Introducing a New Teacher Payment Model (September 2022)

Skillshare’s new teacher payment model is designed to reward teachers for creating high quality classes, growing their community, and engaging meaningfully with their students.

These changes more closely align teacher earnings with the class content and onsite engagement our members love. As a result, the new model allows us to effectively incentivize and reward teachers in a way that leads to more successful outcomes for students and thus, teachers.

The changes below will go into effect beginning October 1, 2022, with the November 16 payment the first to reflect the new model:

The Skillshare Teacher Fund

Each month, Skillshare will announce a set amount that will fund teacher payments; this will replace the current royalty pool. Teachers will be paid out based on the following metrics:

  • *New* Engagement: Our students tell us they desire more teacher engagement, and teachers who do are more successful overall on the platform, so we are going to reward teachers directly who engage meaningfully with their students. We'll keep you posted on the progress of this work as we experiment with new ways to earn around engagement.
  • *Updated* Minutes Watched: When calculating how much you will get paid for minutes watched, we will be taking into account several factors tied to the member that watched your class, including things like if a member is using a free trial or the nature of their paid subscription, and other variations in their behavior.

Teacher Referrals

Skillshare is dramatically increasing the amount we pay for referrals — teachers will be paid out 90% (instead of the usual 60%) of the first membership payment of any new member they refer from October 1 through the remainder of 2022.


Read on to understand the new teacher payment model in greater detail, as well as what to expect and when.

How is the Skillshare Teacher Fund allocated to teachers?

Teachers can earn a portion of the monthly Skillshare Teacher Fund based on the minutes watched in their classes, similar to our previous royalty pool, and also by driving meaningful engagement with students across the platform. The Skillshare Teacher Fund will be a set amount of money announced at the start of each month, and will be based on a number of varying factors including business performance (such as sales revenue) and seasonality.

When will the amount of the Skillshare Teacher Fund be announced?

The Skillshare Teacher Fund will be announced at the start of each month in the Teacher Help Center in the article Earn From Your Teaching, and we will remind you of it in that month’s teacher newsletter.

  • For example, the January fund amount would be announced at the start of January in the Teacher Help Center, with a reminder in January’s teacher newsletter. Teachers will then be paid out their portion earned from the fund in the February 16th payment.

To help you plan ahead, we are excited to announce our estimated payout for the October period (to be paid out on November 16) is $1 million!

How are minutes watched calculated?

When calculating how much you will get paid for minutes watched, we will be taking into account several factors tied to the member that watched your class, including things like if a member is using a free trial or the nature of their paid subscription, and other variations in their behavior. This will enable us to align teacher earnings with actual sales revenue.

As a result, free trial minutes will only be “earned” if the new member subscribes at the end of their free trial. Our goal is to retain new members through high quality content and meaningful engagement — so they want to stick around and become a long-term learner. To further bring our model up to industry standards, we will base the revenue earned for each minute watched on the subscription amount paid by the watching member. For example, if a member paid $50 for their annual membership, any minutes they watch will be paid out according to that subscription rate. Similarly, minutes watched by a member who has paid $150 for their membership will be paid out at a higher rate. This enables us to more sustainably reward minutes watched, especially as we grow globally.

How will engagement be calculated?

As we rework our model, we also want to enhance the member experience across Skillshare and introduce new ways for teachers to earn based on engagement. This means we are going to reward you for meaningfully engaging with your students; something our most successful teachers have always done, even though they’ve not been paid extra to do so. For example, teachers might earn money for providing stellar feedback on their students’ projects or for regularly touching base with their community through meaningful discussion posts.

To identify the best ways to reward teachers for engagement, we’ll be taking an adaptive approach designed to evolve over time as member behavior shifts and at the same time we’ll also be building tools to help you track those earnings and enhance engagement. We’d love your feedback as we work on this new way for teachers to earn with Skillshare, and thank you for staying flexible and patient as we roll it out.

What changes are there to referral earnings?

Teachers will continue to earn a percentage of the first membership payment of each new member they refer. From October 1, 2022, through the end of the year, Skillshare will pay teachers 90% of each new member you refer (previously 60%) net of refunds.

Why are you making these changes?

As teachers on Skillshare, you’ve always been partners in this business — your success is our success. We are making these changes to better align your success (which is now defined by minutes watched, engagement, and referrals) and earnings, with the health of our community and the overall business. These changes also bring our teacher payment model up to industry standards, while focusing on delivering the best experience for our teachers and students.

What was wrong with the previous model?

The previous model oversimplified what success looks like on Skillshare by only looking at minutes watched and referrals. The new model enables us to better reward high quality teachers who create great classes, meaningfully engage with their students, and who are committed to growing their community on Skillshare.

The new model also enables Skillshare to adapt to economic and seasonal fluctuations, and to regularly keep our teachers in the loop by announcing the Skillshare Teacher Fund amount on a monthly basis. As many of you know, we already see seasonal fluctuations in site traffic based on holidays, and this new model, especially the change to a fund, allows us to be more adaptable and transparent with our teachers as those occur throughout the year.

When will these changes go into effect?

The new model will go into effect on October 1, 2022, and be reflected in your November 16 payment for the first time.

Until then, teacher earnings for August and September, which will be paid out on September 16 and October 16, 2022, respectively, will be based on the existing payment model: we will set aside 30% of those months’ net revenue (e.g. less processing fees and taxes like those charged by app stores and credit cards) toward the teacher royalty pool, and you will earn a portion of that royalty pool based on your minutes watched in that same month. And then starting October 1, 2022, the new model will take effect.

Will the new model impact my earnings?

You are probably wondering how these changes will impact your current earnings. During this transition period, we do anticipate changes to overall earnings for some teachers, and appreciate your flexibility as we settle into the new payment model.

How will I be able to track my earnings?

The Teacher Stats dashboard will be updated in line with the new teacher payment model. We know how important and valuable it is to have visibility and predictability into your teacher earnings. The Teacher Stats dashboard will continue to show an estimated range of your next teacher payment, as well as the full history of your earnings — from both the previous and new model.

What other changes should teachers expect?

We’re always iterating on how to enhance the overall experience for both our teachers and students. While we don’t have anything to announce at this time, we are exploring how we can further optimize our teacher programs to align more closely with the kinds of classes our members love – our goal is to help all members find success on Skillshare. We’ll keep you posted as these plans develop.


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