European eLearning Market Expected to Reach Almost USD6 Billion by 2005, IDC Says

AMSTERDAM – AUGUST 2, 2001 – Last year was characterized by a number of alliances and partnerships between companies with complementary expertise in elearning. IDC estimates that the European elearning market will grow by 126% in 2001, to reach almost $6 billion by 2005, representing around a quarter of the total IT training market.


IDC research shows content will continue to be the dominant segment of the market throughout the forecast period. Services will be the second-largest segment and will have the highest growth. Delivery solutions represent a decreasing proportion over time, as customers will require more course development, administration and maintenance, which will boost the content and services segments. IDC believes that as the market consolidates, tools will become a commodity, as they will become part of end-to-end solutions.

According to Sheila McGovern, senior research analyst for IDC's European eLearning and Skills Management Services program, the players vary a great deal in terms of what they can offer, either through partners or directly. "In general, they tend either to specialize in providing content or delivery solutions. However, many of the providers of content also now offer a learning management system (LMS). This may threaten the ability of LMS specialists to break in to the SME market," said McGovern.

The elearning market presents a lot of opportunity for providers of elearning solutions in the content, delivery solutions or services segments. "Remember, however, that learning is more than just content or delivery software. It needs to be integrated into a broader learning process involving instructional support and collaboration, and designed with emphasis on the learning objectives. It also needs to be seen in the context of the broader strategy for training and skills development within a company and in many cases this means that it needs to be integrated into existing training delivery, creating a blended solution," concluded McGovern.

IDC believes that the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden are the fastest adopters of elearning because Internet adoption levels are already high in those countries. In addition to this, there is less of a language issue in these countries than in southern European countries as a high proportion of the population speaks English and is used to doing business in English.

European eLearning Market Forecast and Analysis, 2000?2005 (IDC# TT02H) analyzes the market for elearning between 2000 and 2005. In addition, it forecasts the growth of various segments in the market and looks at a breakdown of the market by country. It also assesses the key players that are positioned to succeed in the market. This report can be purchased via or at your local IDC office.

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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