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Last update: Jul 12, 2024

MasterClass Vs BBC Maestro: Which is Best?

Subscriptions, Celebrity Instructors, Refunds & More

MasterClass vs BBC Maestro
4.7

Best for

  • VIP Instructors
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4.3

Best for

  • Generous Refund Policy
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Written by

Catherine Cooke

Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise Advisor

I'm Catherine, originally from London, now living in Spain. My professional journey led me from being a certified teacher to a yoga instructor and then a freelancer designer. These changes were made possible by online learning platforms like Skillshare and Coursera. It wasn't always easy, but so worth it and inspired me to start Upskillwise.

Photo of Catherine Cooke

Upskillwise.com is fully supported by its readers. If you register or buy a course using our links, we may receive a commission. This does not affect our ratings, methodology or partners.

When it comes to online learning, BBC Maestro and MasterClass are two names that really stand out. Imagine being able to cook alongside a Michelin-star chef, get writing tips from a bestselling author, or learn filmmaking from an Oscar-winning director—all without leaving the comfort of your home.

Both platforms share many similarities, from celebrity instructors and top-notch video production to a wide array of creative categories. Whether you’re looking to pick up a new hobby, deepen an existing passion or even considering a career change, BBC Maestro and MasterClass maybe platforms worth considering. But which one is the best fit for you? Let’s explore what each has to offer and help you decide.

MasterClass Vs BBC Maestro Summary

Both BBC Maestro and MasterClass offer engaging online courses taught by celebrity instructors, but they have distinct differences that cater to various learner needs. MasterClass is praised for its extensive course library of over 200+ classes, high production quality, and user experience.

In contrast, BBC Maestro, while having fewer courses, allows for individual course purchases, providing more flexible payment options for those hesitant to commit to an annual subscription. Pricing is similar, with MasterClass offering three tiers of annual subscriptions and BBC Maestro allowing single course purchases for £79 or an annual subscription for £120.

MasterClass Vs BBC Maestro Side by Side

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Round 1: User Popularity

Let’s start this comparison of BBC Maestro and MasterClass by examining their popularity among users. To get a better understanding, I gathered some data on how frequently these platforms have been searched on Google over the past couple of years. Take a look at the results below—they reveal a clear insight.

MasterClass Vs BBC Maestro Google Trends Comparison
MasterClass Vs BBC Maestro Google Trends Comparison

MasterClass emerges as the clear winner, with nearly three times the search interest compared to BBC Maestro. This heightened level of interest indicates that more users are searching for MasterClass and what it has to offer.

On top of Google search results, I’ve taken into account my own personal experience and that of past users’ reviews to get a good overview of both platforms.

MasterClass is praised by many previous customers, with 65% of positive comments mentioning how impressed they were with the content quality. Followed by user experience and value for money. BBC Maestro has fewer user reviews, a happy customer said “Amazing choice of courses. Really high quality.”

While BBC Maestro has received excellent feedback, MasterClass’s wider appeal and higher search popularity give it the advantage in this first round.

Winner: MasterClass

We kick things off with MasterClass taking the lead 1 – 0

Round 2: Pricing

Choosing the right online learning platform often comes down to pricing, and this decision can be influenced by various factors, such as your budget or how much you’re willing to invest. Fortunately, BBC Maestro and MasterClass have similar price points.

BBC Maestro Pricing
BBC Maestro Pricing

The main difference is that BBC Maestro allows you to purchase a single course, while MasterClass only offers 3 different annual subscription plans. The table below provides a quick comparison of the two platforms’ pricing and its features.

BBC Maestro MasterClass
No. of Courses 35+ courses 200+ classes
Individual Course £79 ($89) N/A
Annual Subscription

£120 ($120)

Starting at $120

Free Trial & Courses N/A N/A
Refund Policy 14-days for single courses

30-days with an annual subscription

30-day money-back guarantee
More information Visit bbcmaestro.com Visit MasterClass.com

MasterClass offers three annual subscription plans: Standard for $120, which is ideal for one user; Plus for $180, designed for two users; and Premium for $240, which allows up to six users. Unfortunately, neither platform offers free courses or a free trial. However, if you’re hesitant to commit financially, both platforms have generous refund policies. BBC Maestro provides a 14-day refund window for individual courses, while both platforms offer a 30-day refund period on their annual subscription plans.

MasterClass Subscription Plans
MasterClass Subscription Plans

I particularly liked that I could buy just one course with BBC Maestro. At the time, I wasn’t ready for a yearly commitment and was specifically interested in Steven Bartlett’s course, as I’m a big fan of his. However, MasterClass offers a much larger selection of classes, which means you’re getting more for your money if you’re looking for variety. For me, though, BBC Maestro has the edge because of its flexible payment options.

