An Upcoming Change to the Teacher Payments Model

At Skillshare, our teachers are our top priority. We know you work hard to create amazing experiences for your students, and it’s your dedication to the platform that keeps students learning and engaged.

As our community evolves, we remain committed to ensuring that teachers who provide the highest quality learning experiences are rewarded accordingly. That’s why we’re updating our teacher payments model starting January 1st, 2017 to compensate teachers based on the number of minutes watched by Premium students in their classes each month, rather than Premium enrollments.

Our current enrollments-based model accounts only for the number of students you’re able to get into your classes but it does not reflect the experience they have once they’ve enrolled. In the new model, the more video content your students watch, the more you’ll earn. This means that teachers who provide the most value to their students by teaching real skills in a clear, engaging way will be the most successful.

Publishing high quality classes on a regular basis will continue to be the best way to earn consistent revenue in this new model. Each new class you publish is an opportunity to bring your followers back to watch more video and to get your channel discovered by new students.

We believe that this transition will allow Skillshare to remain a healthy platform well into the future, and we’re excited to continue working together to make Skillshare the best platform to learn and teach online.

Q&A

When will I see this change go into effect?

We will switch to the new model on January 1st, 2017. The first payment you’ll receive based on the new model will happen on February 16th and will take into account the amount of watch time in your classes from January 1st through January 31st.

If you would like to opt out of this new payment model, you’ll need to remove your classes from Skillshare before January 1st, 2017. Contact us at teach@skillshare.com to do so. If your classes are live on Skillshare after January 1st, 2017, this indicates that you’ve opted into the new system. Referral payments will continue unchanged.

How much will I earn in this new system?

Your monthly share of the royalty pool will be calculated based on watch time across all your classes, measured in minutes watched by premium students. For example, if 5% of all premium video watch time on Skillshare happened in your classes, you would receive 5% of the royalty pool that month. We expect the amount earned per minute-watched to fluctuate between $0.05 and $.10.

You must get a minimum total of 30 minutes watched across all of your classes within a month in order to receive a payment for that month. For context, the average teacher channel received 1,000 premium minutes watched in November 2016.

How can I see the number of minutes watched in my classes?

You’ll now see minutes watched data within the Stats section of each one of your classes. We’ve also updated your Teacher Stats dashboard to include a Total Minutes Watched graph that takes into account the total number of minutes watched across all of your classes since January 1st, 2016.

How do minutes-watched by free students factor in? 

Only minutes watched in Premium classes by students with a Premium Membership will count towards royalty payments. Minutes watched in a free class or by a free member through a free enrollment link will not count. 

Will minutes watched offline through the app count? 

Yes, offline watch time is recorded and incorporated just like online watch time the next time a member logs in online.

What if a student watches my class in 2X speed?

The actual amount of time a student spends watching your videos is what will count towards your total minutes watched. For example, if a student watches your 10 minute video in 2X speed, this would count as 5 minutes watched towards your payment. If a student watches your 10 minute video in 0.5X speed, this would count as 20 minutes watched. 

The vast majority of students watch videos on Skillshare at the regular 1X speed. 

Does this mean that longer classes are better? 

Not necessarily. In the new model, we anticipate that classes that offer the most value to students will find the most success, regardless of length. While a long class indeed has the potential for more minutes watched, if it is not high-quality, it is unlikely that students will continue watching it for long. In contrast, if a shorter class is high-quality, it will be watched all the way through and receive positive reviews, attracting even more students to watch it. 

We encourage you to choose your class length by thinking about how you can teach students a new skill in the most clear and engaging way. 

What should I know for making my next class?

The best way to maximize your monthly watch time is to keep teaching! Each new class you publish is an opportunity to bring your followers back to watch more video content and to get your channel discovered by new students. We’ll be developing lots of resources in the coming months to help you maximize the amount of video content your students watch in each class you publish, but here are a few tips to get you started:

  • 20-60 minutes of video is the sweet spot for class length, and we encourage you to continue experimenting to see what length works best for your content and audience.
  • Review our best practices for outlining an engaging class. Students tend to keep watching when your content is direct and thorough.
  • Hone your presentation skills. Teach clearly and confidently to keep your students engaged.
  • Post a Discussion from your channel and ask your students what they want to learn next and what they like best about your content. Choose your next topic by considering how you can deliver the most value to your audience.

Have more questions?

Please email us at teach@skillshare.com, and our Teacher Support team will get back to you as soon as possible!