Building for the future: upcoming changes to instructor business terms

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Building for the future: upcoming changes to instructor business terms

Abbie
Community Moderator
Community Moderator

Hi all,

 

As we look to continue to grow the Udemy platform in 2021 and beyond, we're making updates to the Instructor Terms and Promotions Policy. This includes an expansion of the terms of the Udemy for Business subscription program in April, and a simplified marketplace revenue share model in May.

 

It's important to note that we don't expect any of these changes to have a pronounced impact on instructors' business in the short term. In the long term, they'll enable Udemy to keep growing the potential audience for your content, and growing the potential of your businesses with it.

 

We encourage you to read the full update in the Teaching Center, or to peruse the upcoming Terms or Promotions Policy.

 

If you have questions about these updates or the strategy behind them, please feel free to ask them below.

156 Comments

@debra1111 ...  well, I would consider a strategy change that results in courses no longer being promoted individually to be pretty significant - at least to anyone who is currently benefiting from such advertising - which was my point.  

like I said, YMMV.

 

I do not think I explained it too well on my pervious comment so I will give it another go:

 

Here is the deal:

1) Sales from the Ad and Affiliate programs are occasionally being counted as organic sales (due to cookies expiring, etc...)

2) Udemy is planning on increasing their marketing efforts on channels that can only bring in organic sales (i.e. TV ads) and cannot be tracked/counted as Ad/affiliate sales.

 

Now, if you calculate the revenue percentage from all your sales (organic, ad and affiliate) you will see that it equals 37%.

 

Do you see where i am going with this?

 

With the new marketing efforts, the percentage of organic sales will increase. Meaning that if you were to calculate that percentage (37%) when these marketing efforts start, you would find out that it is much higher (depending on how effective those marketing efforts are) , because organic sales account for a higher percentage (50%).

 

So this could have been lets say a hypothetical 45%.

But Udemy will only be giving you 37% instead of the hypothetical 45% that they would have given you with the current revenue share.

 

By changing the revenue share now, Udemy, eventually gets to pocket that difference (45 - 37 = 8% hypothetically).

 

Moral of the story:

This only benefits them and they are trying to make it seem like it doesn't.

If you want my recommendation, start working on your own website/business so that you are not bound to the decisions of anybody.

So if I would like to make decent money I must promote my own courses, which also means that your platform... What a business opportunity for you.

 

You state that you'll spend more on an advertisement. Yes, so you'll generate more traffic to the top 5% while you're taking 13% from the rest of the instructors.

Fair point @debra1111! You are in a great niche and so the revenue will certainly be on the higher side.. And numbers don't lie... I ran them too... So far historical numbers suggest an increase of 2%-4% with this new change (like @Thor mentioned).. Positively looking forward for this change... Wooohoooo!

@Wolf2k21is predicting a future that may never be true...  but he did say that his numbers were also positive :)

@Rahul Iyer ... It's not a prediction. The actual announcement indicates as much. I feel like there are many folks who didn't actually read the announcements (or maybe don't understand them). There is a ton of focus on the instructor share, but very little attention is being paid to the very significant plan to change how paid ads are run....

Right from the announcement:

"The old model disproportionately encouraged investment in short-term, conversion-driven marketing. We want to invest in promising new channels that drive long-term value but don’t necessarily result in immediate sales, such as TV advertising or category-level promotions."

 

@NunoFonseca Please do not write things I did not say. I do not think anybody here is dumb or sleeping. It is an American phrase of stressing out. 

Thor
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@SandorSzekeres 
I don't think so, I have never spent any money on promoting my Udemy courses, I have spent time on building my own tribe on Facebook/Discord.
Now mostly my students do my advertising by recommending me and I use my promos twice a month. 


LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Observation: How people react to this change is almost a psychological test: high trust versus low trust. Looking at the same facts, some assume Udemy is working in our interest and some assume Udemy is trying to screw us.

Part of this is cultural and part of it is simply our experience in business, and in particular the business of creating and selling intellectual property. Some people think that Udemy taking 50% and now 37% is ripping us off. 

