YouTube will let creators offer paid video courses next year

The move could spell trouble for the likes of Masterclass.

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YouTube is already a key destination for folks who want to learn a skill or find out more about a topic. The platform will add more educational features, including a way for creators to offer structured video courses. As such, creators wouldn't need to direct their fans to other sites or apps (like Masterclass) where they sell those kinds of materials. YouTube would be able to take a cut of course sales too.

These courses are intended as "in-depth, structured learning experiences," according to YouTube. Creators will be able to charge for courses or offer them for free. Videos that are part of a paid course won't have any ads and can be played in the background (in other words, you can treat them like a premium podcast). Courses will initially be available in beta next year in the US and South Korea. YouTube plans to expand the feature to more countries at a later time.

To bolster educational content on the platform and perhaps help people taking a course test their knowledge, YouTube will also roll out a feature called Quizzes. Creators will be able to add a quiz to their community tab, where they can ask viewers about something they discussed in a video. A beta version of the feature will be available in the coming months, and all creators who have the community tab will be able to use Quizzes next year.

On top of those features, YouTube announced a new embedded player for education apps. The company says Player for Education omits potential distractions, including ads, recommendations and external links. It added that the player improves on the one used in Google Classroom to deliver "an even better YouTube experience." At the outset, US edtech companies such as EDpuzzle, Purdue University and Purdue Global will use the player.