Streaming Service The Great Courses Plus Defines the Market for Video Learning

SVOD model attracts tens of thousands of new subscribers in just one year

CHANTILLY, Va.--()--In its first year, the new subscription-based video learning service The Great Courses Plus nearly doubled its content offering for lifelong learners and dramatically increased viewership for the entire catalog of parent firm The Great Courses.

“What’s most impressive is that the vast majority of people who sign up for a free one-month trial go on to become paying users. The number of annual and monthly subscribers is now approaching 75,000,” said Ed Leon, Chief Brand Officer of The Great Courses. “We’ve found that, given a taste, viewers develop an insatiable appetite for learning, and with thousands of high quality videos on hundreds of topics, they have a nearly unlimited menu to choose from.”

At launch, The Great Courses Plus had 184 courses with a total of 4,594 lectures and 2,297 hours of content taught by the world’s greatest professors. After a year, the content total has increased dramatically to more than 300 courses (8,000 lectures and 4,000 hours) of original content produced by The Great Courses.

The introduction of an on-demand streaming service has resulted in a surge of interest from customers new to The Great Courses brand. Offerings include photography courses taught by National Geographic photographers, cooking courses with esteemed Culinary Institute of America chefs, a Shakespeare course taught by a Dartmouth professor emeritus, and from a Macarthur “Genius” and Stanford Professor, a course on how stress impacts the body. “We’ve started an absolute revolution in lifelong learning for an audience that simply cannot get enough,” added Leon.

“The Great Courses Plus delights the most voracious lifelong learner, and the SVOD service we built to power it had to be similarly best-in-breed,” noted Rick Allen, CEO of ViewLift, the digital distribution platform behind Plus. “Subscribers appreciate the elegant, intuitive design and fast, flawless access on all major devices; our partners depend on the tools we provide them to communicate with their audience, see the full array of operating metrics at a glance, and act upon them. Product plus platform has made Plus a winner right from launch.”

Each month The Great Courses Plus releases the “What America is Learning” chart that tracks the evolving top 10 courses being viewed on the service. In growing number, viewers are learning about the universe with Neil deGrasse Tyson, going on Polar excursions with National Geographic “Explorers-in-Residence,” and learning iconic history with Smithsonian curators.

The Great Courses Plus can be accessed through your browser or through apps on iOS, Android, Windows 10 Store, Roku, Kindle Fire, Fire TV and Apple TV.

Contact The Great Courses with questions or visit us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube. #LifelongLearning #WhatAmericaIsLearning #TheGreatCoursesPlus

About The Great Courses Plus

Unlike streaming services that merely aggregate content, The Great Courses Plus content is all originally produced, and there are no plans to remove lecture series as long as they remain relevant. Members of The Great Courses Plus get unlimited access to more than 8,000 lectures online via connected television or mobile devices for a monthly subscription fee. New members can sample the service without risk for 30 days with a one-month free trial. Learn more at

About The Great Courses

The Great Courses is the nation’s leading developer and marketer of premium-quality media for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Delivered in engaging, expertly produced video and audio (in convenient online, digital, video on demand and disc formats), these carefully crafted courses provide access to a world of knowledge from the most accomplished professors and experts. The content-rich, proprietary library spans nearly 600 series with more than 15,000 lectures designed to expand horizons, deepen understanding, and foster epiphanies in the arts, science, literature, self-improvement, history, music, philosophy, theology, economics, mathematics, business, professional advancement, and personal development. Creating unique learning experiences since 1990, The Great Courses is the premier brand of The Teaching Company Sales, LLC of Chantilly, Virginia, which is owned by Los Angeles-based Brentwood Associates. More information can be found at

About ViewLift

ViewLift is a full-service content distribution platform for the web, OTT and mobile, empowering media companies, sports leagues and teams, education providers and others to monetize their content through native branded apps on every major digital device. ViewLift’s founding team brings years of domain experience as an operator (not just a technology provider) and strong industry relationships to offer a complete end-to-end solution for creating, launching and monetizing video applications across 28 device platforms, including mobile, over-the-top, connected TV and game consoles. ViewLift offers clients a range of monetization models on a proprietary platform with advanced analytics, tracking performance in real-time. From design and marketing to content curation and app hosting, ViewLift operates across the digital ecosystem, understanding each device’s unique requirements and best practices. ViewLift is backed by leading VC firms, including New Enterprise Associates, Comcast Ventures, Revolution and Clark Enterprises, as well as tech and media pioneers Ted Leonsis, Steve and Jean Case, Terry Semel, Robert McCormack and others. ViewLift clients include: The Great Courses; Tegna (the TV and digital spin-out of Gannett); NBCUniversal; Monumental Sports Network; Lax Sports Network; Major League Lacrosse; Punjab Kesari (India’s fastest growing news publisher); the five owned-and-operated channels of SnagFilms; and others.


for The Great Courses
Tracy Williams, 310-824-9000

Release Summary

In its first year, the new subscription-based video learning service The Great Courses Plus nearly doubled its content offering and dramatically increased viewership for the entire catalog.


for The Great Courses
Tracy Williams, 310-824-9000