In all intellectual property business there are essentially two sides: the creative side and the marketing/distribution side. Some think, if I sold and marketed it myself I could make 100% of the revenue (not really because there are always costs). This is about like saying if I write a book and print it myself, I can stand on the corner and sell it and make 100%. True. But, 100% of what?  Book publishing is a volume game. High volume you make money, low volume you lose money.

 

When you sign a contract with a publisher, as an author, do you know what percent of the sales you are agreeing to: (footnote - I have published eleven books) the answer is 15-20% of the proceeds to the publisher, which is 40% off the selling price (the store gets the 40%) so the author ends up with closer to 10-15%. Of course, both the publisher and store are going to promote books that are most likely to sell and that means authors who have previous success, a following, and on topics that are popular. This means that the majority of authors will make no money on their book, even though it may be brilliant and they may have worked on it for years. If you look at the music business or the art world, you will find very similar dynamics. 

 

So, my perspective when I view this change is to think about the affect on volume. I am happy to take a reduction in % if it results in an equal or greater increase in volume. That is what happened with the UFB reduction a few years ago. Let's hope it happens again. 

 

 

@ThorI didn't mean spending money on ads. I meant YT channel, blog posts, promotional emails, community. But I guess you also get a decent amount from Udemy discovery, search and some from Affiliate.

Here are the enrollments by channel for eg.: Cybersecurity:

2021-03-16 22_09_00-Online Courses - Anytime, Anywhere _ Udemy — Mozilla Firefox.png

So if I understand the upcoming changes correctly the money from Udemy discovery and search and some of the outside sources will decrease by 13%. BUT income from ads and affiliates will increase by 13%.

 

So instructors in Cybersecurity will make 13% more on 3.7% and 13% less on around 95% of their income.

Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

You know it's funny because we can't really do anything. You can play by the rules defined by Udemy or you can leave the platform.

Is the affiliate system going away or is it changing? @KatieBent 

Another point is how much % chances that the course being promoted via ads/affiliates is the one who is getting sold ?

 

Cookie period is 7 days for ads and affiliates.

I am Udemy affiliate as well, so I have that data with me and it happened to me that the course I promoted does not get sold but after 3-4 days other 5 courses got sold !!!!

 

Combining instructor and affiliate data will give completely different picture.

 

I know now promotion will be by category. But affiliate will promote the particular course only.

KatieBent
Community Manager
Community Manager

@SandorSzekeres - It's much more than just the top 5% of instructors who benefit from Udemy's paid channels. If you're opted into the Marketing Boost program, you'll have visibility into which of your sales are driven by ads, affiliates & external partners today in your revenue report. As a very rough rule, if you currently earn about half as much from ad, affiliate, and external partner sales as you do from "organic" sales, your effective share will not change when the new system is implemented.

 

To the graph you posted, I'm touching base with our product team to understand what sorts of filters might be applied to the data you see on the Marketplace Insights tool (e.g. only certain channels, a certain time window, etc.). Though each topic will have a different distribution of channels, based on overall trends I think it's really unlikely that Cyber Security courses as a whole only receive 4% of sales via ads and affiliates.

 

@JohnBura  - Affiliates aren't going away. They'll continue to be paid as a marketing cost on Udemy's side. We'll keep evolving our tracking to ensure affiliates are credited for sales they drive.

 

 

KatieBent
Community Manager
Community Manager

@Julian and  @Wolf2k21  - Thanks for continuing to engage here. I wanted to clear up two things about our marketing strategy that are relevant to points you've raised.

 

First, @Wolf2k21, we're definitely not doing away with course-level marketing. We're looking at broadening the toolkit, not swapping one tool for another. The push to enable more "top of funnel" channels like TV or category-level promotions isn't meant to replace tried-and-true strategies such as individual course placements on search engines, social media platforms, and affiliate websites. We still expect to invest a lot in those channels. We just want to be sure we can also take a more long-term, holistic approach to marketing, which includes enabling more investment in channels like brand advertising that are incompatible with today's revenue share model.

