Gaiam (pronounced "guy-um"), is a fusion of the words "Gaia" and "I am". Gaia, mother Earth, was honored on the Isle of Crete in ancient Greece 5,000 years ago by the Minoan civilization. The concept of Gaia stems from the ancient philosophy that the Earth is a living entity.
Gaiam was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 1988 by Jirka Rysavy. His vision was to serve the "conscious consumer", a group subsequently named the "Cultural Creatives" by sociologist Paul Ray in 1996: educated consumers who make purchasing decisions based on their values. Paul Ray now serves on Gaiam's board of directors.
Originally a catalog business, Gaiam now has products in stores worldwide.
In 2003, it bought a 50.1% share in its UK distributor Leisure Systems International (LSI). LSI subsequently changed its name to Gaiam Ltd. In May 2008 however the UK directors of Gaiam Ltd bought back their share of the business and changed the company name again to HAB International Ltd.
In 2001 Gaiam merged with Real Goods Solar, a California-based company specializing in the production and distribution of solar power systems, other renewable energy equipment, and off-grid/sustainable living products.
In 2005, Gaiam acquired the media assets of GoodTimes Entertainment Inc and Jetlag Productions which included brands such as GT Xpress, The Firm and Billy Blanks. Gaiam has been known to attempt to market cheap knock-off products, such as a Vídeo Brinquedo DVD entitled The Frog Prince (2009), an imitation of Walt Disney Pictures' The Princess and the Frog (2009), under the name of the former GoodTimes brand, even when this company has no association with the production or the product itself.
Gaiam launched Real Goods in 2008 to provide "off grid living" items like solar power invertors and tankless water heaters.
In 2012, Gaiam acquired a DVD distributor from Universal Music Group Distribution (a subsidiary of Vivendi) and merged it with its home entertainment division, forming Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment.
In 2011 Gaiam, Inc announced the launch of Gaiam TV, a streaming video subscription service offering streaming of over 5,000 films and documentaries dedicated to yoga, fitness, conscious media, personal growth and spirituality. Many of the titles in GaiamTV's library feature respected experts and individuals, such as Rodney Yee, Edward Group, and Jillian Michaels, as well as Deepak Chopra and The Dalai Lama.
In December 2012 GaiamTV.com announced a new original show with George Noory, host of radio's Coast to Coast AM. The new show covers many of the topics such as psychic vampires, privacy issues, and topics that generally fall outside of what mainstream media will cover.
Similar to other streaming video services, Gaiam TV is available on a variety of platforms including Roku, iPad, and iPhone.
- 'Gaiam Third Child of Entrepreneur Rysavy,' Boulder County Business Report, November 1, 1998, p. 1.
- Ray, P. H. (2001). The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World. New York: Broadway
- Gaiam, Inc. (2003). 10-K Annual Report 2003. Retrieved December 20, 2012 from Gaiam Corporate Website
- 'Gaiam, Real Goods to Merge,' Denver Post, October 17, 2000, p. C2.
- Gaiam closes GoodTimes Entertainment Deal at $35M". Denver Business Journal. 9-14-2005. Retrieved 12-20-2012.
- "Gaiam, Zaadz, LIME Media & Conscious Enlightenment Create Unified Source for LOHAS". Bloomberg. 6-6-2007. Retrieved 12-20-2012
- Zaadz: Green Living Social Network Acquired". Mashable. 6-6-2007. Retrieved 12-20-2012
- Gaiam Completes Acquisition of Vivendi Entertainment Creating Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment, the Nation’s Largest Independent Content Distributor - MarketWatch
- "Gaiam Acquires Vivendi Entertainment: Deal creates major indie distrib of nontheatrical content". Variety Magazine. 4-3-2012. Retrieved 12-20-2012
- Gaiam, Inc (2011). 10-K Annual Report 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2012 from Gaiam Corporate Website.
- "George Noory's Online TV Show Launches December 14th". All Access. 12-11-2012.