CreativeLive Review – Is it worth the money?

Published by: Julia

If you want to know what kind of courses CreativeLive offers, how much it costs and what the teachers are like, you are in the right place. Here we answer all of those questions and more besides.

What is the CreativeLive online-learning platform?

CreativeLive is an online learning platform that was established in 2010, by the photographer and artist Chase Jarvis and Craig Swanson, who is an entrepreneur. They still own CreativeLive and play active roles in every aspect of the business.

The platform continues to attract investors. They add new content virtually every month. CreativeLive is a legit way to learn and enhance your skills.

It is a particularly rich source of material for artists, photographers and musicians. As well as artisans like dressmakers, jewellers and bakers.

CretiveLive also offers lifestyle and self-improvement courses. The subjects covered include health, fitness, money management and much more. There is also a wealth of business and entrepreneurship courses available.

What I like about CreativeLive courses

CreativeLive is a very good learning platform. One that I can whole-heartedly recommend. Below are the things I particularly liked about the platform. Plus, for the sake of balance, the few niggly things I was not so keen on :

  • A great price – Most of their courses are not expensive. Even the ones that are pricier, cost no more than if they were bought elsewhere.
  • The ability to buy courses in different ways – Their subscription plans offer an affordable way to access most of their courses. It is particularly good to see them offering this on a monthly basis. Not everyone can find the money to pay for a yearly plan, which locks a lot of people out of the chance to learn.
  • Very good quality videos and user-friendly interface – To date, I have only taken a handful of their courses. But, the quality has been excellent. Judging by the reviews and testimonials, I am not alone in thinking their courses are of high quality.
  • Useful bonus materials – Many of the courses include bonus materials, mostly in a written format. If you have bought your course upfront you can download and keep these.
  • The chance to put what you learn to immediate use – Some of the courses offer you the chance to practice what you learn. You get to upload your work to the platform, which is a good way of ensuring that you take action.
  • The provision of full transcripts – My memory is not great, so I frequently need to refer back to things. Something that is hard to do with video courses. I have wasted countless hours listening to sections of various videos trying to find what I need. In the end, I usually have to give up. CreativeLive´s video transcripts solve that problem. You just need to use ctrl F to be automatically taken to the right point in the video. For me, it is a truly amazing facility. One that I wish all online course providers would include in their offering.
  • Proper customer support – Unlike some of the other providers out there, CreativeLive has not dropped the ball on customer support. There is no live chat facility, but there is an excellent knowledge base that is really easy to search. In addition, you can get in touch with support via email. Most importantly they answer and rarely use cut and paste responses when they do.

What I didn’t like about CreativeLive

There is not much not to like, but here are the things I think they could improve on.

  • Only limited opportunities to interact with the instructors – Unlike on some other platforms, for example, Udemy, you cannot ask questions and get answers from the instructors. You can only ask questions when the CreativeLive is broadcasting a course live.
  • Some video controls missing from CLTV content – CLTV is one of the newest additions to this platform. This platform is big on doing things live, they now have a TV channel, with loads of content. You can watch it live, but it is possible to go through each video after it has been broadcast. For some reason, the player you use to do this does not have the full-screen facility and you can´t pause, fast fwd etc. I totally get that you can´t do it while something is live. But, why you can´t have some control when you are not watching something live is beyond me.

The other thing I am not sure about is how the courses are presented. In most cases, the instructors are standing in front of a small audience with a large screen next to them. They use PowerPoint, illustrations and short videos to demonstrate what they are teaching. It is very much like being in a classroom or at a conference. This style of presentation works for me. But, not everyone will like it.

Of course, for certain skills this approach is not used. Many of the photography, craft and maker classes take an over the shoulder approach.

What kind of courses are available on CreativeLive?

This platform is gradually evolving. New courses are added every month. These are the subjects they currently cover:

  • Photography and Videos
  • Money and Lifestyle
  • Art and Design
  • Crafts and maker
  • Music and Audio

How much do CreativeLive courses cost?

There are several ways to gain access to CreativeLive courses. The easiest way is to buy each course individually. They cost between $17 and $199+. Refreshingly, there is plenty of choice at all price points.

