MasterClass Business Model In A Nutshell

Photo of author
Written By Angelo Sorbello

Tech entrepreneur and passionate about business



In a world where knowledge and expertise are highly valued, MasterClass has emerged as a pioneering force in the online education industry. By bringing together renowned professionals and celebrities as instructors, this innovative platform offers a unique and personalized learning experience.

With a membership revenue model and a commitment to excellence, MasterClass has witnessed remarkable growth and success. This article explores the key elements of their business model, shedding light on their strategies and achievements that have propelled them to the forefront of the competitive EdTech landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • MasterClass was founded in 2013 with the goal of transforming education by enabling renowned experts to become instructors.
  • The founders successfully validated their idea by securing top experts like Dustin Hoffman to teach classes and conducting surveys and market comparisons to gauge interest.
  • MasterClass operates on a membership revenue model, where users pay an annual fee of $180 for unlimited access to all courses and new releases.
  • The platform's success can be attributed to its focus on high-quality instruction, interactive learning experiences, and the ability to attract top instructors.

Origin and Validation

MasterClass's origin and validation can be traced back to its founding in 2013 by Aaron Rasmussen and David Rogier. The founders aimed to transform the traditional learning experience by finding top talents and turning them into instructors. The success factors of MasterClass lie in their unique approach to education, where renowned experts become instructors. They convinced the first celebrities to produce a class on their platform through cold calling, persistence, and luck. Instructor selection played a crucial role in validating their idea, and they successfully convinced Dustin Hoffman to teach a class, showcasing their ability to attract top experts.

Additionally, they created a test class taught by their parents and conducted surveys, user interviews, and market comparisons to gauge interest. This careful validation process ensured MasterClass's ability to provide high-quality instruction from top-notch instructors.

Mission and Strategy

The mission and strategy of MasterClass revolve around igniting greatness in others by enabling people worldwide to learn from the best. The platform focuses on finding top talents in various fields and transforming them into instructors. MasterClass aims to provide an interactive learning experience through the development of online tools. They have incorporated proprietary technology to enhance the educational experience. For example, they developed technology to evaluate and measure the pitch of the voice during a course with Christina Aguilera. This interactive approach allows learners to receive personalized feedback and guidance. The educational experience provided by MasterClass is designed to be as close to one-to-one as possible, ensuring that learners have access to the expertise and knowledge of industry leaders.

See also  What Is The Pay-As-You-Go Business Model? The Pay-As-You-Go Business Model In A Nutshell
Interactive Learning Tools Proprietary Technology
Personalized feedback Voice pitch evaluation
Industry knowledge

Revenue Model

MasterClass operates on a membership revenue model, where users pay an annual fee of $180 for unlimited access to all courses and new releases. This pricing structure allows members to enjoy the benefits of accessing top-quality instruction from renowned experts across various fields.

The platform also offers a 30-day free trial to attract new users. The success of this revenue model is evident in the strong revenue growth, with sales more than doubling from 2016 to 2017. In fact, MasterClass was valued at over $800 million in 2020 after a successful funding round.

Key Takeaways

The success of MasterClass can be attributed to its focus on high-quality instruction, interactive learning, and the ability to attract top instructors.

By providing renowned experts as instructors, MasterClass offers a unique and valuable learning experience for its users. The platform's emphasis on high-quality instruction ensures that learners receive valuable insights and knowledge from the best in their respective fields.

Additionally, MasterClass's interactive learning approach engages users and enhances the learning experience.

Looking towards the future, MasterClass can continue to innovate by exploring new technologies and tools to further enhance user engagement. By staying at the forefront of educational technology, MasterClass can maintain its position as a leading platform for online learning.

Comparison With Other Edtech Platforms

When comparing MasterClass to other edtech platforms, it is evident that each platform has its unique approach to online learning and revenue generation.

For instance, Duolingo, an edtech platform for language learning, utilizes gamification to engage users. They generate income through a combination of ads on their free app and premium subscriptions that offer an ad-free experience and additional features.

See also  Verizon Business Model

On the other hand, MasterClass operates on a straightforward subscription model, providing unlimited access to all courses for an annual fee of $180.

Khan Academy, a non-profit organization, relies on sponsors and donors for funding and offers free education globally.

Udacity focuses on specialized skills in technology, offering MOOCs and nanodegree programs with a freemium model.

Udemy, an e-learning platform, generates revenue through course sales and subscriptions, catering to both individual learners and businesses.

Each platform adopts different monetization strategies and approaches to engage users, catering to different learning needs.

Future Growth and Expansion

What are the potential avenues for future growth and expansion for this innovative online learning platform?

MasterClass has already experienced significant success and growth since its founding in 2013. However, there are still opportunities for further expansion.

One potential avenue is market penetration, where MasterClass could focus on attracting a larger portion of the existing market for online learning platforms. This could involve targeted marketing campaigns, partnerships with other companies, or offering additional features and benefits to differentiate itself from competitors.

Another avenue for growth is international expansion. Currently, MasterClass primarily caters to an English-speaking audience, but there is potential to tap into new markets by offering courses in different languages and targeting learners in other countries.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Masterclass Attract and Convince Top Experts to Become Instructors on Their Platform?

MasterClass attracts and convinces top experts to become instructors through a combination of cold calling, persistence, and luck. They offer upfront payments and revenue share opportunities, providing financial incentives. Being associated with a prestigious platform and reaching a global audience are additional benefits for experts.

See also  Business Model Canvas Vs. Value Proposition Canvas

What Kind of Technology Does Masterclass Use to Enhance the Educational Experience?

MasterClass utilizes advanced technology in education to enhance the learning experience. They have developed proprietary tools, such as voice pitch evaluation, to provide interactive and personalized instruction. These EdTech advancements contribute to their mission of enabling people to learn from the best.

How Did Masterclass Validate Their Idea Before Launching the Platform?

MasterClass validated their idea through market research, securing top experts, and gauging user interest. They conducted surveys, user interviews, and created a test class. Their ability to attract renowned instructors like Dustin Hoffman further validated their concept.

How Does Masterclass's Revenue Model Compare to Other Edtech Platforms?

MasterClass's revenue model differs from other edtech platforms such as Coursera and Udemy. While Coursera and Udemy rely on course sales and subscriptions, MasterClass operates on a membership revenue model, offering unlimited access to all courses for an annual fee.

What Factors Contribute to Masterclass's Success in Attracting Top Instructors and Providing High-Quality Instruction?

The success of MasterClass in attracting top instructors and providing high-quality instruction can be attributed to the importance of branding in attracting talent and the role of user feedback in maintaining instructional standards.


In conclusion, MasterClass has successfully established itself as a leading player in the online education industry by offering high-quality instruction from renowned experts.

Its innovative business model, focused on membership revenue and personalized learning experiences, has contributed to its rapid growth and valuation.

With its ability to attract top talent and a strong emphasis on quality, MasterClass is well-positioned for future expansion and continued success in the competitive EdTech market.

Leave a Comment