 

Second, @Julian,  the goal behind this change is continue to grow the platform with and for instructors. Your hypothetical doesn't quite make sense, because if we didn't make this change, we wouldn't invest in those channels that would drive up "organic" sales. As cookies continue to be deprecated, we we also would likely have to reduce investment in other advertising channels for the same reason. We can't spend advertising dollars that don't bring a sustainable return.

 

You will obviously be able to judge the results for themselves as 2021 moves forward. But I did want to clarify those two pieces -- that we'll still be advertising plenty on a course level, and that the change is designed to maintain instructor share while growing collective revenue, not to shift share from one party to another.

@KatieBent My main area is academic studies/science. Although this area doesn't have a high demand, if a course stands outs, it received more traffic (at least i think). Now with the traffic distributted by category, i think this will have a negative impact on most of my courses, because even if one of my courses in this area (science/academic studies) stands out, it won't receive as much traffic because of the share destined to the category as a hole...

KatieBent
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi @GuilhermeMP ,

 

To be really clear, we're not doing away with course-level marketing. We will continue to promote individual courses as they're relevant to new student audiences, like we do today. We will also expand some of the efforts we've begun in brand or platform-level advertising, such as TV. It's a question of investing in the full marketing "funnel," from the moment a student becomes aware of Udemy (and learns to pronounce it! Smiley Very Happy ) all the way to purchasing a specific course. 

 

The category-level promotion was given as one example. It definitely isn't meant to represent the singular future of Udemy's marketing investments. I hope this helps.

After 8 years of partnering with Udemy, I haven’t yet known a money related change, like this, that didn’t later equate to further significant growth in sales, new instructor attraction and student increase.

 

As with every post of this nature, complainers will complain, and someone always says “Udemy is screwing us” - at this stage of Udemy’s journey, certainly isn’t necessary to suggest.

 

As it’s also been said many times in the past, no-one has to be here, and no-one has to host their training materials on this Udemy marketplace platform.

 

I for one will be going nowhere, continuing to upgrade my curriculums, and like many others, also look forward to experiencing ongoing growth throughout the rest of the 2020’s - as the time for innovating and making improvements with online business is now.

 

Those who need complain, I implore you, go build your own platform and drive your own marketing efforts - if your products are strong, you’ll do great, however, If you’re 100% reliant on Udemy to build your business - there’s an old saying; “beggars can’t be choosers” - so take George Michael’s advice, and have a little faith! ;):thumbs_up:

@KatieBent  Thank you for the answer. I also wonder if Udemy will turn 100% into a subscription system like Skillshare if the 'pilot study' performs well, by the end of the year. I'm worried about it, because I've started to gain traction just recently, and a 100% subscription system would have the potential to negatively affect my sales.

Or, Kain, if you don’t like to read the complaints, you could just as easily scroll on by, right?

 

I mean, this is a forum, where people get to express their thoughts.  Right?

 

I swear, some of you act like your uncle or parent is the owner of Udemy. You get personally offended when someone criticizes the platform. If you don’t like what another poster has to say, move on. That’s how forums work.  Unless someone is insulting someone, I don’t see the problem. 

if you have a forum filled with cheerleaders, nothing would ever change.  

Seriously man, let people vent. Let them voice their concerns. Being on the platform doesn’t mean you can’t complain about things you don’t like. 

It doesn’t appear that this change will affect me personally all that much, but why would I want to shut down those who it may affect? It’s just as easy for you to leave the forum if you don’t like the complaints. Heck, I’ve left several times (only came back to see info about this specific change). And I’ll leave again after this change has been fleshed out. 

@Abbie @KatieBent 

As per these new terms, it seems a little confusing that how it's going to be beneficial to the instructors. Keeping rate change aside, nowhere we can see the reason that why this change is forced. 

