Hi Visvanath & James,
One possible scenario may be that Canvas may be used as a gateway to access educational content for both students & publishers, i.e. charge for access at both ends. There's a lot of money to be made by being gatekeeper & the profit margins are higher because you don't have to actually produce anything.
Look at academic publishing in general. Elsevier make 40%+ profit margins from doing nothing more than providing an automated online repository system for published journal articles. Universities & their staff do all the work & find the money to do the actual research, write the papers, do the editorial work, do the peer-review, etc.. Then Elsevier & others charge extortionate fees to universities for access to those papers.
Imagine if they could do something similar with online educational resources? Pearson Education are already trying but running into difficulties. Maybe there's an opportunity for Instructure there?
I seriously hope I'm not giving anyone ideas