For anyone who wants to learn in their living room, but doesn’t want to sign up for a whole semester of online classes, video workshops may be the answer. San Francisco-based CreativeLive, for example, broadcasts live educational workshops taught by experts, for free. There are classes in subjects like photography, interior design, scrapbooking, music production and marketing. The seminars are instructive, but they won’t pass for rigorous coursework. Think of it “more as a replacement for enrichment classes at a community college than high-level classes at a university,” writes Fast Company‘s Ariel Schwartz.
CreativeLive has more than 500 classes in its collection and more than 2 million viewers. Now it’s going bigger: the company will launch five separate round-the-clock channels broadcasting both live and repeat programming, just like a TV network — only better because there won’t be any commercials. The move lets CreativeLive tailor its content to specific audiences (like say, in China) or by season (more wedding planning classes in the spring). The idea isn’t unique, but judging from investor interest in companies like CreativeLive, it’s growing fast.