Game Changer: Udemy and the Mass Market Age of Online Learning

Posted on Posted in Lean Management, Team Development, Team Leadership

UdemyUdemy has just changed the game for professional training and development. Today Udemy made an announcement that has shaken up the online learning world and caused us to re-evaluate the nature of the online learning marketplace. It will require every other online platform (Lynda, Teachable, etc.) to rethink their pricing strategy. This is great news for consumers of professional learning.

Beginning April 4th all courses on Udemy will be priced no higher than $50 and no less than $20 (regardless of size or quality) and discount coupons may not exceed 50% of the listed price. This ends a flood of $9 coupons for $200 courses and stabilizes pricing. But, how will potential customers view the value of courses priced at these prices?

My two comprehensive courses (Team Leadership and Agile Strategy Execution) each took a good six months of work to construct and represent my learning and experience over many years. They are each 16 to 18 hours of lecture with several books worth of written material included. Honestly, I thought the previous $299 price of each was cheap! So, my initial reaction was a bit of shock.

For those of you who may not be aware, Udemy is becoming the market leader, the YouTube, Amazon or Facebook, of online learning. This year alone the number of enrolled Udemy students have increased from five million to ten million. They are shooting for 50 million students worldwide. They have more than 30,000 course covering everything from meditation to corporate strategy.

As we authors discussed the pricing strategy in the Faculty Lounge (a Facebook page) I became more comfortable with the idea and accepting of their research that led to their decision. They know the price points at which students buy and they know that there was too much discounting, too many “offers”, and too much confusion. Now it will be much simpler. I have gone ahead and changed my prices to the new pricing standards.

What does this mean for you as a corporate change agent? It means you can much more easily make use of courses like mine, for a larger number of people, with less strain on the budget, and integrate them as a component or resource to more traditional training models. There is no reason why my Team Leadership course, that is a comprehensive course on lean and leadership skills, cannot be made available to all team leaders in your organization.

As of today, I have almost two thousand students from 103 different countries. I would love to see enrollment in my courses grow significantly at these lower prices, and particularly in the less developed world where the access to professional development is more limited.

See my Online Learning page that describes each of my courses and the new pricing and please let me know if you have any questions.

4 thoughts on “Game Changer: Udemy and the Mass Market Age of Online Learning

  1. Greg, good question. What I have done is to split out “sub-courses.” My course on Leadership and Life Cycles is a component of my Agile Strategy Course. My course on problem solving, facilitation skills and motivation are all components of my Team Leadership course. So, I am offering those at a lower price. I view this all as an experiment. All of us who are going down this path of online learning are trying to figure out both the content and delivery side, technically how to do it well; and the business side of how to price, what platform to offer the courses on, etc. By no means do I think I have figured it out.


  2. Larry,

    I have taken many Coursera and Udemy courses in the past 2 years. I have taken 6 courses in Agile and Scrum alone (not including yours) in the past 3 months. Your course is by far the more superior in terms of videos quality and instructional format. I completed another course called “Understanding Agile in Deeper Level” at Udemy. This class has great quality that comes very close to your videos. As a continuing education learner, I am very impressed with Udemy for recruiting instructors like you. One thing that I have realized is the low price that was offered to students in the past 6 months. I was one of the lucky ones to pick up some amazing courses at Udemy. I also recognize that most instructors at Udemy are not here to earn big bucks either.

    Because Udemy is not well recognized institution, students like me cannot use the courses for any accreditation. I can mention that I got training from taking the courses. I am about to get certified in Scrum Master and Product Owner with Scrum Alliance. Each course is about $1400. In order for Udemy to compete and reward the instructors at Udemy, it almost needs to be recognized by the industries that reward Udemy for its achievement. I know that it would have caused lots of money to take your online training courses if it was offered at other institutions. Your knowledge in Agile and Lean is undeniable awesome. I am sure that many would benefit greatly from taking your courses. Your courses can easily break down into 4 small courses. Perhaps, that will give you more profits. However, I believe this strategy may decrease the quality of learning for the students because your entire course is so well-structured to link each components.

    Anyway, it is just my thought. Perhaps, Udemy may streamline its processes to make it more competitive to benefit both students and instructors. Thank you for producing such amazing courses. I feel that I have struck Gold for finding your 2 courses.


  3. Wesley,

    Thank you for the positive feedback. I absolutely agree that there needs to be some way to recognize students who both take these courses and who apply them in their work. I am speaking with the Udemy for Business folks about how we might do that. I am focused on creating another course at the moment (Creating Wealth) and after that I really want to focus on this issue.

    Thanks again,

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