 

If it's made 37%, in case of AFFILIATE SALE, Udemy will still receive 48% (more than instructors) and affiliates receive 15%. And in case of ORGANIC SALE, now Udemy enjoys 63%.

 

In organic sale, a lot of existing and satisfied students enroll in various courses by searching them on platform, where Udemy doesn't need to pay a single penny for marketing.

But instructors do have to spend their time, money and energy in creating such valuable courses. For such transactions also if Udemy gets almost 1.7 times (63%) of what instructors gets(37%) that too without much effort, seems a bit unfair to instructors.

 

We are not completely against this new change but it would be great to know some more details about this that how will it be a win win situation for all of us.

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@EdSolverLearn The simple answer is volume, volume, and more volume. The point is for Udemy to increase marketing efforts and bring in more students. The calculations really don't mean much unless you can calculate the amount of increased volume. The way you are calculating is assuming a fixed volume. But, the whole point is to increase that volume in a way that more than balances the change in percent. 

 

@LawrenceMMiller I understand the volume game but every time its not the only way to boost. If that's the case then make course price as INR 99 ($1.37). Udemy has lot of students from India so it will surely increase volume but the question is why to do this ?

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@Alfa-eLearning I didn't suggest volume at any price. Obviously you don't want that. You should know that over the past two years the average revenue per student has been going up and that is due to the very analytic way Udemy goes about marketing. When was the last time you saw a $9.99 sale? Of course, the idea is to increase volume at the same or higher price.

 

 

I think this a great idea. Based on last months data I will be 2% in the negative.

 

But if Udemy will get into other marketing strategies, then this can be significant ! Based on the information, it looks like if your percentage of sales from Udemy Organic is 64.86%, then you will be even. 

 

Absolute worst case (N = 100) : -26% ( All your sales comes from Udemy Organic)

Absolute happy case (N = 0) : +48% ( no sales come from Udemy Organic)  

 

Did some elementary Algebra. :)  This may help others. 

Lets say N% of your revenue come from Udemy Organic, then you will be positive or negative by  (48 - 37N/50) % points  ( depends if the value is positive or negative)

 

Hope I got this right this time. 

 

@LawrenceMMiller Udemy is trying to sell at some high price but don't forget taxes from various countries. 15% US tax, 18% GST from India and same kind of taxes from other countries. So at the end it is almost same revenue.

 

Earlier $9.99 sale from US was giving $5 revenue and now $11.99 sale is giving $5.1.

 

In same way earlier INR 360 was giving $2.5 revenue and now INR 455 is giving revenue as $2.66.

BEFORE:

your course is sold at $10.

you get $5, udemy take $5.

SOON:

your course is sold at $10.

you get $3.70, udemy take $6.30

 

WOW:

couldn’t get anymore seamless :>

Wolf, you might get taken more seriously once you learn how to interact more maturely and respectfully with people in this forum.

I'm really wondering if you guys ran the numbers.

I did the math and with the new percentage allocation, my income would have increased by 2.3% in January and by 0.3% in February.

So yes, for me at least, it will not cause significant changes in my revenue.

Scenario 1:

 

Let's say you get $400 from paid and $400 from organic, a total of $800.

 

Paid: This will go up from $400 to $592 (from 25% to 37% - this is 400/25*37).

Organic: This will go down from $400 to $296 (from 50% to 37% - this is 400/50*37).

Total: This will go up from $800 to $888, an increase of 11%.

Scenario 2:

 

Let's say you get $400 from paid and $200 from organic, a total of $600.

 

Paid: This will go up from $200 to $296 (from 25% to 37% - this is 200/25*37).

Organic: This will go down from $400 to $296 (from 50% to 37% - this is 400/50*37).

Total: This will go up from $600 to $592, a decrease of $8.

 

Other scenarios are available. Why not put your numbers in this calculation to see what might happen?

 

I hope this helps.

 

@Ryan if its from US then it will be $3.15 revenue and fact is some students think with this amount they have hired personal tutor.

