State of Higher Ed LMS Market for US and Canada: Mid-Year 2021 Edition

It has now been a dozen years of sharing the LMS Market share graphic, commonly known as the squid diagram. With the release of our Mid-Year 2021 report this week for schools and for vendors / investors, it’s time for us to look at updates on the institutional LMS market for North America (US and Canada) higher education. Note that our coverage for the market analysis includes Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding island countries) as well as North American K-12.

We present the following data by institutions, with market share as a percentage of the total number of institutions using each LMS as a primary system. Let’s look at an updated LMS market share graphic for US and Canadian higher education. The original idea remains – to give a picture of the LMS market in one page, highlighting the story of the market over time. The key to the graphic is that the width of each band represents the percentage of institutions using a particular LMS as its primary system.

With the current data, Canvas leads with 34% of US & Canadian higher ed institutions, followed by Blackboard and Moodle tied at 21%, and D2L at 13%.

Migrations 2019 – 2021

Customer migrations (i.e., transitioning from an existing LMS implementation to a new one) provide another view of LMS implementation trends. In the following graphic we show North American Higher Ed transitions between 2019 – 2021.

Losses in North America

  • Blackboard Learn has lost the most clients in this timeframe, followed by Moodle.

  • Pearson LearningStudio (formerly eCollege, no longer supported), D2L Brightspace, and Sakai lost similar numbers of customers.

  • Canvas has yet to lose a customer to another platform in higher ed markets.

New Adoptions in North America

  • Canvas picked up most new adoptions. Most of this business comes from previous Blackboard institutions, followed by Moodle.

  • D2L Brightspace has come in second, with most of its new business coming from previous Blackboard and Moodle institutions.

  • Moodle picked up some new adoptions, mostly from Pearson.

Disclosure: Instructure, Blackboard, D2L, Moodle, and Schoology are all past or recent subscribers to our LMS Market Analysis service.