Market trends impacting e-learning content protection

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By Team ExpressPlay


As video content becomes more integral in the e-learning landscape, providers will have to ensure safety from piracy to secure full monetization and return on their investment. Here we’ll take a closer look at the current trends of the marketplace and the potential threats faced by the industry. 

Current trends in e-learning

The Covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented accelerant for the growth of e-learning and e-learning content, and projections suggest that it will only continue to grow. The technology and tools that were advanced and widely embraced during the pandemic will see students and employees continuing to rely on online education as part of a more dynamic and flexible learning experience.

Even before the Covid pandemic, e-learning products and services were experiencing significant growth. In 2019, the global market was worth $187.88 billion and is slated to reach almost $320 billion by 2025. In a 2019 report, Syngene Research came to similar conclusions on the e-learning marketplace. That report predicted that the market would top $336 billion by 2026.

Even though the impact of a return to regular in-person schooling is unknown, the investment and uptake in e-learning technology point towards increasing integration into how learning is delivered. For example, Valuates Reports projects that spending on e-learning technology and content at the K-12 level will increase by over 8% annually through 2026.

E-learning technology has also become an essential element of corporate training and is a cost-effective way to address regular skill updates for employees. The scope of online education has expanded considerably to include training on new corporate policies, product introductions, skill certification, production processes, and workplace safety.


How the growth of video content is impacting e-learning 

Amidst this boom in e-learning, one of the core driving forces has been video content. As Matellio noted in a report on e-learning, video “has gained more attention than any e-learning trend ever.” 

Video content is an essential form of educational delivery. Its benefits include better information retention by students, lower costs than in-person classes, and greater flexibility for employees and students. A global survey by Kaltura, a cloud video platform, found that 91% of respondents work for companies that use video for learning and development. In addition, 64% of respondents have employees who use virtual classrooms for live video learning, and 69% would prefer to learn via video rather than through a written document. 

Many industry watchers, such as Matellio and Lambda Solutions, single out video as the factor behind this growth. A prominent example of this is the advent of learning experience platforms (LXPs), which make it easier for students and companies to locate the video content they want by aggregating them in cloud-based repositories. Though relative newcomers to the e-learning marketplace, LXPs have become a $300 million segment of the e-learning market. They offer services that are complementary to learning management system (LMS) platforms, which are used by enterprises to collect business rules and course catalogs for specific training programs. 

To adapt to the vast libraries of e-learning content and allow improved connections between learners and courses that suit them, AI-enhanced recommendation engines have provided a significant move forward in service delivery for LXP and LMS suppliers. 

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were first developed in the US and the UK and have also grown considerably, mirroring the overall trends in e-learning. These are publicly available courses from some of the best educational institutions in the world that allow students to follow from anywhere at a pace that suits them. The growth in MOOCs is actually outpacing e-learning in general, and the value of the market is set to grow from $5.16 billion in 2020 to $21.4 billion by 2025. 

Growth in e-learning signals more value for pirates

Piracy is already a well-established threat to streamers and live sports broadcasters and costs those providers tens of billions a year.  Recent research by Parks Associates found that that piracy was already costing content producers over $57 billion in 2019. They suggest it would reach over $67 billion by 2023.

These are figures that e-learning providers should note as piracy could cost them billions in future revenue. Piracy has become an increasing concern for e-learning providers for several reasons, including:

  • Greater usage of e-learning content has indicated the size of the market for pirates.
  • The cost-effectiveness of piracy business models means even niche fields can be profited from.
  • The active engagement of hundreds of millions of users who don’t view content piracy as a serious matter despite its effect on content producers.

The only effective way for e-learning content providers to secure their revenue and ROI is to protect and secure that content from piracy. To learn more, download our white paper. 


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