Coronavirus Lockdowns Spark Boom in Online Learning for Adults, Too

Not exactly to do with books, but a possible way of making money by sharing knowledge included in a book or series of books through a different medium plus as a marketing tool to sell more books to help sell more books.

From The Wall Street Journal:

From her home in Portland, Ore., Peggy Dean perches her iPhone on a tripod and records five-minute lessons on subjects ranging from modern calligraphy to watercolor. Since the coronavirus struck, demand for her videos has soared, with viewing figures doubling from a year ago.

The business of selling skills online—from art to coding—has been booming during the pandemic. Online educators say adults are making time to learn during lockdown, joining millions of children and college students taking classes at home and adding to the raft of in-home activities gaining in popularity. Teachers say online learning was already growing, and lockdowns have accelerated that, but competition is coming from automated lessons powered by algorithms.

Ms. Dean, a former hair stylist, posts her videos along with roughly 6,000 other teachers to Skillshare Inc., a New York-based website that charges $99 a year for unlimited video classes. Ms. Dean, one of the site’s most-watched teachers, said she makes six figures from teaching online.

Daily viewers and time spent on Skillshare have more than tripled from last year, the company said. Revenue shared by teachers like Ms. Dean rose 12% between March and April, and the company expects it to rise again this month and next as free-trial users start paying up.

Last month, the site’s top teacher made $68,000 with videos about how to use Adobe software, said Skillshare, which has 500,000 paying subscribers. All teachers earn a cut of a royalty pool based on minutes watched, with the top 500 earning about $2,000 a month on average but most other teachers earning far less.

Ms. Dean, 33 years old, said she regularly speaks to other teachers on the site who say they are also getting more viewers. “We’re all seeing those minutes skyrocket,” she said, adding that her numbers have doubled to 475,000 minutes in April from last year.

Link to the rest at The Wall Street Journal (PG apologizes for the paywall, but hasn’t figured out a way around it.)