Winner: BBC Maestro

The score has evened out at 1 – 1

Round 3: Categories

The next key aspect to consider when choosing between BBC Maestro and MasterClass is the range of categories, the structure of the content, and whether you’ll receive a certificate.

Categories

BBC Maestro offers seven different creative categories, including Writing, Food & Drink, Wellness, Film, TV & The Stage, Business, Art & Design, Music, and Home & Lifestyle. These categories cover a wide range of interests and allow learners to explore various creative pursuits.

MasterClass Categories
MasterClass Categories

In comparison, MasterClass provides a more diverse and extensive selection, with 13 categories: Acting & Performing Arts, Business & Entrepreneurship, Community & Government, Food & Drink, Art & Design, Games & Digital Media, Film & TV, Health & Wellness, Music, Outdoor Adventures & Events, Science & Technology, Sports & Athletics, and Writing. The broader range of categories offered by MasterClass caters to a wider array of interests, making it a more versatile platform.

Course Structure

BBC Maestro courses vary in length, but typically consist of 19 to 35 video lessons. The shortest course is 3 hours long, while the longest spans 14 hours, with many courses averaging around 6 hours. This range allows for in-depth exploration of the subject.

BBC Maestro Courses
BBC Maestro Courses

On the other hand, MasterClass courses are slightly shorter, with 10 to 25 video lessons, each around 10 minutes long. This bite-sized format makes the lessons engaging and easy to digest, with most courses ranging from 1 hour 30 minutes to 6 hours in total. This structure is ideal for learners who prefer shorter, more focused content.

Certificates

Unfortunately, neither platform offers certificates upon completion of their courses. If earning a certificate is important to you, platforms like Coursera or edX might be better suited to your needs, as they provide accredited certificates for completed courses.

MasterClass boasts over 200+ classes, which can feel a bit overwhelming. To help you get started, check out our article on the best MasterClass classes, which highlights some of the most popular and highly rated class options.

For me, MasterClass really stands out in this round with its wider range of categories and the engaging, bite-sized structure of its video lessons. While I’ve enjoyed the excellent content on BBC Maestro, the versatility and structure of MasterClass make it a more compelling choice.

Winner: MasterClass

MasterClass has taken the lead at 2 – 1

Round 4: Celebrity Instructors

Both BBC Maestro and MasterClass share a common feature: a roster of celebrity instructors teaching their courses and classes.

MasterClass, established in 2015, has had more time to build its brand and attract high-profile celebrity instructors. It boasts an impressive lineup, including Gordon Ramsay, Kris Jenner, and Samuel L. Jackson, among others. These well-known figures often appeal more to a US audience, given their global recognition and influence.

On the other hand, BBC Maestro, which launched in 2020, offers a selection of celebrity instructors who may resonate more with a UK audience, in line with its BBC heritage. Notable names include Brian Cox, Steven Bartlett, and Rankin, who bring their unique expertise to the platform.

While both platforms provide valuable insights from industry leaders, I find that MasterClass stands out due to the sheer number of celebrity instructors and their international fame. This global appeal gives MasterClass an edge in this round, especially if you’re looking for courses taught by widely recognized figures.

Winner: MasterClass

MasterClass is still ahead at 3 – 1

Round 5: Customer Support

Knowing that your online learning platform has reliable customer support can be really reassuring, especially when you run into issues and need help.

With BBC Maestro, you’ll find a standard contact page where you can send a message to get in touch. I recently reached out to them asking about subscription plans and was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply within less than a day. Not bad at all!

MasterClass, on the other hand, goes a step further with a more detailed support page, including a handy chatbot. This feature is great if you can’t immediately find what you’re looking for on their customer support page. Earlier this year, I decided to test their responsiveness by purchasing a MasterClass subscription and then requesting a refund within the 30-day grace period. I’ve got to say, I was really impressed. They got back to me quickly, and I had a full refund in my account within just 5 working days.

Given MasterClass’s extensive support resources and their prompt response to my request, I’d have to give them the edge in this round.

Winner: MasterClass

MasterClass is on fire at 4 – 1

Round 6: Platform Interface

Registration

Signing up for both BBC Maestro and MasterClass is really intuitive, and straightforward. For BBC Maestro, all you need to do is enter your name, email, and create a password. You’ll need to decide if you’re choosing just a single course or the annual subscription, then you just add your card details. It’s that simple!

MasterClass makes it just as easy. Start by entering your email address and clicking ‘Get Started’. Then, pick an annual membership plan that suits you best. The last step? Just pop in your card details, and you’re all set to dive into a world of learning.

