With the rise of massive online open course platforms (a.k.a. “MOOCs”) like Khan Academy and Coursera, a new model of online learning has emerged, promising quality, affordable education at scale. This new generation of educational platforms offer alternatives to expensive degrees programs and physical classrooms in the hopes of ushering in Education 2.0 by emphasizing interactive, personalized and skill-based learning.
CreativeLIVE is hardly the first to attack this space. Khan, 2tor, ShowMe, Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, EdX, StraighterLine, TED, Knowmia, Educreations and many more are in a variety of ways using video and digital platforms to offer more frictionless access to continuing education and affordable learning. Collaborative learning platform SkillShare and PowHow, a startup we recently covered that is building a marketplace for live, webcam classes in subjects like fitness, cooking, music, arts, DIY, and crafting.
The best parallel for creativeLIVE would be Lynda.com, which has been offering a virtual video library of courses taught by industry experts since the ’90s. The company hit $70 million in revenues in 2011 and now offers over 1,200 educational, how-to videos, providing paid learning content to individuals, Ivy League schools and companies like Disney, Time Warner and Pixar. In particular, one thing that has set Lynda apart from today’s emerging DIY online video models is the fact that it produces most of its content in-house.
Like Lynda, creativeLIVE takes video quality seriously and has become a video production operation in addition to simply being an online distribution platform. The startup has its own studios in Seattle and San Francisco, which allow the startup to offer live, streaming classes in cable-quality, HD video, which stands out when compared to, say, the pile of user-generated how-to videos on YouTube.
In addition, while Lynda.com users can unlock its videos for a monthly subscription fee of $25, creativeLIVE offers its classes for free. The startup’s courses are streamed live, all of which can be accessed for no cost, and if viewers want to watch the class again, or re-watch particular sections, they can purchase the video at prices that range between $29 and $149, depending on the course.
CreativeLIVE’s instructors now include names like Tim Ferriss and Ramit Sethi, photography instruction from Pulitzer Prize winner Vincent Laforet and filmmaking classes by Gale Tattersall, the Director of Photography for House. But it’s less about finding celebrity teachers than it is about creating a highly curated experience with content provided by those who are best at teaching their particular subject, the company said. The real impact, going forward, will be made by those that can empower people to learn real skills to enhance their career or hobby to help them move up in their field, or turn their true passion into a day job