The Udemy Pyramid Scheme.
I’ve run several successfull courses on udemy (update: I’ve moved my courses over here now) back when they had a royalty rate of 90% revenue share per course. Then things started to change, to the point where teaching in udemy to me feels like trying to win in a pyramid scheme.
Here are the “new” revenue share model numbers:
100% revenue share on students that instructors bring to Udemy
50% revenue share on students that Udemy brings to an instructor’s course
25% revenue share on students that are driven by Udemy paid ads
Seems fair. Until you realize, the hard way, that any exiting udemy user that takes your courses that YOU didn’t bring in with your specific course codes and discounts, counts as a 50% revenue share.
Points of consideration:
- There is a finite number of people who might be interested in your course
- There is a high chance that many of them have already signed up for udemy
- Of those who haven’t yet signed up to udemy, you have to bring in and make them use you special offer codes. Only then do you get 100% of that course’s revenue.
- Once you did that, you basically screwed over other course instructors, because your student will now and forever be considered a 50% revenue share for all other teachers.
- That means that I benefit and make money at the large expense of other teachers on udemy, while making udemy much, MUCH more money in the long run.
- The earlier I started with my courses on udemy, the more chances I have to get into udemy those users who have not signed up to udemy yet. The later i sign on to teach in udemy, the smaller my chances are ever making more than 50% revenue share, unless I bring my own crowd.
- Consider this: for each student on udemy, udemy makes 50% commission on all their purchases, EXCEPT one instructor.
- Eventually, there will be less and less chances for ALL instructors ot make ore than 50% revenue on courses, as the student population targeted has already signed up. any students that UDEMY brings to the table with ads, will actually only get you 25% revenue share.
- This whole idea pits the teachers one against the other, to see who gets "fresh" users first, thus taking them “away” from other teachers. That’s not healthy.
So I opened my own shop on shopify and at least now I don’t feel like I’m screwing over anybody else. I pay more than 100$ a month for some of the plugins etc. But I do have enough people on twitter and I’m well known enough in some corners that it pays me OK. I don’t like doing it, but it feels better. If they went back to the old model I’d probably go back to them, honestly.
When udemy sent me an email asking why I haven’t been selling any courses, here was my answer:
Needless to say, they didn’t reply yet.
I would recommend that you stay away from teaching on udemy. it feels unethical.