December 2017 Status Update

2017 has been an amazing year for H5P, and since this is my last update for the year I’m going to talk about three things:

  1. Our 2017 achievements
  2. How H5P is funded
  3. Plans for 2018

Our 2017 achievements

The H5P community is doing an amazing job spreading the word about H5P and the vision behind H5P. Almost everything related to H5P has tripled during 2017:

  • The number of sites reporting that they’re using our software is now above 26 000, it was 8 767 at the beginning of 2017
  • Almost 1 000 new users are joining us every week by registering on The same number was around 300 at the beginning of the year
  • serves around 30 000 sessions per weekday. The same number was around 9 000 for December 2016
  • The number of reported authors went from 15 000 to 54 000 and the number of reported H5Ps in existence went from 130 000 to 510 000. The real numbers are much higher for these two since only sites doing the extra reporting reports these two numbers
  • I don’t have numbers for this, but I’m pretty sure that the effort done by the community more than tripled as well. We’ve been presented in countless conferences, written about in blogs every week, talked about in social media and there is a lot of free help and training available as videos, webinars and of course H5P resources

It has been amazing to see what we’ve been able to achieve in 2017. A big thanks to everyone who has been spreading the word about H5P!

It was also a thrill to meet up in person in Tromsø for the first time. Many of the most eager members of the community spent three days together. My strongest memory from the conference is the energy and enthusiasm that people feel for H5P and what we’re trying to achieve. I’m very grateful that so many came and I look forward to meeting some of you again in Australia, and I suspect there will be quite a lot of new faces in Melbourne in December 2018 as well.

There has of course been huge progress in other areas as well. Thanks to everyone who has worked on or funded the major improvements listed below:

  • My favourite step forward is the huge accessibility improvements. Thanks again to Michigan Virtual and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)
  • Major UX improvements, especially for authors
  • The H5P Content Type Hub which makes it much easier to get started and pick the right content type for the job
  • 8 new content types
  • The Drupal 8 module (thanks to Somos Educacao)

All 2017 releases are listed under releases on the roadmap page

How H5P is funded

Whenever I talk to anyone in the community for the first time there is a big chance that they ask about money. Community members are eager to know how H5P is funded, and rightly so. It is of vital importance when picking IT solutions to check if the system will be there tomorrow and also if the costs of using the system will change in the future. H5P is MIT and/or GPL licensed which means that anyone can take over if the current core team runs out of funding, and the project is big enough now to make it very likely that someone actually will, but the likelihood of this happening is very small provided that the enthusiasm for H5P continues to grow and the community continues to support the H5P Core Team.

Currently, the majority of H5P development is done by a Norwegian company called Joubel which employs the entire H5P Core Team. It is funded by:

  • Organizations in the community paying for specific features. (Over 30 organizations from 16 countries have done this so far, and their contributions normally range between 2 000 USD and 100 000 USD with some over 400 000 USD)
  • Governmental support, especially from Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council
  • Own equity, primarily from the founders of H5P

The funding so far has been enough to sustain and slowly increase our pace of development, but it hasn’t been able to help us grow the core team along with the size of the community.

From the start we have had plans of launching more funding mechanisms, and we have been very focused on implementing funding mechanisms that ensure that Joubel’s economic incentives are aligned with the vision of H5P and the goals of all H5P users in the community.  This means among other things that we don't want to make consulting a central part of the funding. It wouldn't provide the right economic incentives. We are launching two major funding mechanisms next year that hopefully will help us increase the capacity of the H5P core team:

  1. The H5P supporter program. Here community members as individuals or organizations may register, get certain benefits like votes and rights to use the trademarked H5P logo and H5P brand and support the development of H5P financially. We were hoping to launch the program sooner but had to develop the voting system for from the ground up. We hope to have it ready in January. It will ensure that the features funded by the program are the most requested features for the members of the supporter program.
  2. The H5P SaaS, Every user of H5P wants H5P to offer an incredible experience for both authors and learners. They want it to integrate well with third party software like LMSs, learning record stores and video transcoding services and be easy to maintain and scale. These will be the goals for as well, and the target group will be community members who don’t want to, or can’t, host H5P on their own. It will be running the latest version of H5P, but with a two-week delay. It won’t have any H5P features that the other versions of H5P don’t have, but it will have third-party integrations like math editors, video transcoding, analytics etc. We will also document how these third-party services are integrated and any customizations needed in H5P to make the integrations work well will, of course, be published as improvements to all other platforms. will be available in Q1 2018, and the keys to success with will be the same as the keys to success for most self hosters. and will follow pretty much the same model as and will be using for test drive features and other H5P hosting since will be much more scalable and have many useful third party integrations like video transcoding and video hosting without adds.

Plans for 2018

I sure hope that we can see the same type of growth and enthusiasm in 2018 as we’ve seen in 2017. Hopefully, we’ll be able to triple all our numbers again, and I think the new features that launches in 2018 will help us do so, especially that will make it possible or easier for new organizations to start using H5P.

Major improvements coming up in 2018:

  • H5P Content Hub - Repository for H5P content integrated in every H5P authoring tool, an extension of the current content type hub
  • In-place editing - Make simple changes without going into the editor
  • Responsive editing - No more pop-ups inside pop-ups in the Course Presentation and Interactive Video editors. We’ll be using the entire screen to give a better authoring experience.
  • Server-side evaluation of answers - H5P will be possible to use on exams
  • Branching Scenarios content type - the view is pretty much done, the authoring tool still needs a lot of work
  • - Making it much easier to get started with H5P and much easier for users of LMSs like Brightspace, Canvas, Blackboard and Schoology to get started. It will also improve H5P for self hosters by being a good example of how H5P may be integrated with third party software like LRSs, Math editors, Video Transcoding+++ and the customers of will probably also be at least as eager on providing feedback directly to the Core Team as the users of sites hosted by others.

These are major and very exciting steps forward for H5P, laying the foundation for massive steps forward in 2018.

What next?