Note: We plan to share the following draft sections to both our basic subscribers and publicly through the blog. As is our practice, we are sharing with premium subscribers first.

Given the LMS market slowdown in 2018 that we first commented on last summer to our premium subscribers and in a public blog post in January, we’ve been watching the market to see if there are changes in overall activity. In particular, we’ve been tracking trailing 12 month (T12M) new implementations data, since that data removes the seasonality variances of the EdTech market. We’ve also been tracking year over year (YoY) performance of individual LMS platforms in the four global regions we cover. As we approach our mid-year report due in July, we’d like to provide an update. At a high level, we continue to see a market slowdown when compared to the same point last year, but we have also seen a trend in the past few months of increased activity – not large enough to reverse the slowdown but worth noting.

The tables below track new implementations globally (all four regions we cover) and in North America. For each table, we look at T12M new implementations data for December 2018 through May 2019 and provide a YoY comparison with the same data collected from December 2017 through May 2018. These comparisons are made by looking at the fixed number of new implementations included in the monthly premium subscriber reports. As many of you know, the number of new implementations in our database per any given period grows over time as new implementations are detected, sometimes by almost 40% over a 12-18 month period. For this reason, we use the static monthly reports to make the year over year comparisons. By this logic, the number of new implementations in the monthly reports lags the eventual actual number of new implementations but enables us to make accurate year over year comparisons that inform observations about the direction of the market.

Please note that the following is based on institution counts and not scaled by enrollment.

Some notes worth considering:

  • New implementations are trending slightly upward in the global market. December 2018 T12M data show 277 new implementations compared to 291 new implementations as of May 2019.
  • Some of this uptick can be attributed to the Galileo institutions in Europe and Latin America that migrated to Blackboard earlier this year.
  • The last six months of T12M data is consistently down by 25-35% on a YoY basis.

Now let’s focus on North America.

Some notes worth considering:

  • New implementations in North America are trending down on a T12M basis. December 2018 T12M data show 237 new implementations compared to 197 in May 2019.
  • The average of the last six months of YoY T12M data suggest the market is down more than 25%. 
  • Some of this downward trend can likely be explained by a higher implementation numbers in early 2018 due to the roll-out of Blackboard Learn across University of Phoenix campuses in the United States.

The next three months are likely to shape the trajectory of the market for the rest of the year. The summer is when we are most likely to observe new institutional decisions (First Seen data), it is also a peak for schools completing a migration, and it provides the opportunity for us to speak to large numbers of LMS clients at the vendor user conferences.

In addition to the overall market trends, we decided to take a closer look at what’s happening with the different vendors in different geographies, also on a T12M basis. The ‘Global’ column includes a handful of Oceania implementations but, due to small numbers, those are not broken out separately.

Some notes worth considering:

  • Canvas and Moodle are down YoY in all geographies.
  • D2L is down everywhere but in Europe. We noted in our January visit to the UK that we were particularly impress with D2L’s UK operations.
  • Blackboard, by contrast, is up in all geographies. The growth in Europe and LatAm can largely be attributed to Galileo schools. In North America, the implementations are mostly, but not entirely, University of Phoenix campuses. While both migrations are good for Blackboard as a business, we consider both to be one-off deals and not indicators of market activity (with Galileo sharing Providence Equity as owner).
  • At a global level, on a T12M basis as of May 2019, Canvas new implementations declined by 45%, Brightspace by 49% and Moodle by 55%. Blackboard was up 122%.
  • D2L’s Latin America business dried up completely in the last 12 months.
  • Canvas had its steepest decline in Europe (55%) followed by North America (44%).

We hope you find this analysis valuable. As always, we’re interested in your feedback and please reach out if any questions come up when you’re reading this month’s Special Update.



The MindWires Team