- September 24, 2020

Comscore Snapshots: online education in Europe

Alex Gevers
Alex Gevers
Senior Insights Manager

This week’s snapshot summarises the online education media footprint in Europe visited by adults aged 18 and above. We include statistics for France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and EU5 averages for benchmarking purposes.

Scope: We include websites and mobile apps that provide tutorials, education and training content, and services that help people to advance their careers or undertake formal education. We also include websites and mobile apps that offer information about student life, education institutions, degrees, scholarships, and apprenticeships.  

Top line observations:

Table 1: Compared with other categories such as online gaming, the proportion of internet users who visited online education sites is noticeably lower – although it still is nearly 40% of the total digital population across the region. Summer holidays almost certainly explain the drop in traffic that occurred in July 2020 compared with June 2020. Surprisingly, however, the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t seem to have translated into a sharp increase in traffic to education sites in all countries: year-on-year traffic in the EU5 region grew by just 0.4% between July 2019 and July 2020. There are a number of possible explanations for this, such as the fact that online education is a time and resource-intensive endeavour that requires a level of concentration, which perhaps was not there in these recent stressful times. We have seen for example that traffic to book retail sites increased during the early stages of the lockdown. This could be a sign that perhaps education is still pursued through traditional means in Europe. 

Table 2: Differences in history, culture, language, etc. have led each country to grow their own set of institutions, standards, and curricula. As a result, the education landscape is highly fragmented, both across the region (very few entities break through national borders) and within the countries: while a handful of entities reach 1% or more of the total digital population within each country, almost none reach more than 5%. 

Table 3: In contrast to our analysis of the education landscape in Asia, online education entities in Europe are dominated by traditional national institutions. This is perhaps because relatively high quality, standardised, and legally mandated formal education covers the needs of most students. One welcome innovation came in the form of Duolingo, a gamified language learning mobile application that is growing relatively fast in the region. 


Table 1. Reach of online education sites and apps 

  % reach of total digital population
 (July 2020)
Month-on-Month
 percentage points variation
 (July 2020 vs June 2020)
Year-on-Year
 percentage points variation
 (July 2020 vs July 2019)
EU5 39.2 -6.4 -0.4
France 33.6 -13.1 -7.6
Germany 26.7 -2.7 2.4
Italy 47.0 -4.6 7.3
Spain 48.2 -8.5 -7.3
UK 48.2 -4.4 1.4

Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform, Total Audience, July 2020, EU5 countries.

Table 2. Market competitiveness of online education sites and apps

  Number of sites who reach more than 1% of the total digital population
EU5 4
France 12
Germany 0
Italy 22
Spain 16
UK 18

Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform, Total Audience, July 2020, EU5 countries.

Table 3. Online education sites or apps with highest % reach in each region 

Region Site Site Description
EU5 Duolingo.com Language learning platform
France MCETV.fr Student magazine
Germany Azubiyo.de Job exchange for vocational training students
Italy Treccani.it Italian Encyclopedia of Sciences, Letters and Arts
Spain RAE.es Official institution that promotes Spanish language standards.
UK Duolingo.com Language learning platform

Source: Comscore MMX Multi-Platform, Total Audience, July 2020, EU5 countries.

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