by Rick Dunham, Founder+CEO
A recent study we conducted examined how media performs within the context of different generations, and how Christian media compares. We explored the most popular types of Christian media for each demographic, the four major reasons why each demographic tunes in, and how we should expect each demographic to consume Christian media in the future.
The Most Popular Types of Content Consumed
The first finding we found interesting was that about 50 percent of U.S. adults have tuned in to Christian content. That percentage equates to about 120 million people. This is quite significant!
Secondly, we found that music is the most likely to be consumed of all Christian media content. In fact, it’s nearly 40 percent compared to teaching, talk, and podcast radio.
Next, we found that about three out of ten adults use Christian media content regularly, meaning at least once a month. And again, of all the content, music is the most likely to be consumed regularly.
Fourthly, we found that teens and young adults are more likely to have listened to Christian music than other generations. The study shows that Christian music is consumed over 50 percent with teens, and just over 40 percent with young adults.
And finally, among adults, content most commonly consumed is music or TV programming, with just five percentage points difference. But among teens, music was by far the most recent Christian content consumed for about 42 percent and nothing else even came close.
Clearly, Christian music is something that’s very attractive to teens.
So why do they tune in?
We found four major reasons that adults engage in Christian content:
• Spiritual Growth
And when we asked that same question of teens, their answers were just the same. However, the teens’ desire to be inspired and encouraged rank exactly the same, whereas adults most of all want to be inspired.
So what’s the impact of Christian media? Among adults, about half felt more strongly about their faith and 26 percent wanted to discuss the content they were viewing or listening to with someone.
The teens felt almost as strongly about their faith as the adults, yet they were much more likely to discuss the content with someone.
Future trends in Christian media consumption
In this study, we asked how people consumed Christian content in the past five years. Both notional Christians and engaged followers consistently said they had increased their consumption of Christian content, especially Christian music. In contrast, non-believers said they decreased their consumption of Christian content, which shouldn’t be too surprising.
When we asked about the next five years, we found an almost exact trend in that notional Christians and engaged followers both said they were very likely to increase their consumption of Christian content.
Although the nonbelievers again said they would decrease in Christian media consumption, surprisingly, some said they intended to increase their consumption into the future.
The takeaway? Christian music is alive and well.
If these findings were helpful to you and you want to hear more about trends in Christian media consumption, be sure to check out our Dunham Institute course Consumer Engagement with Christian Media.
More Insights from Dunham+Company: “If You’re In Christian Media – You’re Shaping A Generation”
Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters. Contact Bethany Cranfield at 469-454-0100 to get more information.