Since we first announced the Personal Plan pilot, you've asked a lot of great questions and had some lively conversations about this new subscription initiative. We're continuing to expand slowly and carefully, and we've got some progress to share.
Check out our update in the Teaching Center to learn more about:
The post also includes an instructor FAQ generated from the questions you all asked at the time the pilot launched. We'll update this section over time with answers to key questions you pose here in the Community or through other channels.
As always, we welcome your discussion, questions, and feedback here in the Community.
Any idea on how long this pilot will last? Another 3 months? 6 months?
P.s - This is what I love to see, more communication and updates from the Udemy team.
Keep up the good work.
Hi @Joshua George, great question. There's a lot to test and learn, and many of the important dynamics like learner engagement and retention are things that can only be measured over time. We anticipate running the subscription as a pilot for at least six months more.
What was the reasoning behind not including Welcome/Congratulations messages to Personal Plan users?
Hi @JosePortilla, thanks for the question. This is tied to the work to determine what constitutes an "enrollment" in a subscription context. A student who watches one minute of content in a subscription context might be starting the course with the intent to "take" it, but they might just be previewing it to see if it's what they're looking for. There's already some designated onboarding to help students get started in the subscription as a whole -- we definitely think it's important for students to get that nudge to start learning -- but getting a welcome message for every course they interact with would be overwhelming. So, we're working on determining the best way to determine when a student has committed to a particular course. That could be something the student tells us directly, like a button they click, or it could be something we infer from their engagement. We'll keep you posted as this work progresses.
There’s that opaqueness everyone loves so much...
That´s interesting here:
How often do you refresh what content is available in Personal Plan?
Like the Udemy for Business collection, the Personal Plan collection is refreshed over time to add promising new content and remove content that is underperforming or no longer meets quality standards. While the curation teams for both collections collaborate, there may be some differences between the collections at a given point in time. Generally speaking, though, content that is added or removed from the Udemy for Business collection will also be added to or removed from the Personal Plan collection.
So there will be a personal plan collection that will be a (small) subset of the marketplace courses. And subscribers will pay $200-$300 per year to have full access to that subset.
Maybe that´s a dumb question, but...
From the perspective of a potential subscriber, can you explain why it´s better for me to go for that subscription (and buy additional courses that are not included in the subset separately) rather than just buying my favorite courses in the marketplace? For $200-$300 I could buy 20-30 of them per year.
Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
Hi @AlexHagmann, not a dumb question at all. There are a number of reasons we think some learners will prefer a subscription model to an a la carte model, but the most important one has to do with breadth of learning goals. While someone who wants to learn a very specific skill for which there is one appropriate course, a direct purchase makes sense. But for someone who is trying to learn more continuously on a wider range of subjects, the subscription model might make more sense.
Taking an example, consider Learner A, who just started a job, and their new company requires that everyone have basic familiarity with SQL. They might purchase one course on SQL and refer to it over time to meet that challenge.
But maybe Learner B is trying to execute a career pivot that will require refreshing a bunch of different skills -- some SQL, some Excel, some CSS, some management skills, some business strategy. They may not even know the full extent of what they need to learn, or they may want to have access to multiple different courses for a particular topic. We actually already see this on the marketplace, that certain learners will buy multiple courses on the same topic to get the benefit of a greater variety of instructional styles. So for them, a subscription might be more cost-effective and enable greater flexibility in their learning.
@AlexHagmann I've wondered that myself. I would probably feel frustrated or disappointed if I subscribed and then had to buy individual courses that weren't included in the subscription. It makes sense to offer individual courses for sale and a subscription and let people choose what they want, but if I subscribed, I'd want access to any course on the platform. I think for most people it would be cheaper to buy whatever individual courses they want, on an as-needed basis, and have lifetime access to them. As you mentioned, people could buy 20-30 courses over the course of the year for the price of the subscription. That's a lot of courses!
@Bella I have a feeling that only a small percentage will fit the profile that you are mentioning. With Udemy's policy of money back and already low prices for courses in the marketplace, I am kind of skeptical of Personal Plan. I sure hope I am wrong.
Hi @VirajShetty265, thank you for expressing your concerns and sharing your voice. We're optimistic about the performance of the pilot so far and about offering the subscription model to more students in the next coming months. Our plan is to continue sharing more updates and findings as the Personal Plan progresses.
@Bella - Glad to know. Sharing the findings would be great. One scenario which makes sense for the Personal Plan is the case when students can subscribe to Udemy Personal and ask their company to reimburse instead of paying personally. Assuming here that the company is not already a part of Udemy For Business.
Hi @Bella ,
Is it possible to get some details on which categories will be included in the pilot run ?
I figure it will be the IT, development first.
Any info will be useful .
According to the Personal Plan web page below
"May 2021 earnings from Personal Plan will appear in the May statement around the first week of July, and be paid out shortly after"
Is the May 2021 Personal Plan earnings out ? Maybe I am not seeing it because there is no earnings for my course ?
