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Thursday, February 21, 2013

E-learning expenditure set to grow, study finds

IBIS Capital Limited, a specialist investment bank focused on the Media sector, has produced a 101 page report on the e-learning sector - with market information and analysis from Learning Light, a consultancy with an in-depth knowledge and experience of the e-Learning marketplace and how to use e-Learning materials effectively.

Entitled, the 'Global e-Learning Investment Review', the report examines, among other things:

• Education trends and technology innovation

• An analysis of the industry's structure (Content, Management Systems and Distribution)

• Valuation metrics along with a review of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity

• An overview of investor and strategic interest in the sector

Among its conclusions are:

• Global education expenditure market is projected to grow at 7.4 per cent until 2017

• E-learning expenditure is projected to grow at 23.0 per cent pa to $255.5bn from 2012 to 2017. Some eight per cent of this will be in the corporate market

• The global language learning market is set to grow at 20.0 per cent pa to $247.5bn in 2017, with English language learning growing at 25.0 per cent pa

• The penetration of mobile devices is significantly increasing the number of access points to e-learning

• Corporate investment in the workforce to enhance their skills provides an on-going vested interest to retain and develop employee skills still further

• In Europe, companies in Spain and the UK lead the way in their use of e-learning (with 56 per cent and 53 per cent respectively of learners using it):

• However, Germany leads on its use of serious games and mobile learning, with German learner penetration rates of 21 per cent and 15 per cent respectively

• The world market for Serious Gaming & Gamification is forecast to grow from $2.0bn in 2012 to $7.4bn in 2015

• Despite being the largest single market in Europe, the number of UK e-learning software development companies has fallen by 11 per cent pa for the last two years, in part due to consolidation within the industry

• Corporate training companies have seen the strongest valuation improvement in the last 18 months. The Corporate Training market is a $200bn industry, of which $26bn is e-learning. E-learning in this sector is expected to grow to some $32bn by 2015

The report sets out IBIS Capital's 'Lessons for the Future' for would-be investors in this sector. These include:

• The rise in peer-to-peer platforms will result in large amounts of educational content becoming freely available. Business models will focus on delivering chargeable premium bespoke and ancillary services.

• Learning will become increasingly personalised with e-learning harnessing big data analytics to provide interactive learning that is tailored to the meet the individual's learning patterns and aptitude

• With the rise of mobile and tablet penetration, students will increasingly access content 'anytime, anywhere'. The classroom will become the arena for face-to-face tutoring of individual requirements and open discussion.

• The need to improve skills, meet regulatory requirements and manage training costs will result in e-learning becoming part of the fabric of virtually every business.

• As the range of e-learning offerings expand, the need for qualifications and standards to be recognised will become increasingly important. The accreditation will become unified over time and educational brands will reduce to a small number of global players.

• The education process will continue throughout an individual's life. Individuals will maintain a live log of their learning experiences from the time they start their studies and then on through their working lives.

The report also sets out 47 significant Education M&A transactions, where 75 per cent of these have been in the e-learning sector over the past two years, amounting to some $3.8bn by transaction value.

David Patterson, director of Learning Light, said: "While any company that wants to acquire companies in this sector - or which wants to be acquired - will be anxious to read this IBIS report, Learning Light would stress the need for taking expert professional consultancy advice when performing such tasks as 'due diligence' in the run-up to any further deals."

The IBIS Capital report, 'Global e-Learning Investment Review', is available, from Learning Light's website, http://www.learninglight.com/e-learning-market-research 

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