Is Udemy a True Platform?

Looking at Udemy's attempt to create a true platform.
Feb | 27 | 2012

Feb | 27 | 2012

The Age of the Platform
Just because you claim to be a platform doesn’t make it so. Today, let’s look at one company and see if it really qualifies as a platform.


Udemy (“academy of you”) bills itself as an online learning platform. It allows users to create their own courses for which they can charge whatever they want–or nothing at all. Udemy takes an industry standard 30 percent cut of paid courses. So people like me still have sizeable incentive to create interesting courses–and charge for them. In this way, it’s like Apple’s app store or Amazon’s Kindle Direct.

The company provides tools and incentives for people to create whatever courses they like. Of course, they can be passive just watch videos and take existing courses. (Think Facebook and free accounts.) Course creators can upload videos, PDFs, podcasts, and other content designed to provide instructive courses. And an API is coming soon. Imagine the possibilities.

And the variety of courses is nothing less than astounding. WordPress, sales, and marketing are just a few of the topics covered–and more are added every day.


While promising, Udemy has work to do. A few of my lectures did not upload and I had to switch from my Mac to my PC to finally upload them.

While promising, Udemy has work to do.

This wouldn’t be terrible but its support is hardly seamless, as I experienced first hand. Emailing customer support after my case had been opened resulted in a returned message with no further instructions. Support wasn’t terribly responsive and its affiliate program is hardly intuitive.


Despite its challenges, Udemy is incredibly promising and similar in concept to the über-popular Khan Academy. Brass tracks: Udemy is embracing platform strategies pretty well. Stay tuned.

Want these posts to arrive in your inbox?

Receive my musings, news, and rants in your inbox as soon as they publish.


Blog E Platforms E Is Udemy a True Platform?

Related Posts

Summer Reading

Being able to regularly feed my brain is a nice perk of professor life.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *