Linkedin buys Lynda.com – It is all about Video Content
By Jim Lundy
LinkedIn announced they were buying the off-the-shelf Training Content Provider Lynda.com for US $ 1.5 Billion. We have already been on the phone talking to clients about this – many want to know about the impact that this purchase will have.
LinkedIn – Monetizing its User Base
Our take is that this is a natural way for LinkedIn to continue to monetize its base of professionals. Lynda.com’s starting price point of $25.00 per user per month fits very well with current Premium editions of LinkedIn.
LinkedIn – Other moves besides Lynda.com?
The thing to watch in the Talent Management market is what other moves does LinkedIn plan to make outside of Recruiting? This move clearly puts them into the Learning Content space. The popularity of Video-based, off-the-shelf content from Lynda.com and others, such as OpenSesame, have made it more important for Learning providers to partner and be able to bundle content from these firms. Talent Management vendors will now have to work with LinkedIn, which has been making it harder to access its content via its APIs.
VC Firms are the Big Winners
This is also a big win for Accel/KKR, Spectrum Equity, TPG Capital and Meritech Capital Partners., the VC firms that made a $185 million investment in January of this year. This additional round follows the $103 Million round in 2013. This deal, with a close to a 5x multiple on their original investment, bodes well for others that want to invest in the growing demand for off-the-shelf content.
It is all about Video Content
Aragon is predicting that Video Content – of which Video Tutorials are the largest segment, will grow significantly by 2020. The problem is – there are few firms at the size and scope of Lynda.com. However, the desire for Video-based learning content will not slow down and that will make other content providers like Skillsoft and OpenSesame more valuable. Our advice: Enterprises need to carefully evaluate the actual content being provided before signing up for any subscriptions.