SharonRamel
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

Great to see it simplified, especially with Google phasing out cookies. I just did the math over a six month period to remove major sales pulls and I am slightly better overall - around 2%.

@PhillipBurton both the scenarios you took are applicable when ads/affiliates earning is equal or greater than organic.

 

For scenario 1, $400 is revenue so actually $1600 total sales from ads/affiliates and $800 sales from organic. Now just swap these numbers i.e $1600 sales from organic and $800 from ads/affiliates, so as per current your revenue will be $800 + $200 = $1000 which is less than $888

 

For scenario 2, $1600 total sales from ads/affiliates and $400 sales from organic. Seems like you have swapped numbers while doing calculation. So with new system it will be $2000*0.37 = $740.

 

My point here is, it all depends on how much gap you have between organic and ads+affiliates. The more organic then chances are more that it will be more drop in revenue. But if new marketing can fill that gap then it will be minimal impact.

 

With Ads/affiliates you may see high revenue but that does not mean its just because course is promoted. It may happen existing Udemy students land on Udemy from paid ad of other course and they do not buy anything. Now after 3-4 days they directly hit Udemy URL and buy your course by searching. This will still count as ad sale and NOT as organic.

Just ran the numbers, and it looks like I'll be losing $300-500 per month with this change. That being said, that's only the case if the number of sales don't increase. That's the whole point of this (at least officially), so I hope that will indeed be the case. Logically I like the simpler revenue share. Financially, I'm 20% skeptical but Udemy has earned 80% of my trust over the years. Even if I lose a few hundred dollars per month, I am confident that Udemy will be able to grow my revenue over time. So yeah, we'll see. I'm sure I'll be alright personally.

@KatieBent  Please could you clarify this , thank you

"On May 3, the Marketing Boost Program will be retired, and we’ll open up the opportunity for direct paid advertising to all courses on Udemy."

@Kain_Ramsay im well aware of my tone. TBH, I don’t see a problem with it. It was rather tame - and do you really think I care if some rando on an Internet forum “takes me seriously”?  

I’ll repeat my point: If you don’t like reading people complaining about changes that might affect their income, you can leave the forum or you can scroll on by, just as easily as they can leave the platform, as you suggested. 

 

Enough with the “if you don’t like every single thing Udemy does, you can leave” nonsense. It’s dismissive. 

 

I find it interesting that you think that much of yourself that you feel you speak for everyone here. That’s a pretty high horse you are sitting on.

 

Also, it appears I’m taken plenty seriously by other instructors:

 

 

CD1B2832-3501-4BBD-ADAC-EE4541EF3A58.jpeg

 

 

 

 

1. I would like clarity on this also:

"On May 3, the Marketing Boost Program will be retired, and we’ll open up the opportunity for direct paid advertising to all courses on Udemy."

 

2. I would also like to see an emphasis on Udemy promoting all courses equally, a level playing field is fundamental to instructor trust...

 

3. My thoughts are also that the industry standard at the moment is 50% revenue split, so Udemy will be taking a higher revenue share at 37% in the industry, the justification being they need a higher split to invest in marketing and growth, lets just hope that in Udemy's desire for growth and brand awareness, instructors don't get left behind...

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@MarkTimberl006 Just on your second point: No retail marketing organizations promotes all courses equally. They promote those products that have the highest probability of appealing to customers and making money. Let's be honest. A lot of courses on Udemy are horrible and shouldn't be promoted at all. Do you want money shifted from marketing your best selling courses to courses that won't and shouldn't sell?

 

 

FrankKane
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

To those saying this only benefits top instructors... well, I'm one of them, and I actually stand to lose a few percent in my revenue because I do unusually well on organic sales today.

 

But I'm not freaking out about it, because I'm confident Udemy will grow more than a few percent to more than make up for it.

 

It's not some conspiracy to screw us. They are just simplifying the revenue model and they have tried very hard to make the net effect overall a wash. As they alluded to in the announcement, it's really about the increasing difficulty in attributing the sale of a course to a given ad or affiliate accurately. Some platforms (like TV) are difficult to track, and as browsers crack down on cross-domain cookies, attribution for affiliates and ads is going to become less accurate as well. They are just trying to keep the system fair and accurate.

