new fiscal budget year in September or October (coinciding with back-to-school attendance increases), and the time to aggressively market to this subsection of the church vertical market is now.

A Unique Need for Video

Interestingly, the majority of multi-site churches (69 percent) use pre-recorded video teaching for the sermon. I don’t have the exact breakdown of the various methodologies, but I can say that these are largely represented through:

  • Sneaker-net — Physically delivering content on a hard drive, hard drive, tape (BetacamSP, DVCam, DVCPro, etc.) or laptop computer.
  • File-sharing — Dropbox or Google Drive or even a hosted server for uploading video content to be pulled down and used on servers/computers at the multi-site venue.
  • Streaming — Hosted content streamed in real-time, but recorded on a drive or deck for time-shifted playback.

Many churches I know have struggled with the complexity of time-shifted playback. They don’t understand the technology for encoding, syncing and playing back content that’s as simple as the DVR they use at home on their televisions. This is a HUGE opportunity for manufacturers and systems integrators to provide turn-key, volunteer-friendly technology solutions that address this very real need in multi-site churches.

This is a unique window of opportunity and it represents a significant increase in the adoption of more sophisticated A/V/L technologies. Will your firm be able to make the most of a possible billion dollar wave of spending in the House of Worship market?

Are you currently selling to multi-site churches? Comment below.

*NOTE: Research from Leadership Network, Generis, Outreach Magazine, Barna Research and Anthony Coppedge