Spotify Testing Paid Subscription Learning Courses in the UK

Spotify is launching a test for video-based learning courses in the United Kingdom. Users are invited to test two-free classes before deciding whether to subscribe to a course series, studying topics from DJing to Microsoft Excel. The company has partnered on content with educational tech companies BBC Maestro, PLAYvirtuoso, Skillshare and Thinkific on series averaging $25 to $100 per course (£20 to £80). Topics are organized into four main categories: make music, get creative, learn business and healthy living. Pricing is the same for premium and free members. No word on when the test might expand beyond the UK.

Spotify’s London-based Product Director for Education Mohit Jitani tells TechCrunch that pricing choices are “part of what it’s testing before considering how to roll out more widely,” saying “we’re trying to understand the demand first.”

Global e-learning is estimated to be a $316.2 billion business this year, according to Research and Markets, which projects it will reach $661.6 billion by 2032. Jitani says the UK was selected for the test because it’s one of Spotify’s largest, most engaged markets.

Spotify’s current UK courses “are pitched somewhere between YouTube, Master Class and LinkedIn Learning,” according to TechCrunch, which says “Jitani declined to comment on whether Spotify would launch any kind of interaction or gamification in the future — or, indeed, if games of any kind are on its roadmap right now.”

Revenue sharing details were not disclosed, but the content will be hosted and purchased on Spotify, with the creator, publisher and host getting a cut, and content partners distributing payment to creators.

TechCrunch says that while the link between music and general learning may seem like a stretch, the company has collected a lot of data about people’s interests based on their podcast choices, and wants to capitalize on that.

“About half of Spotify Premium subscribers have engaged in education or self-help-themed podcasts,” Spotify says in a newsroom post.

Jitani tells The Verge that “One of the most interesting things and trends that we started noticing was more and more people were starting to come to Spotify with some intent of learning.”

The move underscores Spotify’s diversification strategy at a time when profitability and stronger margins are desired, TechCrunch says, noting the company “has been unprofitable more than profitable over the years, most recently posting a net loss of $81 million in its quarterly earnings in February.”

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