Come 2025, the global e-learning market is predicted to reach a whopping $325 billion! This staggering figure is unsurprising when you consider our newfound commitment to self and professional development. When you marry this fact with society's penchant for technology – it's no wonder online courses are so popular!
E-courses provide students with the chance to learn new skills, take up fresh hobbies, and maybe even pave the way to a new career, all from the convenience of their living rooms!
Not only that, but the benefits of online learning are recognized by larger corporations too. From onboarding new staff members to training teams to further their know-how, online courses provide a cheaper and more practical alternative to traditional courses and training sessions.
This is where course builders and marketplaces like Udemy, come into their own. Udemy provides individuals all the tools they need to build, sell, and market courses to a wide range of audiences. With 295 million course enrollments, Udemy is one of the leading choices for learners and instructors alike.
So, with all that in mind, let’s look at how Udemy pricing is structured and what you get for your money!
Udemy Pricing: What Does Udemy.com Have to Offer?
When you first click onto Udemy’s website, you’re faced with a buzzing marketplace full of courses. Udemy promises students a learning experience on their schedule, either at home or while they're on the go.
With classes ranging from business to design, photography, marketing, IT, and personal development, there's truly something for everyone. Wither over 1,000 courses to Udemy's name; it's one of the largest e-learning marketplaces on the web.
In light of that, it’s no wonder instructors flock towards this learning platform. As we've already hinted at, not only is Udemy an online course marketplace, but it's also an excellent solution for entrepreneurs and teachers looking to create and sell educational content online.
When you sign up to Udemy as an instructor, you gain access to all its course presentation tools. You can build courses your way, including learning materials like screen-recordings, and video, audio, text, and image files. Udemy also provides plenty of features to encourage students to interact with your content – namely, through messaging, Q&A sections, course announcements, and quizzes.
If you're new to building digital courses, never fear. Udemy provides plenty of resources to help guide you through the course creation process.
Udemy's marketplace in itself is a fabulous asset for new instructors, as you'll benefit from the website’s high SEO ranking. Plus, there's a chance you'll be discovered by curious learners browsing for a new course. Reaching new audiences via a marketplace is much easier than building a community from scratch.
And here’s some fantastic news: Signing up as a Udemy instructor is entirely free!
Udemy has an online help center that can (usually) walk you through your questions. Here you'll find an extensive array of resources to help you get started as an instructor, create courses, and understand Udemy's pricing regulations.
Udemy provides guides on selling and promotion, course building and management, and how to create premium content. There's also a teaching center where you can stay up to date with all the latest announcements and resources for Udemy instructors. That's as well as a global instructor forum where you can network and connect with other entrepreneurs and teachers. You're bound to pick up some handy hints and tips in these discussion threads!
If you need to get in touch with Udemy, you can submit a support ticket online. Simply specify whether you're a student or an instructor and fill out a few fields to report your issue.
How Udemy’s Pricing Works
As mentioned above, it's entirely free to sign up as a Udemy instructor! You just need a Paypal or Payoneer account to get paid for any courses you sell. As soon as you sign up, you can publish as many classes as you like.
If it's free to use, how does Udemy make its money?
Udemy aims to maintain a sustainable partnership between themselves, as a marketplace, and, you, as the instructor. In light of that, the platform provides its services in exchange for a revenue share. Put simply; each time you sell a course, a part of your profits go to Udemy.
Here’s how it works:
Udemy takes a 50% share of the revenue if you’re not signed up with any of its promotional programs. So that's half the course fee you're charging students, minus transaction fees when you make an organic sale when a user simply browses Udemy and subsequently purchases your course.
Sales You Make From Your Own Marketing
If you secure a sale through your own marketing efforts, Udemy calculates the gross amount of sales actually received by Udemy. It then subtracts transaction taxes, any mobile platform fees that might be associated with mobile app sales, and a 3% handling and administration fee (4% if you’re in Japan).
In short, if you can attract a customer to your course through your own marketing, Udemy takes a much smaller share, leaving you with 97% of the revenue.
Sales Acquired via Paid User Acquisition Channels
If you use one of Udemy’s advertising and promotional strategies to make a sale, via affiliates or paid advertising, you gain 25% of the revenue. However, this share may vary depending on the partner or the cost of the advertising.
With regards to Udemy's affiliates, they boast a network of ‘tens of thousands of affiliate sites and established relationships with third-party deal sites'.
As an instructor, you decide whether you're included in Udemy’s promotional techniques. Bear in mind that otherwise, Udemy may sell your course at a discounted price point, which you'll only earn 25% revenue on.
When you create a course on Udemy, you have to price it according to their pricing matrix. The minimum price is $19.99, and the maximum, $199.99.
How Udemy Pricing Compares with Other Teaching Platforms
Udemy’s marketplace model is a little different from other online course builders. As we've just discussed, Udemy provides access to all its course creation tools and lets you host your courses for free. This is because Udemy focuses on being a hub where learners come to find high-quality materials. In exchange for providing content creators with course building tools and exposure on their marketplace, Udemy is rewarded in a share of your revenue.
In contrast, the majority of other online course builders provide a different model.
Instead of sharing in your revenue or providing a marketplace, they simply give you the tools to build and market your own online school. Typically, these providers charge a monthly fee, and sometimes transaction fees, in exchange for their toolkit.
Having said that, let’s take a look at a few Udemy alternatives and how they price their services:
Teachable furnishes its new users with a highly customizable online course builder. This platform undoubtedly provides the freedom you need to design high-quality courses just the way you want. With a power editor to access and edit the source code and plenty of tools for engaging and interacting with students, Teachable offers a versatile toolkit.
If you're marketing your courses to more traditional learners, Teachable's course compliance standards and completion certificates add a familiar structure to your educational content.
In addition to the three paid tiers listed below (based on month-to-month billing), Teachable offers a limited free plan which restricts you to ten students:
- Free – $0 for unlimited courses and limited to 10 students ($1 + 10% transaction fee for all of your paid courses).
- The Basic Plan ($39 a month) This gives you and one other admin access to Teachable's website and course builder. You can link your online school with your own domain name, and start designing and selling courses online.
- The Professional Plan ($119 a month) Here you can register five users, you're not charged transaction fees, and you'll get access to an unbranded website. You can also set graded quizzes, award course completion certificates, and access affiliate marketing tools.
- The Business Plan ($299 per month) This unlocks advanced customization features; you can register 20 users, and assign customers user roles. You can also offer group coaching sessions and enroll students in bulk.
For a more thorough Teachable vs Udemy comparison, click here.
👉 Full Teachable Review.
Thinkific offers beautifully designed online course templates, so you can create a professional-looking educational site in just a few hours. With full HTML and CSS access, the sites are endlessly customizable, and the drag-and-drop editor makes course creation easy for those without web development know-how.
Thinkific entices course creators with its free plan so you can test-drive its core features. After that, there are three pricing schemes (costs based on month-to-month billing):
- The Basic Plan ($49 per month): Gives you access to Thinkific's basic features and tools. This is best suited to newbies who want to design and launch their first-ever course.
- The Pro Plan ($99 a month): This is an excellent choice for a small business that wants to launch a successful online business. You'll get access to advanced course pricing options, more sophisticated customization, priority support, and you can grant others admin access. Not to mention, you can also set assignments, create and manage memberships, and award students with certificates.
- The Pro Premier Plan ($499): This is suited to more advanced users with an established audience. This plan is designed to deliver online education at scale, and comes with an onboarding program, and allows you to register up to 50 course admins/authors.
👉 Full Thinkific review.
Podia is an easy-to-use site and course builder that comes with a drag-and-drop editor. Podia enables you to sell digital products, memberships, subscriptions, and online courses. This platform offers users affiliate marketing tools and email marketing features to help you spread the word about your brand.
You can also offer customers coupons and discounts to help promote your products. Not only that, but you can also sell your courses as bundles to entice consumers to spend more!