@LawrenceMMiller if that's not equally done then why to have equal revenue share of 37% ?

Let instructors decide to opt in or out like now we are having option.

 

Again I would say ad/affiliate sale doesn't mean it came from promotion only. Chances are that organic sale turned into ad/affiliate sale within 7 days period.

@Lawrence

 

Just to clarify, I am not asking for equality of outcome, but equality of opportunity.

 

Courses in the past have been selected by Udemy and given 'special' promotion privileges because of an existing relationship based on other courses. I would prefer a marketplace where each course can compete without any fingers put on the scale.

LawrenceMMiller
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@MarkTimberl006 @Alfa-eLearning 

I believe in equality of opportunity when it comes to the education of children, etc.  But, that is not what this is. If you have 1000 products to sell and you are going to spend X amount on marketing, are you going to spend X/1000 on every product? No. You are going to spend money on those that have the highest probability of  bringing customers into your store. Once they are in the store they can search, shop around and buy anything they like. 

If you or I write a novel, and we have no track record of selling our novel, and Stephen King has just come out with a new novel, are you or I going to get equal attention from the marketing department/money? Hell no! 

 

Marketing is not an equal opportunity business. 

 

Just out of interest: Is there the possibility that the subscription pilot, if ever rolled out in all markets, will be available for courses without the need for exclusivity? 

 

I think for Udemy & all of the instructors the idea of creating a subscription model to add to the normal direct sales model would be highly beneficial. I'd just like it to be open for courses that are published on other platforms as well.

Many instructors rely not only on Udemy, but on other course platforms, so Udemy would see a lot more instructors opting into a subscription program that doesn't require exclusivity...

So we agree then @LawrenceMMiller Udemy should maintain a level playing field for everyone to potentially succeed in and that success should be driven by the market...?

 

Anyway, happy to discuss this on another thread if you want to argue that the above is not necessarily true, don't want to kidnap this thread with this subject.

 

 

 

 

I just did the numbers and my income would increase 5% with this change.

The argument seems very reasonable to me and I trust that this will not slow things down for the instructors.

Until they show me otherwise, I will continue to trust.

 

At the moment the effort-return relationship on the platform is very positive.

This is complete speculation but I do suspect that there are lots of heated discussions between investors and core members of the Udemy team/founders. The core team wants to make sure teachers can make money and continue producing while the investors just want as much money as possible. You can sort of seeing this with the policies and language they use. 

 

Either way, the biggest problem facing eLearning right now is the lack of scalability on the course side. Udemy should be more like the app store and steam. I can tell you from my experience, it's much easier to produce courses with a team. Also, my reviews show that I am doing a better job with this format than just me and that really makes sense because of the specialization of tasks.

 

Udemy's competitors do this (have multiple people working on the content) and Udemy's answer is to crowdsource the teachers on the marketplace and then sell them to a subscription. 

 

The end goal will be individual subscriptions. Again, you can see this tug of war between the core Udemy team and investors. If the investors ran the show, we would already be in a subscription site like Skillshare. All roads lead to that conclusion.

Hello.

37% is too little, I understand the marketing needs, but I have moved away from platforms that already gave 40% (I do not mention names)
We will see how the situation evolves, but I predict that if the teachers' entry starts to drop, other platforms will rise to the horizon and you will lose your leadership.
I would have expected 55% as there have been good sales this year ... a reward for your teachers.
I am not involved in marketing ... but the programs I use to teach are expensive and original, I do not use either student licenses or cracked licenses ... I hope to be able to continue teaching in accordance with the rules of law.
my best regards

 

Marcello Pattarin.

