Evaluation After 4 Months Of Udemy’s Price Change Policy

Udemy, is one of the most successful online course websites, both for its company and instructors. For those of you who have not heard of Udemy yet, who are into web development, you can either offer your own expertise through video courses or join as a student to learn everything from these web development technologies:

  • WordPress
  • .NET
  • Javascript libraries including AngularJS, jQuery, Grunt or just plain vanilla Javascript
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • HTML5
  • responsive design
  • mobile app development
  • CSS 3
  • and anything else needed by today’s modern web developer

Up till Monday, April 4, 2016, instructors were allowed to change whatever they wanted and some courses sold for over $200. The same courses sold for $10 by other instructors. Students, according to Udemy’s marketing department were confused. Do they enroll in a class that is higher in price because it looks more professional or can they only afford to enroll in the less expensive courses even when they offered the same material as the courses that were 20 times as expensive. Decisions, decisions!

Well, Udemy decided to handle that issue, because the wild price fluctuations were effecting its reputation. Udemy decided to enforce a price change. The price change would dictate that all courses be priced between $20.00 to $50.00 US dollar.

Coupon Percentage Changes During Udemy’s Price Change Policy

Udemy’s coupon system was also altered. In the past, coupons were offered to make any price as low as 90% and again, Udemy reported that these coupons were confusing students, because now, the lower priced courses were in more competition with the more expensive courses that were offering the same price through their courses. This also alienated instructors who were attempting to attract students who could only afford the lower-priced courses. Before the price change policy went into effect, most coupon codes lowered the price to $10, even if the course costed over $100, for example.

Coupons are now restricted to a 50% discount. That means that if a course costs $30.00 USD, the price can only be lowered down to $15.00.

How Are Instructors Reacting To This?

Well, if an instructor had a lower-priced course, this price change was a blessing and something to celebrate. Now, the lower-priced courses have the same perceived value as the previously more expensive courses. Instructors who were pricing their courses for over a hundred dollars are out of luck and some of them have reacted negatively to the price change, but now students have a better, easier choice to make. They are forced to select courses based on other criteria including:

  • whether they like the instructor
  • the amount of video lectures in a particular course
  • the overall time length of the course
  • the course title or description

I am instructor of over 6 WordPress development courses, and my courses were priced on the lower end in order to reach out to students from all over the world who may not be able to afford the higher prices, so I like it. I attended Udemy live in San Francisco on June 25 and spoke to other instructors. Some liked it. Some did not like it at all and were complaining. Sorry, it is Udemy’s website and they have to maintain their reputation, so I have not had a problem with it. Some of my sales have now soared for some courses and some have dropped, but overall, I see an increase in my overall student numbers.

In Conclusion…

It seems that the price changes are having both positive and negative impacts on instructors and students alike, but overall, the course quality and selection of courses on Udemy has improved.


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