masterclass Business Model – How does masterclass make money

What is the most important thing you need to succeed in life? Think about it. Education right? This is probably the most important thing in the life of a human being. Without proper education, you cannot expect to be in a good position especially in the current world. It does not matter if you are in a village in Africa or in a city in the United States every parent in every household will urge their kids to study well. This is because it is the easiest way in which you can get a better living. Having a good education will open up a lot of opportunities for you. If you are someone who comes from a poor or middle-class background then education is all the more important to you. It is the safest way for people coming from these circumstances to become financially independent. For some people, it is the only way.

When people think about education the first thing that comes to their mind is a school, college, or university. They think about all the subjects they had to study, the presentations they had to do, and the final project to get their degree. Apart from colleges, you can also learn your favorite subjects or courses through independent instructors or trainers. All you have to do is pay them a fee and they will teach you the complete course. Most people at least at one point in their life might have thought about learning something from their home. Well, thanks to the advancements in technology and the rise of the internet you can learn almost anything sitting in your home. All you have to do is open your smartphone or laptop and search the internet for your favorite courses. You will find hundreds of people offering the course. 

In the past five years, there has been a surge in EdTech startups and they have been very successful. Today you are going to learn about one such company and it is MasterClass. If you ever searched for online courses you must have definitely come across this site. It is one most popular EdTech companies in the world yet not many people know about its business model or the way in which makes money. Don’t worry, this article is completely about that. But before knowing about those let’s learn a little bit more about the company.

What is MasterClass?

By now all of you might have guessed that MasterClass is an online education platform. This is an American company that was founded in the year 2014. MasterClass is a pseudo name that is used by Yanka industries to do business. This company was founded by Aaron Rasmussen and David Rogier. David Rogier was into entrepreneurship from an early age. He managed to create a search engine and sell it to a company for an unknown amount of money when he was 13 years old. David Rogier went to Washington University to pursue his graduation. After that, he went to Stanford to finish his MBA. During this time he also held various executive positions. He met his co-founder Aaron Rasmussen through mutual friends. They both met for a coffee and hit it off instantly. After that, he went to work for his professor Michael Dearing who is also the co-founder of Harrison Metal.

Harrison Metal is a seed investment company and it was the first company to invest in MasterClass. It took months for the founders of MasterClass to come up with the idea. They had to do a lot of research and interviews before coming up with this idea. It took them almost two years to pitch the idea, develop their website, and film their content. The website went live in 2015. Dustin Hoffman hosted the first class on MasterClass. For those who do not know him, he is an American actor who is known for the versatile roles he played. This video was taken down in 2018 when the actor faced allegations of sexual misconduct. MasterClass was an instant hit. It managed to sell more than 30,000 courses within the first few months. The company was funded multiple times till now. Today the company is valued at over $800 million.

Business Model of MasterClass

MasterClass has been very successful all these years. The company may have only a few important things to focus on but the way they execute their business is what made it so successful. Let’s look at the important aspects of its Business model.

Online educational platform

Being an online educational platform is a huge advantage for MasterClass. This provides people an alternative to traditional learning. Above all, it is easily accessible to a large number of people at the same time. This also provides them an opportunity to sell their courses to all kinds of people around the world. It means that they are targeting a global audience not just local.

Courses from famous personalities and professionals

This is one thing that made MasterClass very famous. It has courses from various celebrities and some of the top business leaders as well as professionals in their field. People who only saw them on TV or in newspapers could learn from them. How cool it would be to learn from the people you have admired all through your life? It has courses from Natalie Portman on acting, and filmmaking courses from the legendary director Martin Scorcese. You can also find cooking lessons from one of the most popular chefs of all time Gordon Ramsay. 

Apart from these you also have a course from Bob Iger the executive chairman of Disney where teaches you leadership and business strategy. Even tennis champ Serena Williams offers a course. The best thing about MasterClass is that it only offers courses from people who are really good at their profession. This is the reason why most of the applicants who want to put out a course on MasterClass get rejected. Basically, only the best courses are available for the people.

Offers courses on various topics

It offers courses on various subjects to people all around the world. MasterClass offers over 80 different courses on its platform. By paying the annual subscription fee users can get unlimited access to all the courses.

How does MasterClass make money?

There are only two ways in which it makes money. Let’s go through them.

Subscription fee

This the main source of revenue for MasterClass. The users have to pay $180 per year to get access to the courses. Once they pay for the subscription they will have access to the entire library. Users can log in at any time from anywhere and watch the courses they want.

Selling courses

This is another way in which MasterClass generates revenue. If you want to learn only one course and do not want to pay the yearly subscription you can just buy that course. All you have to do is pay $90 and you will get that course. The best part about this is that you will get lifetime access to that particular course by paying this one-time fee.


This is the business model of MasterClass. It is a subscription-based business model. The growth of MasterClass has been tremendous over the years. All of this is because of the quality of the content it puts out. The rise of MasterClass is not going to stop any time soon. Check out other interesting business models on Zeen. Click here to learn about the business model of Flipkart.

Related posts

Latest posts

Everand Business Model – How Does the Digital Library Everand Make Money?

The internet is meant for sharing—and when it comes to distributing documents online, few do it better than Scribd. Dubbed the "YouTube for documents"...

Minimizing Shading Losses with Solar Panel Shading Analysis from Solar Companies: A Comprehensive Guide

Do you feel that warmth? That's the sun gracing us with its abundant energy, free for the taking! But here's the thing, dear friend,...

10 Proven Ways to Generate Income Through Stocks

Investing in stocks is an excellent way to build wealth and achieve financial goals. Beyond capital appreciation, stocks also offer opportunities for generating consistent...