This article will lay out the various scenarios that can occur when you’ve opted into our Marketing Boost program and will clarify some of the most common confusions and misconceptions. To opt out of the Marketing Boost program, click here.
Who are Udemy Affiliates and What do They do?
The Udemy Affiliate Program is run by Rakuten LinkShare - a network of thousands of affiliates and advertisers. The primary purpose of this network is to get your courses in front of a larger audience, one that may not have come to Udemy via other efforts. In other words, affiliates drive new students to the site. It takes our affiliate partners time and work to select and integrate courses onto their websites, emails, newsletters, and social media promotions. We work off of a commission structure with affiliates that is competitive with industry and standards. This allows us to attract high quality affiliates to grow the student base available for your courses!
Revenue Sharing with Affiliates
If you see that a sale in your revenue report says “Affiliate” under the “Channel” column, you will receive 25% of the purchase price for that sale, per Udemy’s instructor revenue sharing agreement. Click on the purchase price for a detailed breakdown of the sale. Udemy’s affiliate team creates special coupon codes for opted-in courses that are promoted by our affiliate network.
Why was my Instructor Coupon Code Used by an Affiliate?
There are two scenarios that explain why a sale with an instructor coupon code is attributed to an affiliate.
An affiliate found your coupon code and promoted it via their own site, email, newsletter, social media channel, etc. Just like any online advertiser, when you create and share a coupon code, it can quickly get picked up by search engines like Google or Bing, or any other affiliate site, including those within Udemy’s affiliate network. It’s important to remember that although this sale is showing your instructor coupon code, the affiliate drove a new student to your course who wouldn’t have otherwise purchased it.
The second scenario is that the student clicked on an affiliate link in the last 7 days. When a student clicks an affiliate link that directs to Udemy, their Udemy account is tagged with a “tracking link”. For the following 7 days, any purchases they make on Udemy will be attributed to the affiliate and the affiliate will earn standard commission, even if an instructor coupon is entered.
Remember to always use coupon code best practices when generating coupons for your course. Set coupon code redemption limits and an expiration dates for each code you create.
A Few Things to Note
Affiliate Window: The standard “cookie window” for an affiliate is 30-90 days. In comparison, Udemy offers only a 7 day window, during which time (as noted above) the affiliate will earn commission on any sales.
Vast Network: Our network spans over 6,000 affiliate partners. That’s 6,000 sites with the potential to drive new traffic to your Udemy course!
Vetting Process: When deciding whether to accept an affiliate into our network, we look at how many unique visitors land on the affiliate site every month. We only approve affiliates that have the potential to become large traffic generators and we don’t accept sites with the potential to harm Udemy’s brand (ie. spammy, inappropriate, etc.)
Always Improving: We’re working on recruiting more large, high quality content sites (think gawker.com). A focus going forward will also be to grow our network internationally and bring in new students from around the globe. Finally, we’re also moving toward a system that encourages affiliates to highlight newer courses across various categories to help diversity the traffic to Udemy, encompassing a larger number of courses and instructors.
Read ArticleAs an instructor, you have the option to participate in the Udemy Deals Program. The Udemy Deals Program is made up of two marketing channels that spotlight your course(s) in different ways. Millions of students enroll in courses every year through the Udemy Deals Program, and both the Percentage Promotions and the Fixed Price Promotions are powerful levers to help you maximize your revenue potential on Udemy. You can opt out of this program at any time by editing your promotional agreements.
Percentage PromotionsIf you opt into this program, Udemy can promote your course at prices up to 75% off of the original base price of your course. This can be an effective way to convert new students into your Udemy courses.
Fixed Price PromotionsIf you opt into this program, Udemy can promote your course for a fixed price ($15, $25, $35, e.g.), but no lower than $10 USD (or relevant localized price). The Fixed Price Promotions program is a potent tool to generate sales on your courses with existing Udemy students.
Edit Instructor Promotional AgreementsYou can update your promotional agreements at any time. However if a site-wide discount has started while your courses were opted into promotional agreements, they will be eligible for the promotion until the end of the campaign. Likewise, courses cannot be opted into a current campaign by changing the promotional agreement.
To change your promotional agreements:
- Move your cursor to your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- From the dropdown click on My Profile.
- From the side menu, select Premium Instructor.
- Under your PayPal information, select Manage Promotional Agreements.
- Scroll down to Udemy Deals Program and make a selection.
- Scroll down and click Save.