Save money with CreativeLive bundles

If you want to dive deep into a subject, consider buying a course bundle. Doing so will save you quite a bit of money. Most of the CreativeLive bundles are designed to fit in with their LearningPath initiative.

This option is particularly good for businesses who want to grow the skills of their teams. CreativeLive offers special business packages the content of which can be tailored to better fit your needs.

How much does the CreativeLive Creator Pass cost?

You can pay via a monthly or annual prescription. At the moment, a monthly subscription costs $15. An annual plan costs $149. This is called the Creator Pass. As you can see from the image below, you get a lot for your money.

The CreativeLive Creator Pass gives you access to most of the courses that are available on the platform. But not all of them. So, if there is a particular course you want to use the pass to complete, double-check that you can do so.

Is the CreativeLive Pass worth the money?

The CreativeLive Creator Pass offers excellent value for money. In particular, if you pay annually.

CreativeLive coupons and promos

Throughout the year, you can browse through their 1,500+ course catalogue and find heavily discounted courses. But, understandably, you will rarely see the neweest courses offered at these low rates.

Sometimes there are offers that relate to a particular genre, for example, get x% off of all photography courses. Occasionally, you will see the CreatorPass being offered at a discounted rate.

CreativeLive coupons and discount codes that work are rarely available. So, your best approach is to sign up with CreativeLive, buy a course you like and say yes to their marketing emails so you will be notified of promos.

Does CreativeLive offer any free classes?

There are some free classes on CreativeLive, but what you will learn from them is limited. Most are just taster videos for the full course.

However, there are a few totally free photography courses. Those do cover a subject in depth. For example, Ana Brandt´s excellent Animoto course is 10 videos long.

CreativeLive Free OnAir Now Classes

There is also the chance to take some of their classes for free using their OnAir Now facility. Every day, a small selection of classes are streamed live. They say throughout the day. But, they all appear to start at the same time each day. But, they are played on a loop.

They play you the trailer and a few of the early videos, which enables you to work out if the course is for you or not. But, I was a bit disappointed with this approach. After all, every course on the site allows you to play one or two of the videos for free.

To be honest this feature feels like a gimmick. But, they also stream new courses live. If you attend those events you get a discount if you buy the full course you can save quite a lot of money.

How can you access your CreativeLive classes?

The content can be viewed on any device. But, there is no Android app, so you have to sign in to the website and watch it that way. It is just about possible to do, but it is an awful user experience.

There is an IoS app, which I am told is excellent. So, watching CreativeLive on your iPhone or iPad is much better. It is also possible to watch it via AppleTV. If you own these kinds of devices it is easy to log in to CreativeLive.

What are the most popular and best CreativeLive classes?

Over time, some CreativeLive courses have caught the imagination of the public and become extremely popular. Here is a list of some of them. Why not click through and take a look at some of the lesson plans and watch some of the free videos for each one. If you are anything like me, you will find several that you will want to buy. It is a great way to familiarise yourself with what is available on the platform.

  • How to Draw
  • CreativeLive 28 To Make
  • Newborn Photography Bootcamp
  • Marketing a Photo Business with Animoto Video
  • Learn How to Market Your Photography Business
  • Your Social Media Bootcamp
  • How to Make a Living Selling What You Make
  • Workflow, Time Management and Productivity for Creatives
  • 28 Days of Portrait Photography
  • Writing Your Story

What I thought of the CreativeLive classes I took

I was very impressed with all of the CreativeLive courses that I took.

Ana Brandt´s – A new Strategy for Video Marketing with Animoto Video

This 3-hour course is aimed at helping photographers to use Animoto to showcase their work and create something special for their customers. I am not a photographer, but I took the course anyway. Mostly because it covered the subject of video marketing. As well as touching on how to use Instagram to promote a business. It was a good move, I learned a lot from this course.

Mel Robbins – How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence

I was familiar with Mel Robbins before I signed up for CreativeLive. So, when I saw that her class was available at a special price I decided to take it.

