E-Learning Market in Japan: Key Research Findings 2021

Domestic E-Learning Market for FY2020 Prospered with Strong Demand after Outbreak of COVID-19

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) carried out a survey on the domestic e-learning market and found out the respective trends of B2B and B2C markets, trends of market players, and future outlook.

Transition of E-Learning Market Size
Transition of E-Learning Market Size

Market Overview

The estimated domestic e-learning market for FY2020 rose remarkably by 22.4% from the previous fiscal year to attain 288,050 million yen, among which both B2B for enterprises and B2C for individuals flourished in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the former estimated to have risen by 23.6% on a year-on-year basis to 84,550 million yen and the latter by 21.9% on the same basis to 203,500 million yen.

The B2B online learning market saw rapid surge in demand for e-learning training services where everything done online, as the conventional group training and face-to-face classes at companies have been restricted after the outbreak of COVID-19. Now that the customer segment diversified, however, the demand for small-scale and low-price services concentrated especially among SMEs suffering from belated introduction of e-learning services, further spurring the price reduction that had already been the challenge before the pandemic.

For the B2C online market, the COVID-19 calamity that has not allowed face-to-face classes encouraged the need of remote education, which increased the number of users as well as the market size dramatically. For FY2020, all the learning genres that comprise the concerned market seemed to have respectively expanded, accelerating the popularization of online learning services as an option for any person to learn.

Noteworthy Topics

Applications of AI-Used Learning Services Expanding

In recent years, provision of learning services using AI technologies (machine learning, speech recognition, automatic language processing, voice synthesis etc.) has been vitalized. As the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for an instructor to directly teach the classes face-to-face and to understand the learning statuses of each learner, further progress in e-learning through AI technologies is required more than ever before.

Currently, the mainstream of services that utilize AI is in the sphere of adaptive learning which analyzes the learners’ comprehension level and proficiency degree, and reflects them in the customized learning paths for respective learners. Also, AI-used services are in progress in the field of language skill acquisition, advices for learning, keeping up of learning motivation, and automatic generation of narratives.

The current AI-utilized e-learning services tend to use not only independent AI technologies but multiple technologies combined into the services, such as combination of adaptive learning and keeping up of learning motivation (approaching to learners/coaching) or adaptive learning and voice recognition functions (language speaking training, etc.,) showing how advanced the applications of AI technologies are.

Future Outlook

The domestic e-learning market for FY2021 is projected to rise by 8.5% from the preceding fiscal year to attain 312,600 million yen. Both the markets of B2B and B2C are expected to remain being highly demanded due to COVID-19 pandemic and are likely to increase the number of e-learning individual users as well as the user companies furthermore.

That said, however, because of some obstacles (or challenges) such as advanced price reduction in the B2B market and high demand for face-to-face training as well as increasing number of free-or-charge learning services in the B2C market, the value-based growth of the respective markets is somewhat restrictive than the previous fiscal year.

As a result, the B2B market size for FY2021 is expected to rise by 12.5% to reach 95,100 million yen and the B2C market size to increase by 6.9% to attain 217,500 million yen.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: January to March, 2021
2.Research Object: e-learning system developers, architect, and distributors, e-learning contents developers and providers, companies managing and providing business training and seminars using e-learning (operators of private preparatory schools, language schools and business trainers), learning software developers, producers, and distributors, etc.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by the expert researchers, survey via telephone/FAX/email, and literature research

The e-Learning Market

The e-learning market in this research refers to a form of education services provided through internet and other networks. The learning methods using gaming devices and software for PCs are not included. The e-learning contents range extensively from business, academic subjects, languages, IT technologies, qualification acquisition, to various cultural and general knowledges.  

<Products and Services in the Market>

LMS (Learning management system), e-learning contents, e-learning operation service

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