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

It has now been more than a dozen years of sharing the LMS Market share graphic, commonly known as the squid diagram. With the release of our Year-End 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 Moodle at 21%, Blackboard at 20%, and D2L at 14%.

  • Canvas clearly defines the North American LMS market with its consistent growth over the past decade. That system still leads in terms of installed base and win rate.

  • Note that the majority of schools in the State University of New York (SUNY), which recently selected D2L Brightspace as its future LMS, will not migrate to the new system until 2022 or 2023, and therefore they are not counted in this data yet.

  • Both Moodle and Blackboard Learn are decreasing in market share, but Blackboard is doing so more quickly; thus Moodle has overtaken Blackboard in institution count.

Scaled by Enrollment

The following chart shows the trends of the past ten years for LMS market share in the North American higher education system as scaled by enrollment. For this metric, we scale each institution by its most recent IPEDS enrollment data and assign that to the primary LMS for that school. This metric more closely aligns with the revenue size of vendors, as they typically charge based on the enrollment size of an institution.

When viewed with this metric, Canvas remains in first place, followed by Blackboard Learn, D2L Brightspace, and then Moodle. It is also worth noting the increasing market concentration among these four vendors.

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