Podia keeps its pricing simple with a 14-day trial and two premium plans:
- The Mover Plan ($39 a month) You'll get access to all of Podia's key features, and you can sell an unlimited number of courses to as many students as you want. You can also run webinars and create and sell digital downloads too.
- The Shaker Plan ($79 a month) This improves upon the toolkit provided in the Mover plan. Namely, by unlocking an in-built blog, affiliate marketing tools, and you can build and sell membership products.
👉 Full Podia review.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Udemy’s Pricing
Monthly subscriptions vs revenue share – whichever pricing model you prefer may be the deciding factor in whether you sell courses on Udemy, or elsewhere.
So let’s dive into the advantages and disadvantages of Udemy pricing:
The Pros 👍
No Upfront Costs
If you’re just starting out and you don’t know whether there's money to be made with your courses, signing up for a monthly payment plan can be daunting. You don’t want to make an investment that won’t pay off, and with Udemy’s pricing system, you can safely dip your feet in the water. If you don't make any sales, you won't suffer financial loss.
Create Free Courses
Not everyone is looking for an online course builder to make money. If you just want to give back to the community and start to generate a name for yourself, you might consider creating a free course to share with your audience. For this, Udemy is a great tool!
Exposure on Udemy's Marketplace Can Lead to More Sales
Udemy’s pricing works on the basis that the platform does a lot of leg work for you, where marketing is concerned. By exposing your e-course on their marketplace, and allowing you to sign up for Udemy's sales and promotions, you can reach audiences you otherwise might never. Starting from scratch is hard when you don’t have any customers lined up.
You Can Still Rake in Profit with Your Own Marketing
If you use your own referral links to get customers to buy your course, you enjoy a much higher revenue share. This means that while you might attract sales via Udemy's marketplace, you can still sell through your own coupon codes and links to make a higher profit.
The Cons 👎
Udemy Takes More From Your Bottom Line Than a Subscription-Based Platform
If you sell courses at $200, then, as an organic Udemy sale, you'll only make $100. If you would otherwise struggle to get sales, this is still a great opportunity. However, if you have the means to promote your own website and successfully build an audience yourself, the potential profits you'll make will quickly outweigh the cost of a monthly subscription fee.
Udemy Limits How Much You Can Sell Your Course for
Your course pricing has to comply with Udemy’s pricing limits (max $199.99). So, if you're looking to sell materials at higher price points, you may find Udemy’s pricing limits cumbersome. This will certainly restrict your profit margins.
Marketplaces Have Their Setbacks
Relying on exposure from Udemy‘s marketplace makes it harder to grow your own audience. After all, it's Udemy who's attracting the traffic, not your brand. It stands to reason, if you're not using your own website or social media ads to draw students in, you're probably not building an email list and establishing a loyal following either.
Also, if you're relying on Udemy's marketplace to do all the heavy lifting for you where sales and marketing are concerned, you might be disappointed. Unfortunately, you're subject to which courses are displayed most favorably on Udemy's website – it stands to reason that instructors that opt for Udemy's paid promotions and affiliate marketing enjoy more exposure. As such, you'll have to be prepared for lots of competition.
Now You Know How Udemy Pricing Works – Are You Ready to Become an Instructor?
If this is the first time you're testing the e-learning waters, Udemy is a great platform to use. It doesn't cost you a cent, and you can start creating Udemy courses immediately. Udemy affords you the opportunity to evaluate who your audiences might be, before pursuing online course creation any further.
The revenue share model means you can safely make an income without suffering any financial losses. Not only that, being part of the Udemy marketplace might expose you to paying customers, without you investing much in the way of time and effort marketing your products. In short – for a beginner wanting to try their hand in the field of selling online courses, this is the ideal scenario.
However, in the longterm, Udemy might limit your earning potential. You stand a much better chance of generating higher profits if you use a subscription-based course builder to establish an audience of your own. If that appeals to you, then Udemy alternatives like Teachable, Thinkific, or Podia might be attractive options.
Do you have any experience with the Udemy pricing model? If so, we would love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Let us know your thoughts, concerns, and questions on the topic – we welcome any and all conversations. Speak soon!