Hi @Mufaddal thank you for asking! We are starting off with content available in the English Udemy for Business collection. We may evolve the content strategy as we understand the differences between individual and corporate learners. You can find more information about this on our FAQ page.
Good question, @VirajShetty265. Instructors should expect to see the May revenue for Personal Plan appear around the same time their June Udemy for Business revenue does.
If you normally see Udemy for Business revenue and you haven't seen it yet, then it's possible that it hasn't been posted just yet. This could be happening because we had a US Federal holiday this week so we've also had fewer business days thus far in July, but feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org if it doesn't update.
UfB revenues have been published, but I still don't see the Personal Plan numbers. Any updates on that?
Hi @KarolyNyisztor and @VirajShetty265, the revenue for May for all subscription programs should now be showing. If you continue not to see Personal Plan earnings, then it's indeed possible that there wasn't consumption on your particular course. The pilot is growing but it's still quite small at this stage, so don't be discouraged -- it's early, yet!
Hi @PhillipBurton, thanks for your question!
The total number of learners is really small at the moment, so we aren't currently providing the detailed reporting you get on the Udemy for Business side. But as the pilot evolves and grows we're looking into more detailed reporting around Personal Plan engagement.
'In this first month, we’ve offered the option to enroll in Personal Plan to a limited number of learners in order to get a read on overall interest. '
Could you please elaborate as to where the subscription option is 'offered'?
Is it offered on-site as an option (in select geos)?
....or, are emails being sent to existing students (in select geos)?
Udemy has had a very unique business model where students do not have to worry about monthly payments and can keep a course forever. As a result, most students buy a course now because it is on sale and watch it in a few months.
When I send a promo announcement, students buy it within 24 hours and... 90% of them do not watch it in the first weeks at all!
This pilot might change people's expectations and cause a lot of problems around the marketplace. Also, a course might be available in this plan and as a standalone course, making students unhappy.
I think Udemy has spent several years marketing the 'Lifetime Access'. rule. It has worked very, very, very well! Buy now, watch in December. Keep forever.
Also, if it works like UFB, there is no way an instructor will make the same amount of money. Today someone buys a course for $9.99, I get e.g. $3.99. With any subscription model, a student watches 7 selected lectures and I get... $0.25. I know the volume is bigger but I am worried about that direction...
Another thing to remember is that today Udemy can advertise and target students. With a plan, it is very, very difficult because you advertise a platform, not a particular course. If it does not work, that might be a big problem.
I think it's been working very well with 'lifetime access'. It is especially a problem when someone likes one instructor. He/she joins a plan and can see only 3 courses from that instructor... He/she will be very disappointed.
I might be wrong but this is a game-changing direction. People love sales, people love Black Friday, love shopping for cheap things - that is what Udemy offers - discounted, high-quality courses. People are excited to come back every week and see yet another thing on sale. Today this, in 2 months 65% off a course about XYZ. With a subscription plan, that's not the case - you might offer a trial and than... you just keep paying XY per month. I am not sure...
I am concerned and it is not easy to make me feel like this because I love Udemy and I have been here for several years! Udemy is the only place I host my courses and I have always supported everything we do here.
I think a much better idea would be to offer 'bundles' and allow instructors to create a full carrer path program - e.g. How to become a developer, how to become a project manager... and include e.g. 3 courses in there and offer it as a bundle. If you own one course, you get a nice discount if you 'upgrade'. Sky is the limit. 🙂
Hi @DanielEvans, great question! A subset of students in select geos can see the option to subscribe on-site at the moment, but to date, we haven't sent any emails alerting existing students to the subscription option.
Can you post a screenshot, please?
I'm very curious. Many of my contacts throughout many other countries haven't seen the subscribe option and therefore haven't been able to show me.
Hi, @Marious, thanks for sharing your thoughts about the new subscription model!
We believe giving learners the choice to purchase and subscribe to realize their goals will result in a stronger Udemy, better returns for instructors, and greater alignment with our mission to improve lives through learning. The subscription is optional, so learners will still have the choice to purchase courses individually if they want lifetime access to the materials.
As always, we’re committed to learning, adapting, and building for the long term. We’ll be watching the pilot's success carefully and making adjustments as it goes forward over the coming months, and we’ll make sure to keep you up to date on our progress.
We appreciate your comments and please let us know if you have any other concerns -- we'll do our best to address them.
Hi @DanielEvans, I'm sorry for the delay, but I am more than happy to share a screenshot with you!
For students included in one of the variants that will see the Personal Plan pilot, the course landing page will be the primary place that students will see the option to subscribe. There will also be a “Home Page” for the subscription which students will find when they click “Learn More.”
If a student who is included in one of the variants navigates to a landing page of a course that is included in the subscription collection, they will see the option to subscribe in the call to action under the course image.
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