Participation in Udemy Deals program is governed by the terms available here.
Udemy pays instructors 30 days after the end of the month. For example, if a student purchases your course at any time in August, you will receive a payment within the first week of October. This delay allows all purchases to pass the 30 day refund period.
Take a look at your revenue report to confirm that a payment is past due.
My Payment is Due and I Haven't Received Anything
If your revenue report is showing that you should have received a payment, but you haven't received it, please check the following:
- On the premium instructor page, confirm that the address tied to your PayPal account matches your information on PayPal.
- Check that your PayPal account is verified to receive payments.
- Contact PayPal to see if there are any issues with your account.
Contact Udemy Support
If you're still having trouble, please contact Udemy support. Be sure to mention the monthly payments that you haven't received.
There is no fee to create and host a course on Udemy. You can publish as many free and paid courses as you like. We believe in a sustainable partnership where instructors are rewarded for creating amazing content and bringing students to the platform, and Udemy is rewarded for driving traffic to our instructors.
Click here to jump to the revenue share scenario table.
About the Instructor Revenue Share
Udemy operates under a tiered revenue share for paid courses. As an instructor, the two main revenue share scenarios that you can expect most often are:
- Instructor Promotion → 100% revenue share (less a 3% administrative processing fee, 4% in the territory of Japan) on sales made by instructors where the student makes the purchase using an Instructor Coupon (either at full price or at a discount), which you the instructor create and control.
- Udemy Organic → 50% revenue share on organic Udemy sales where no Instructor Coupon is used.
If you’re opted in to any of our marketing programs, i.e., Udemy Deals, and the marketing boost program, your revenue share can range from 25% to 50%. Receiving 97% revenue share is only possible when your course is purchased with an instructor coupon.
These programs are completely optional, and you can change your participation status at any time from the premium instructor page. That said, instructors who participate in Udemy’s Marketing Programs make, on average, 54% more than instructors who don't participate.
These examples explain possible revenue scenarios:
Scenario Description Revenue Share Organic Course Sales A student finds your course in Udemy's marketplace and makes a purchase without using an Instructor Coupon code
- 50% Instructor
- 50% Udemy
Instructor Coupon Code Sales A student purchases your course using an Instructor Coupon code, either from promotions to your own audience (e.g., your email list or YouTube subscribers) or to your Udemy students via Promotional Emails.
- 97% Instructor
- 0% Udemy
Affiliate Sales (< 7 day window) A student purchases your course within 7 days of clicking an affiliate link with or without using an Instructor Coupon code.
- 40% Affiliate
- 10% Affilate LinkShare Manager
- 25% Instructor
- 25% Udemy
Affiliate Sales (> 7 day window) A student uses your instructor coupon code to purchase your course more than 7 days after clicking on an affiliate link.
- 0% Affiliate
- 97% Instructor
- 0% Udemy
Affiliate Sales (> 7 day window) A student acquired by an Affiliate purchases your course outside the 7 day window without using an Instructor Coupon code.
- 0% Affiliate
- 50% Instructor
- 50% Udemy
Ad Program Sales w/ Instructor Coupon A student acquired by Udemy via paid ad purchases a course using an Instructor Coupon code
- 97% Instructor
- 0% Udemy
Ad Program Sales w/o Instructor Coupon A Student acquired by Udemy via paid ad purchases a course without using an Instructor Coupon code.
- 25% Instructor
- 75% Udemy
External Partner Program A student purchases your course from an External Partner (e.g., Groupon) with or without an Instructor Coupon code.
- (up to) 50% Partner
- 25% Instructor
- 25% Udemy
Apple and Google keep 30% of mobile sales, and revenue splits happen based on the Net Amount received. See Udemy’s Premium Instructor Agreement for details.
So What's This All Mean for You?
The key thing to keep in mind is that if you’re spending your time doing what you do best -- creating high quality courses and getting students excited about your Udemy course -- you stand to keep up to 97% of the net revenue from course sales.
In the meantime, Udemy will be hard at work growing the marketplace, expanding your potential audience, and delivering you results. Instructor success boils down to one simple equation:
PRICE x VOLUME = INSTRUCTOR SUCCESS
Udemy really shines at growing the marketplace and expanding your potential audience, and this instructor revenue share allows us to invest heavily in aggressively marketing on your behalf [think: new channels such as Udemy For Organizations, mobile, new international markets, and many, many more new potential students].
