This month we look at the latest elearning market update from Ambient Insight and assess some key trends.
Is that a slowdown I see?
The most notable aspect of the research is the observation that across the whole market over the past three years the demand for self-paced elearning has slowed.
Ambient argue this general slowing is due to three market factors:
- Commoditisation of platforms and tools
- Pricing pressures in the corporate segment caused by the slow economic recovery
- The growing tendency for buyers to purchase other types of learning technology products
On the first point Ambient note that commoditisation (for any product) “occurs when demand is very high and competing products lack significant differentiation in the perception of customers.” At this stage the argument goes that customers shop for price due to a lack of significant differentiation.
Ambient are of the view that learning platforms and authoring tools are now highly commoditised, particularly in the corporate sector.
On the second point, pricing pressures are to be expected in a slow economic recovery such as that being experienced in the US and Europe.
The third trend Ambient observe is the potential for other forms of elearning technology products to cannibalise more traditional forms of elearning content. The use of virtual classrooms, performance support tools, social learning and informal learning all have a potential impact on the demand for self-paced elearning modules.
It's not all bad
On the positive side whilst growth rates are flat in the corporate sector, demand is still strong, and the revenues are very high. They note that the corporate market was an early adopter and companies continue to purchase self-paced elearning products. Thus they conclude that the corporate sector represents the best revenue opportunities for suppliers.
What do you think? Join the debate on our ELearning Professionals network on LinkedIn.
By Steve Rayson