KatieBent
Community Manager
Community Manager

HI all,

 

Lots to dig into here! Going to respond first to two specific questions from above, then address some of the broader points after:

@janoschhrm, you asked "Is there the possibility that the subscription pilot, if ever rolled out in all markets, will be available for courses without the need for exclusivity? "

 

We're just starting this pilot and have a lot to learn, so I can't make definitive statements about the exact long-term policies. That said, we don't have plans to change exclusivity requirements for Udemy for Business, and for the individual learner pilot the goal is to maintain consistency between the collections (from the student perspective) and the policies (from the instructor perspective). So for now, no -- but we'll be evaluating policies as well as performance as we manage the pilot.

 

@TaniaMagdal781 and @MarkTimberl006 , you both asked what we meant when we wrote "On May 3, the Marketing Boost Program will be retired, and we’ll open up the opportunity for direct paid advertising to all courses on Udemy."

 

Under today's terms, Udemy can't run paid, off-platform marketing for courses whose creators are opted out of the Marketing Boost. So, there are courses that affiliates might like to promote, or for which our data suggests certain types of paid ads would perform well, but we're not doing those things. Moving forward, all courses will be eligible for these types of promotions (so, treated as courses opted in to the Marketing Boost program today, but with a 37% revenue share rather than 25%).

 

Mark, I know you also had questions about how courses are selected for different types of promotions. This ties in to some of the broader questions others are raising about Udemy's marketing strategies, so I'll respond separately to that -- wanted to get this more straightforward answer out first.

ScottDuffy
Community Champion Community Champion
Community Champion

@Marcello Pattarin most instructors are seeing almost no change to revenue when you do the math on your last few months' revenues. So do the math on your own numbers to see.

 

So nothing is really changing today. In some months, when Udemy is running $1 Billion worth of ads and traffic explodes, maybe we would have earned more under the old model. I'm still expecting my revenue to be much higher in 6-12 months than it is today.

Thank you @KatieBent, I wondered if Udemy were going to allow an advertising feature where instructors can promote their own course with ads, but this makes sense now.

@MarkTimberl006 , @LawrenceMMiller,

 

I understand where you’re both coming from, and can see pros and cons to your second point Mark.

 

Lawrence, “Marketing is not an equal opportunity business.” - this is brilliant!!

 

We know that those who were fortunate enough to get established in Udemy in the early days undoubtedly have the history and track record (within established courses) to quality for ad spend - as some courses are already proven to be sellers.

 

The way I see things, Udemy backing courses is kinda like punters placing bets on horses (and I’ve certainly enjoyed a flutter over the years).

 

If I intent to back a horse, I’ll be looking at a number of statistics so to make a well informed decision about where to direct my gamble.

 

In the same way, creating a level playing field where all courses attract the same level of ad spend is ‘kinda like’ placing odds of 50/50 onto every horse that ever races in any race, ever again.

 

In any fair market, it’s great to see excellent products and services grow in popularity over time - and it’s also good to see garbage sink - this is why we have excellent and established brands in every aspect of modern market.

 

Is it difficult for newcomers to ‘get ahead’ in today’s current marketplace?

 

Yes, of course is it - but I’m not sure about you guys, I took me a few years (through blood, sweat and tears) to get established, not just on Udemy, but in business (and life) in general.

 

I definitely believe in fair markets, I also believe in equality, while also believing in the notion that anything good in life is worth working hard and enduring for. Everyone who’s involved in eLearning today has the same opportunity - to adapt to and evolve with the times.

 

Trust me when I say that I’m ALSO preaching to myself here ;):thumbs_up:

 

Hope you’re both in good health btw!

I have run some sample scenario analysis and instructors who have subscribed to the promotions should benefit from the changes under most scenarios (unless your organic sales far outweigh Affiliate and Ad program. Refer below table

 

Untitled.png

 

In the above example, while the share of earning from organic sales is significantly more than the other channels combined, the overall impact in still positive. This problem can actually be solved using simple algebra and it turns out that if your organic earnings tend to be less than or equal to 1.85 times the earnings from Ad Program and Affiliate program, you will be fine.

 

Please do let me know if the above analysis is wrong and that I have completely misinterpreted the changes.