United States / Analyst Insights
The Rise of Digital Edutainment

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by Cecilia Fernandez, Lead Industry Research Analyst
Aug 27 2020

As the world becomes more digitalized, the internet has become a space to enhance traditional learning methods. The term edutainment defines those products and services that aim to combine education with entertainment to improve learning by making it fun and pleasurable. Edutainment has increased in popularity in recent years, and media and entertainment companies see it as an opportunity to expand their product offerings.

IBISWorld estimates that the number of mobile internet connections has only increased an annualized 1.7% in 2020 as it reaches saturation. Most consumers with smartphones already have access to a reliable, fast mobile internet connection. This facilitates access to online edutainment services and thus sustains demand among younger audiences.

Personal development in the digital age

The aging population in the United States, which typically has more time and money to spend on leisure activities, has been the original target market for the edutainment industry. However, the target audience pool keeps increasing in size, especially in 2020 with stay-at-home requirements and costly tuitions. The edutainment industry offers alternative education resources at more consumer-friendly prices.

For example, MasterClass, a digital education platform the provides a wide range of classes taught by field experts and celebrities, was able to raise $100 million in a Series E funding round due to its strong surge in demand during the course of the pandemic. MasterClass charges $180 for a year of subscription with unlimited access to its mobile and desktop platform.

Consumers looking to maximize income or enhance their resumes have been gravitating toward services that offer this type of educational leisure to learn more about Photoshop, create new revenue streams through social media, or learn a new language. Offering high quality, personalized and flexible digital classes at lower prices will continue gain popularity, especially as taking one course for $2,500 in a college campus is out of reach in the middle of a pandemic.

Edutainment is part of the shift to streaming entertainment

The rise of digital education as a leisure activity has increased alongside demand for complementary industries, including Movie & Video Production industry (IBISWorld report 51211a) and Web Design Services (OD4586). Businesses that are part of the edutainment industry rely on continuous content creation and engagement initiatives, which requires highly skilled employees and services offered by these industries. Furthermore, the percentage of business conducted online is anticipated to increase 19.4% in 2020 as businesses turn to e-commerce channels and schools to online platforms to continue operations without the risk of exposure to the virus.

Stay-at-home orders bolstering demand for edutainment

The coronavirus outbreak also benefited other types of streaming platforms, such as Netflix, as consumers have relied more heavily on digital forms for entertainment. The online edutainment industry has capitalized on the fact that most people have access to the internet to increase engagement with consumers. Tracking consumer behavior and patterns with real data has allowed large players, such as MasterClass and CreativeLive, an online education platform, to offer personalized suggestions for users, which adds value to the product. Companies that keep up with demand and continue to create content, such as offering different levels of difficulty as well as niche and diverse subjects, are going to be able to keep its strong growing pace even when professionals and students return to their regular programming.