State of Udemy 2020

As people and businesses across the world turn to online learning to help adapt to ongoing COVID-19 challenges, our mission to improve lives through learning has never been more important. From students continuing their studies, to displaced workers picking up new skills, to businesses moving their operations online for the first time, more people than ever before are counting on your knowledge to keep them moving forward.

We’ve made immediate adjustments to support all these new learners, and we’re still building for the long term. Here’s what you can expect from us in 2020.

Welcoming new learners the right way

At Udemy LIVE 2019, we shared that we’d begun to build partnerships with trusted global brands to get more people learning on Udemy. This includes distribution agreements like Flipkart, which lets learners in India purchase courses directly on the trusted ecommerce site, with new payout methods. In 2020, we’ll deepen our investment in strategies that get your courses in front of more learners through more channels.

We’ll also invest in greater personalization, not just to help students find courses for purchase, but to help them engage with the courses they already have. By taking into account students’ unique profiles — their language, topic affinities, device preference, learning habits, and more — we can help them make learning a powerful habit, and ensure your courses are trusted go-tos for achieving their goals.

And we’ll keep expanding and honing the pricing approach we first began in 2018, using marketplace data to determine the best price range for courses in Udemy Deals to drive sustainable growth. As we announced a few weeks ago, this will now include testing and determining appropriate list prices for different markets. It will also include more and more targeted promotions in different countries as we tune the systems to support a truly global marketplace.

Evolving the learning experience

As millions of new learners get their start on Udemy, we want to ensure they’re set up for success right away.

In 2020, we’ll focus on the learning experience. We’re adding new programming languages to the Coding Exercise feature, and we’ll introduce ways for students to track their learning progress. We’ll also test new learning features such as occupation-level skill assessments and improved opportunities for skills practice on the Udemy platform.

We’ll also continue to explore how subscriptions can drive lifelong learning. We already have clear proof of the value of a subscription model in Udemy for Business, which continues to grow rapidly as we invest in it. We believe there’s untapped value in opening up subscription options for individual students. We launched an early version of an IT certification subscription in November 2019 with Udemy Pro. We’ll continue to pilot and explore topic-specific subscription offerings in 2020.

Building and scaling for the long term

As shelter-in-place orders were issued around the world in March, everyday traffic to began to surpass seasonal peaks like Black Friday. We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to deliver critical systems upgrades to ensure everyone can browse, purchase, learn, and teach without interruption. This year, we’ll take on additional projects to increase our efficiency and ensure smooth operations as we scale.

This systems work includes a few important upgrades for instructors. For one, we’ll implement direct bank transfer as a payout option, first in the United States and eventually with global banking partners. We’ll also be introducing security measures like new password strength requirements. And finally, we’ll undergo a careful review of our refund policy and deliver improvements to curb misuse of the system, while ensuring that learners can still explore risk-free.

We’re in this for the long haul.

Just this January, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of Udemy’s founding. We’ve grown from just a handful of instructors teaching a few hundred students to thousands of you teaching millions of students. Udemy’s mission to improve lives through learning has never been more vital than during today’s challenging times. As we face the challenges posed by the current moment in time, we’re building for the next ten years and beyond. We’re proud to be building with you, and we can’t wait to see what you create next with us.