Mel is famous for her 5-Second Rule, so understandably she covers that in some detail during her course. But, I was already familiar with that technique. So the sections on to recognize and deal with avoidance coping and overcoming learned helplessness were far more revealing.

Dylan Werner – Yoga Stength Basics for Beginners

The fitness courses on the platform are impressive, especially the ones provided by aloMoves instructors. They cover many disciplines, including yoga.

I took this beginner’s class, but fairly early on I realized that it was far too advanced for me. My strength levels were not good enough for me to be able to do most of the exercises demonstrated. However, that does not mean that I would not recommend the course to others.

Dylan demonstrated each move and, more importantly, explained what each of them was designed to do. Where possible, he provided alternative movement patterns to make the exercise easier or harder to do. I will be circling back and taking this course in its entirety once I have built up my core strength a little more.

At that point, this course is sure to benefit me far more. Dylan´s aim is to show people how to build a super-strong core so that you can maintain proper form regardless of the type of yoga you want to do.

How does CreativeLive compare to other online-learning websites?

There are many other websites like CreativeLive, so I thought you might like to know how they stacked up against some of those other sites. For me, creating this site has been somewhat of a journey.

My initial aim was to review a few courses and let you know what I thought of them. Around 50 classes later, I thought, hey I am really enjoying taking and reviewing these courses, I wonder what the other providers have to offer.

I have or am in the process of, trying out half a dozen other learning platforms. Below, I explain how CreativeLive stacks up against some of the top online learning platforms that I have already tried out.

CreativeLive vs Lynda

Lynda provides lots of business-related skills. For example, how to learn tools like PowerPoint. CreativeLive offers these kinds of courses too but in smaller numbers.

I´ve not taken many Lynda courses. But, personally I think the CreativeLive ones are of a higher quality.

CreativeLive vs Udemy

I´ve been using Udemy for many years now and I really like it. They have pioneered a lot of the features that make online learning easier and the quality of their classes has improved greatly.

However, I think CreativeLive has an edge over them. Mostly because they offer a more polished approach. But, Udemy has the edge over CreativeLive in one area and that is the fact that they give you the ability to ask your instructor questions. Normally, you get decent answers. Plus, you can search and read questions and answers asked by other students.

CreativeLive vs Masterclass

In many ways, CreativeLive and Masterclass feel very similar. The production quality is good on both. Plus, of course, both platforms offer a lot of courses that focus on creative skills.

In Masterclass´case it is the world of film and writing that get most of the attention. On CreativeLive it is photography. Masterclass also has some fantastic cooking courses that some of the world´s most famous chefs have made. Currently, there are very few culinary courses available on CreativeLive.

The other major difference is that all of the instructors on MasterClass are famous. For example, the cooking classes are made by the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Dominique Ansel and Wolfgang Puck. The CreativeLive instructors are well-known, but none are anywhere near as famous as the ones Masterclass uses.

CreativeLive vs Skillshare

Skillshare is not as sophisticated as CreativeLive. But, it is still a very good learning platform. They also offer a lot of courses that are targeted at those that work in the creative industries.

If you are looking mainly for photography courses I would suggest starting with CreativeLive. But, if it is writing or animation skills you want to build, Skillshare is currently the better option.

CreativeLive vs KelbyOne Training

Both Kelbyone and CreativeLive offer a lot of photography courses. In fact, initially, that is all Kelbyone did. Today, they also have business and software-related courses, but they are all aimed squarely at photographers.

From what I can see, both platforms are equally as good. But, Kelbyone offers 730 courses for photographers. So, if you can´t find exactly what you want on CreativeLive, it will usually be available on KelbyOne.

Why I recommend CreativeLive

As you can see, I really like CreativeLive. It is just as good, if not better than, the other online learning portals I have tried to date. It offers a good range of courses that are pitched at all kinds of people.

The quality of every course I took was excellent. Although, as I mentioned above, there is not really any interaction before the teacher and their students.

There are courses for beginners on the CreativeLive platform. But, most of the courses dive a little deeper into the various subjects, which means that there is more available for people who already have intermediate or advanced skills.

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