I tried Masterclass. Here’s why it’s worth it

Benefits and sins

  • Videos of famous professionals
  • English subtitles German Offered in Spanish and French.
  • Multiple video quality and speed options
  • Refunds within 30 days of purchase (not valid with certain discounts)


  • Full refunds are not valid on the 2-for-1 Black Friday subscription deal.

Welcome to MasterClass.

Madeleine Albright; RL Stine; Indra Nooyi Dr. What do household names like Jane Goodall and Serena Williams have in common? They all teach courses through MasterClass. It is a platform rich in evidence and full of inspiration.

Learning a skill is one thing, learning from a proven and experienced success in that field is another. As I scrolled through the course offerings, I couldn’t help but fantasize: “He is short At MasterClass?”

A few years ago, I had a MasterClass subscription, Margaret Atwood; James Patterson; He used it to take writing classes from Judy Blume and Neil Gaiman. (Instruction is recorded videos and downloadable guides, don’t expect interaction and feedback from instructors. For more details, see MasterClass’s FAQ here.)

It was an extraordinary experience to soak in the words of some of my idols and note the wisdom they shared. It’s less distracting than ingesting YouTube videos with tons of ads and recommendations scattered across the platform. Watching MasterClass has replaced streaming services like Hulu and Netflix for me for a while: MasterClass feels relaxing and positive.

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Since then, MasterClass has added a hands-on format called Sessions, a 30-day curriculum structured around peer engagement and feedback from teaching assistants. Membership rates still feel very reasonable; Starting at $180 per year.It will be $15 per month. Each class has a workbook with about 20 lessons that last an average of 10 minutes. MasterClass adds new classes every month that you can download and watch offline if you have the right plan.

And we currently have one. For two MasterClass membership agreements For Black Friday, You can pay for a membership and give it as a gift for free. For this review I purchased a membership for my own enjoyment and was given a gift.

How to get started with MasterClass on your phone

You can sign up through a web browser or on your phone. The process is similar. I chose to register my iPhone 11 by choosing the two-for-one promotion.

First, my intentions, It’s a quick three-question survey that asks about types of interests and the number of hours you intend to study per week. Based on my choices, MasterClass recommended 125 classes for consideration (out of about 180 offered). You are not limited to these things; You will have access to other categories. At the end of that survey, You can choose to subscribe. Got approved and asked to upload a profile picture (under 1MB) – I switched to desktop for this part and had no trouble.

MasterClass Enrollment.

Sherin Shibu/ZDNET


There is Three membership options– Individual Duo and family. The Duo membership option is the one that’s automatically selected when you land on that page, and it’s $20 per month or $240 per year.

I opted for an individual membership for $180 a year. Note that it’s listed as $15 per month, but there’s a 30-day refund period and no refunds for remaining months if you cancel your membership before the end of the year.

The Individual plan supports one device for viewing the MasterClass at a time and does not allow downloading of episodes for offline viewing. A Duo membership supports two devices at a time and allows downloads for offline viewing, while a Family membership increases the number of devices possible simultaneously to six. All three programs have a full library of classes and sessions.

0.5x the rows; 1x Playable at 1.5x and 2x speed. English subtitles German Offered in Spanish and French. Video quality options are Auto, 360p 540p 720p and 1080p.

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Sample Class: John Douglas’ ‘Think Like an FBI Profiler’

MasterClass home page

This is what MasterClass looks like on the desktop.

Sherin Shibu/ZDNET

Under “New to MasterClass” I came across the intriguing “Think Like an FBI Profiler” course taught by John Douglas.

Douglas pioneered criminal profiling, working 5,000 violent cases for the FBI. In a MasterClass video series that lasts from 8 to 18 minutes; It breaks the criminal profile to help the viewer understand and hopefully stay safe in their lives.

One of the questions he asked while talking about serial killer Ed Kemper was, “Are criminals born?” Douglas discussed how he approached the horrific case, sharing how he went to a high-security prison to interview Kemper and how dangerous and stressful it was to talk to him. He even played never-before-seen chilling tapes of his interactions with Kemper. Douglas identified key characteristics of manipulators to watch out for in everyday life.

I found the video quality to be top notch and Douglas is a composed and conversational presenter. The information is from an expert but presented in a way that is accessible and interesting to a wider audience.

MasterClass sessions

Sessions are a hands-on twist on MasterClass courses. You get projects and activities in a structured 30-day format, share your work with course peers, and get feedback from TAs on what you present. You can skip a day or two in the schedule if necessary. – Lectures are pre-recorded so you can pick up where you left off whenever you want.

Here are some Sessions options that stand out to me:

I decided to try the viral video course presented by Marques Brownlee, who has 16.3 million YouTube subscribers. Sessions at MasterClass have a more goal-driven feel than regular courses. Brownlee’s Session aims to give viewers the skills they need to make high-quality videos, and assigns tasks to keep viewers on track.

The Sessions videos I watched only had English subtitles, but the speed and quality options were the same as a regular course.

Bottom line

MasterClass is a solid investment in self-development. It offers instructional videos from well-known figures, and it offers a full 30-day money-back period, so the stakes are pretty low to try. Note that the refund does not apply if you make a 2-for-1 Black Friday subscription deal and MasterClass gift to someone.

Whether you’re using it on mobile or your desktop, the viewing experience offers subtitles and multiple speeds and video quality levels. Sessions focused on movement should be a great experience for goal setters.

If you want to step back from streaming services by focusing on high-quality experiences for your money; I highly recommend checking out the MasterClass.

Consider alternatives

Coursera offers affordable degrees; Aimed at job seekers with certifications and training in high-paying fields. There are many free courses on the platform, but if you want to get certified, Payment will be made on a per course basis. Avid learners enjoy the Coursera Plus service, which offers unlimited tickets and courses for $59 per month.

Mindvalley offers courses with a life-changing message that will resonate with the MasterClass target audience. Currently $99 per month.

CLASS101+ is illustrative; Many courses in subjects such as music and photography are offered for $19.99 per month.


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