State of Higher Ed LMS Market for US and Canada: Year-End 2023 Edition

Continuing trends and a milestone shift

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It has now been more than 14 years of sharing the LMS Market share graphic, commonly known as the squid diagram. With the release of our Year-End 2023 report last week for On EdTech Enterprise subscribers, 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, Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and surrounding island countries) as well as new coverage in Asia.

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. Note that rounding and data adjustments over time may hide some year-over-year changes in the headline numbers, but the graphic will capture the direction of change.

  • The market continues to be a matter of Canvas and Brightspace winning new accounts, Anthology Bb Learn and Moodle losing accounts, with more variety for smaller institutions.

  • Canvas has further consolidated its position as the market leader in North America, with 41% of the market share. Blackboard fell from 18% of the market share to 17%. Moodle has plateaued at 16% while Brightspace increased to 16%. As a reminder, we have removed Open LMS from the Moodle market share.

  • Populi LMS (3%), Open LMS (3%), Sakai (2%), and Schoology (1%) round out the remainder of the market, with 1% of the market going to Other.

  • As always, market share is very much a story of size, type of institution (public or private), and control. The numbers above refer to the market take as a whole, but if we start to drill down to different sizes and types of institution, we get very different market dynamics.

Scaled by Enrollment

Looking at historical market share scaled by enrollment, which represents how most LMS companies determine their prices for each school, we can see a different picture in terms of market position. The headline this year is that Anthology’s Blackboard Learn, which dominated the market from the early 2000s into the mid 2010s, has now fallen behind D2L Brightspace into third place.

Note that Canvas, Blackboard Learn, and D2L Brightspace all have greater share in terms of enrollment than institution counts, whereas Moodle, Open LMS, and Populi have smaller share.

For North America, Canvas has a 47% share when scaled by enrollment, followed by D2L Brightspace at 19%, Anthology’s Blackboard Learn at 18%, and Moodle at 11%.

Disclosure: Instructure, Anthology (Blackboard), D2L, Moodle, and Schoology are all past or current subscribers to our On EdTech Enterprise service.

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