Today, we’re proud to announce the launch of our much anticipated Native Academy Platform. In addition to our traditional Shop product, our current and future partners will now have the option of monetizing through an online course marketplace. Our Native Academy Platform is the first ever full-service solution that allows publishers to offer personal and professional development courses relevant to their readers, and we’re so excited to provide this unique opportunity to the publisher community. 

The additional focus on online learning follows years of consistent growth across the category. It’s no secret that our publisher audiences are enthusiastic about online learning, and this was recently evidenced by the celebration of the millionth course completed by our network of students. Our publisher shops have generated just shy of $11 million in sales through online learning alone, and the launch of the Academy Platform is expected to significantly increase earnings for both new and existing media partners.

The response from the online instructor community has been overwhelmingly positive with more than 350 prominent instructors joining within the first month. Unlike other online learning sites, we’re able to offer the unique advantage of our built-in marketing engine, which grants instructors the opportunity to be featured across our expansive publisher network. The top 10 instructors alone have earned more than $6 million dollars, in addition to gaining exposure on publications like BGR, Engadget, Popular Science and more.

“The major challenge for online instructors is effectively marketing courses to targeted groups of students,” said our instructor Huw Collingbourne. “StackCommerce’s platform does this for us, and you simply can’t find that massive benefit anywhere else. In fact, my Ruby coding course alone brought in over 24,000 new students in just three months. I’ve substantially increased my income by finding new markets for my existing courses with StackCommerce.”

For our quickly expanding network of publishers, including BoingBoing, The Next Web, Digg, and Mobile Nations, online courses have successfully allowed them to monetize while still engaging their readers. Courses already convert at an impressive 5% on average, and we’ve been working long nights to release new site improvements aimed at optimizing the discovery and purchase experience even further. Our partners will now have a much more expansive library of courses to offer their readers, as well as a full list of new tools and features:

  • Ratings & Wishlist Feature
  • Freshly Designed Course Pages
  • Powerful Search Engine & User Experience
  • Easy, Streamlined Redemption
  • Discounting & Marketing Tools

There is a clear untapped market for online courses that promote continued education in fields that evolve quickly, and we’re helping publishers take advantage of it. Readers are looking for quality, affordable courses and publishers are looking to monetize without cheapening their brands with ads. Our hope is that by having this platform available, publishers will find better, more fulfilling ways to monetize in the quickly-evolving online media landscape.