Interface

Both BBC Maestro and MasterClass feature user-friendly interfaces remind me of popular streaming services like Netflix or HBO. BBC Maestro has an uncomplicated filtering system that allows you to select a category and pick your preferred course. On the other hand, MasterClass offers a more refined filtering system with categories and specific subcategories. When I was looking for a cooking class, and came across Yotam Ottolenghis MasterClass I knew almost instantly it would be a class I would enjoy, and I wasn’t wrong.

MasterClass Interface
MasterClass Interface

Both platforms are enjoyable to use and make it easy to find content. However, MasterClass stands out with its more detailed and intuitive interface, likely because it offers a larger selection of courses. With that in mind, MasterClass takes this round.

Winner: MasterClass

MasterClass is on a roll at 5 – 1

Round 7: Community

For some learners, enrolling in an online learning platform is about more than just absorbing content; it’s about connecting with a community. Whether it’s getting feedback on their projects, like Skillshare excels at, or engaging in active forums and attending global events, like you find on Mindvalley, the sense of community can be a huge bonus.

MasterClass Social Impact
MasterClass Social Impact

Honestly, BBC Maestro and MasterClass don’t really push for this community spirit. Instead, they focus on delivering high-quality, polished content from inspiring celebrity instructors. But if we’re talking about making a difference, MasterClass does stand out with its social impact efforts. They offer free annual memberships to underprivileged social groups, which is pretty fantastic. Just based on that, I’d give MasterClass the point for community impact.

Winner: MasterClass

MasterClass is unstoppable at 6 – 1

Round 8: Best For Teams & Businesses

Many online learning platforms cater not only to individual learners but also to teams and businesses, offering tailored plans and subscriptions. Both BBC Maestro and MasterClass provide custom packages for organizations, which can be obtained by contacting their support teams to discuss specific needs and get a personalized quote. Since both platforms offer similar services in this regard, they each deserve a point for this round.

Winner:BBC Maestro & MasterClass

Overall Winner: MasterClass

Bonus Round: Alternatives

Skillshare

Best For Creative Courses

4.5

Mindvalley

Best for Personal Growth

4.6

Coursera

Accredited Certificates

4.8

After diving into BBC Maestro and MasterClass, you might feel neither is the perfect fit for you. Don’t worry; I’ve got some great alternatives for you to consider.

Skillshare

Skillshare is a fantastic creative platform with a much larger pool of courses covering a wider variety of topics. Its classes are more hands-on compared to BBC Maestro and MasterClass, and the platform encourages learners to share their final projects with the community, fostering a collaborative learning environment.

Skillshare Alternative to BBC Maestro and MasterClass
Skillshare Alternative

Skillshare offers a free trial when you first sign up, giving you a chance to explore the platform risk-free. If you decide it’s not for you within the first month, you can cancel without any charges. Skillshare provides both monthly and annual subscription plans.

Mindvalley

Mindvalley offers a unique approach focused on transformative learning experiences. Its categories include mind, body, health, and wellness, making it distinct from both BBC Maestro and MasterClass. The strong community presence is a major draw for many users.

Mindvalley Alternative to BBC Maestro and MasterClass
Mindvalley Alternative

Mindvalley currently offers both monthly and annual membership plans. If you change your mind, you can take advantage of their 15-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re curious to check out the top MasterClass competitors, you can check out our alternatives article here.

Final thoughts: BBC Maestro vs MasterClass

After comparing BBC Maestro and MasterClass, it’s clear that both platforms offer exceptional online learning experiences with celebrity instructors and high-quality content. However, MasterClass emerges as the overall winner due to its extensive course library, user-friendly interface, and impressive customer support. While BBC Maestro has its strengths, particularly in flexible payment options and high-quality courses, MasterClass provides a more comprehensive and versatile learning platform.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Extensive Course Library: MasterClass offers over 200 classes, providing a broader range of topics and interests compared to BBC Maestro’s 35+ courses.
  2. Flexible Payment Options: BBC Maestro allows individual course purchases, making it more accessible for those not ready for an annual commitment.
  3. User Experience: MasterClass boasts a refined, intuitive interface and a more detailed filtering system, enhancing the overall user experience.
  4. Customer Support: MasterClass excels in customer support with a comprehensive support page and prompt response times.
  5. Social Impact: MasterClass stands out with its social impact initiatives, offering free memberships to underprivileged social groups.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing an online learning platform, so if you still have questions, feel free to leave a comment below. I’m here to help!

FAQs

BBC Maestro and MasterClass have a lot in common: both feature celebrity instructors and boast high-quality video lessons. The key difference? BBC Maestro lets you buy individual courses, while MasterClass requires an annual subscription.