Plus, and this part is important, Udemy is a true community. In addition to having our entire marketing team push for your success (whether that means driving dollars, impacting students, or something else), our instructors support one another by pooling their knowledge about what works. This means that you’ll have the entire 9,000 instructor community at Udemy identifying new tips, tricks, and tactics to help you grow your student base and revenue. Check out the latest tactics for promotional success here.
You’ll be able to track your sales, including the student source and traffic source for each student in your Udemy Revenue Report.
We’re thrilled to partner with you to truly change the game in education, and make sure that people worldwide have a chance to never stop learning.
Once a student has purchased your course, you'll have access to the instructor revenue report.
Viewing the Revenue Report
The revenue report can be reached from every page on Udemy.
- Click "Instructor" in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
- From the dropdown menu, select Revenue Report
The revenue will load a high level summary of purchases.
Revenue by Channel
This page shows which channels are driving your revenue in any given month.
- Hover over the chart to see how each channel is performing.
- Click and drag to zoom in for a closer look at the graph.
Scroll down the revenue report to see expected payment dates and the payment amount for a given time period. Click on a month to see a more detailed report.
After clicking on a specific month, you'll see a breakdown of all revenue by channel.
- Your Promotions - These sales were created from your personal marketing efforts. If a student purchased your course through your instructor coupon link, the revenue will be attributed to this category.
- Udemy Organic - A student discovered and purchased your course after browsing the Udemy site. They did not use an instructor coupon code.
- Ad Program - A student purchased your course after clicking through an ad. These ads appear on Facebook and Google AdWords
- Affiliate Program - A Udemy advertiser drove traffic to your course before the course was purchased.
- Refunds - A student returned your course within the 30 day window.
Your Promotion Activity
The second pie chart shows which of your promotions are driving sales. Udemy coupons will not appear in this section, only instructor coupons.
Your Earnings by Course
Breakdown of Your Total Earnings
Your Total Earnings is broken down in the table below across each tab, and it follows the equation:
TOTAL EARNINGS = YOUR SHARE OF TOTAL PURCHASES + OTHER REVENUE - REFUNDS
Your share of total purchases is your net revenue after revenues are split with Udemy, any marketing partners (e.g., affiliates), and any co-instructors on your course. This article explains the details behind Udemy’s revenue share.
Other revenue includes external partner payments, adjustments (corrections for any errors in past statements), and any revenue generated from Corporate Subscription, if applicable.
RedemptionsRedemptions occur when a bulk purchase, or coupon purchased on third party site, is redeemed. Third party sites include companies like Groupon, Stacksocial, Living Social, and others.
Viewing Single Transaction DetailsYou can get more insight into a particular transaction by clicking on the hyperlink under the column, Your Revenue. This will give you a few extra details about the revenue share for that transaction.
Export Revenue Report as .csvYou can downloading the revenue report as a .csv file in order to further analyze the data. Click Export CSV button in the upper right, enter your email, and we’ll send you the file within a couple of minutes.
Click here for more details about the Instructor Revenue share.
If you are having issues saving your PayPal account information on the premium instructor application, try the steps below.
- Check with PayPal to make sure that there are not any restrictions on your account. Blocks and restrictions can prevent accounts from being verified.
- Make sure you're using the exact billing address and email that is associated with your PayPal account.
If you're still having trouble, please contact Udemy support with a screenshot of your address as it appears on PayPal.
All Udemy instructors are contracted with the U.S.-based Udemy, Inc. Udemy pays instructors through PayPal. Currently, this is the only way that instructors can be paid, but we are actively working to offer payment options that are more accommodating for our international instructors.
If you do not have a Paypal account, you can sign up for PayPal directly from their website.
If you are not able to register for a PayPal account, or PayPal is not available in your country, please contact our Instructor Support team at email@example.com. Our team will let you know as soon as a new payment method becomes available.
Instructor Payments Flow
- As an instructor, a contract is signed with U.S.-based Udemy, Inc.
- The course is published on Udemy.com
- In the first month, a student purchases your course(s). Student fees are transferred to Udemy
- Months 1 & 2: Udemy, Inc. processes refunds, etc.
- Month 3: Udemy pays instructor [(total Month 1 student payments – total refunds) x % revenue share]
- All payments to instructors are from U.S.-based Udemy, Inc.
As an instructor, you are free to publish as many free and paid courses as you like. We believe in a sustainable partnership, in which instructors are rewarded for creating amazing content and bringing students to the platform, and Udemy is rewarded for driving traffic to all our instructors.