Family Christian will relaunch as a digital platform through a merger announced this week by the Giving Company.
The merger puts Family Christian under the same umbrella as iDisciple, Christian Cinema and Dove.org.
The global faith and family media network will serve the 90 million faith-oriented families in the U.S. and millions more around the world, according to a release. The Giving Company has also formed iDisciple Publishing, a division that will release premium nonfiction books with an exciting range of authors serving the Christian community.
CEO David Henriksen spoke with Charisma News about the merger:
How did you decide on these particular brands to come under one umbrella? Family Christian and iDisciple have been together for many years. The customers for Family Christian historically have been interested in Christian movies along with music and Bibles. Adding Christian Cinema and Dove provided compelling premium content for existing audiences.
What benefits do the individual brands get by coming together? There are some operational efficiencies that come with bringing multiple brands together into a single operation: IT, sales, customer service, accounting and so on. But the main benefit is the immediate opportunity to have an expanded audience to serve. The users of the individual brands are responding well to the other content sources.
Why relaunch Family Christian in this way? What happened to the stores was really unfortunate for everyone involved. We believe we understand this audience well, at least the eCommerce and digital users, and want to continue to meet their needs. Working with publishers, authors, music labels, and movie studios—our intention is to provide them a great digital experience that includes content and eCommerce.
How will these brands share content? There will be some minimal content sharing, but most content will be exclusive to each brand. The TVOD platform is Christian Cinema, the devotional platform is iDisciple, the women and family site is Family Christian and the movie reviews are on Dove.org. But—there are always opportunities to allow each audience to access common content that is relevant and compelling for all. Devotionals, movies reviews and sermons are examples.
Why merge these brands? We have a better opportunity to give. Giving is in our name because we want to be ferocious givers of life-changing content to digital consumers around the world. We also enhance our scale which will allow us to achieve our mission of supporting charities that serve the marginalized around the world as well.
How can people sign up? Currently, users sign up with the individual brands. In the future, we will introduce a Giving Membership that allows access to premium content for all properties from a single sign-up.
What will it cost them? Cost varies by brand due to the diversity of each brand's product. Dove.org content is entirely free as will be Family Christian once it relaunches. iDisciple has both a free version and a $4.99/month premium version. Christian Cinema is a digital on-demand transactional platform that allows user to rent or buy digital movies, where rental and purchases prices can vary.
What Scriptures have influenced this process? Everyone who is part of Giving Company has a passion for giving. We are guided by Acts 20:35 (NIV) which states " In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
How have you prayed about this merger? As a company, we pray together every morning at 9 a.m. We are constantly seeking wisdom and guidance for all of our activities. We also pray for our team and we are so fortunate to have added Suzy Sammons, Bobby Downes, Jared Geesey, Debbie Korte, Peter Pallock and Doug Weiss to our organization.
What has the Holy Spirit told you about the merger? The Holy Spirit has told us to not fear. We have gone from a company with one product (iDisciple) and one channel (Family Christian) to a global media company with multiple brands and businesses. It is new and fresh to everyone but our team is so aligned around our mission that we are excited about the future plans the Lord has for us and our business partners.
How can people get a Giving Membership? Giving Membership with launch in October 2018 as a replacement to the current iDisciple Premium subscription and will initially be available only through iDisciple. Throughout 2019 we plan to expand the Giving Membership to encompass all the brands but also allow users to sign-up at the brand level or at givingcompany.com.
Please go to givingcompany.com to see everything that we have become and have to offer!
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