Saturday, October 17, 2020

State of the Bible Software Market

Nice report by Lauren Hunter on Church Tech Today. She notes the recent report of HarperCollins splitting off OliveTree (which is somewhat of a matter of returning to its roots). 

I can confirm that in my situation (United Lutheran Seminary), we have gone from encouraging Bible software to requiring it. We are using the Accordance Greek & Hebrew Discover which we can get at an institutional discount, though I still use BibleWorks (!) and Logos for certain tasks. It's always a trick getting everyone up to speed using the software, but I have managed to do so, even in a fully online setting during this pandemic times. 

I'm on the board of 1517 Media (Fortress Press, AugsburgFortress, Broadleaf), and I'm not divulging any secrets by reporting that hardcopy book sales have been remarkably strong for 1517 and similar publishers. (Congregational resources have taken a hit with so many churches no longer meeting physically, however.) Do people getting tired of looking at screens and Zooming all the time and want the comfort of holding a book in their hands? Whatever the case, I know my students will not give up their Bible software once they see how useful it is. And when it's available across many platforms including their phones, it does become not just useful but essential.

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