Global Self-Paced Learning In Free Fall To 2021, Market Forecast Say

Claiming a “steep decline” in the self-paced learning market, specialty research firm Ambient Insight is announcing the end of its commercial syndicated reports on the sector. The message seems to be: do not bet on a student’s autonomy.

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Ambient forecasts revenues to drop $13.5 billion between 2016 and 2021, compounding a negative growth of -6.4%. Among the reasons Ambient has explaining the dismal outlook on self-paced learning, are:

“weak demand for most self-paced products, commoditization, the late stage of eLearning’s product lifecycle, pronounced product substitution, and the so-called leapfrog effect with buyers in developing countries completely bypassing eLearning for newer products”.

Buyers are skipping self-paced products for new technologies that bet on better knowledge and learning transfer. Augmented reality to support decision making is expected to explode as it provides more efficient workplace knowledge transfer. Another factor is the wide availability of free products, such as OER, which have been fondly embraced by K-12 districts.

Current demand for self-paced learning products is concentrated in the US and China, countries in which revenues are “fast declining” and continue to deteriorate. These two countries will be responsible for $6.8 out of the $13.5 billion in missed revenues over the next five years. They will remain as top global buyers though, followed by Canada, Korea and India.

Self-paced categories, including packaged content, services and platforms, will show declines each year, going from $46.7 billion in 2016 revenues, to $33.5  in 2021.

There are silver linings in some emerging markets, with double digit growth expected over the same period. Myanmar heads the rank with over 30% growth across all product types, followed by Mongolia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Laos and Nepal with growth rates above 20%. African countries joined by Slovakia and Lithuania complete the top ten ranking.

Africa is the only continent without negative growth, but flat at 0.9%. Brazil and Venezuela report large negative rates which tumbles Latin American forecast, calculated at -10.8%. In these cases the fall is only a reflection of deeper macroeconomic issues.

Ambient Insights specializes in market data and predictions for the global learning market. They produce syndicated reports by customer segments and product categories. See more about their research taxonomy here. Although they will stop publishing syndicated reports on self-paced learning, the will continue to follow the category through free annual whitepapers.

Read the 69-page report here.

What does your crystal ball say about the fortunes of self-paced learning? Reveal it to us in the comments!


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