Salem Media Group announced it will sell its Salem Church Products segment to Gloo for $30 million in an all cash deal that is expected to close November 1. “Salem Media Group is America’s leading multimedia company specializing in Christian and conservative content, with media properties comprising radio, digital media and book and newsletter publishing,” according to the deal’s press release. “Each day Salem serves a loyal and dedicated audience of listeners and readers numbering in the millions nationally.”
Religion is a driving force within the American economy. When asked “What is your present religion, if any?” by the Pew Research Center, 71% of Americans identify with a particular religion. While the number of Americans who respond as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular” to the question has risen quickly in recent years – from 16% in 2007 to 29% today – the United States remains among the most devout of all Western democracies.
According to Pew, “Americans pray more often, are more likely to attend weekly religious services and ascribe higher importance to faith in their lives than adults in other wealthy, Western democracies, such as Canada, Australia and most European states.” As of 2022, 63% of Americans identify as Christian.
Religion is a major source of the United States’ economic and social strength, according to a 2017 report from the World Economic Forum. In fact, studies have found that religion pumps $1.2 trillion in socio-economic value into the nation’s economy each year. “That is equivalent to being the world’s 15th-largest national economy, outpacing nearly 180 other countries and territories. It’s more than the global annual revenues of the world’s top 10 tech companies, including Apple, Amazon and Google.”
The country’s approximately 340,000 local congregations add an estimated $418 billion into the economy yearly as these churches, temples, chapels and other houses of worship “employ hundreds of thousands of staff and purchase billions worth of services in every corner and crossroads of the country’s urban and rural landscape.” For example, congregations’ schools employ 420,000 and educate 4.5 million students annually.
Another $303 billion per year flows from other religious institutions such as universities, hospitals, and charities. Finally, faith-based businesses contribute $437 billion each year into the economy. Salem Media and Gloo are seeking to thrive as part of this ecosystem. “Welcoming the Salem Church Products collection of brands to the Gloo platform will accelerate our ability to connect churches with a broad network of great products and producers in everything from Sunday weekend experiences, children’s resourcing, staffing and digital evangelism/discipleship,” according to Gloo’s CEO Scott Beck.