Like a juggernaut brushing all other L&D stories aside yesterday was the news that video learning platform Lynda has been bought by LinkedIn. Hearty congratulations to founder Lynda Weinman and the other shareholders of the company, founded in 1995 and admirably managing over the next two decades to maintain a paywall for their content.
When compared with, say, the $19bn acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook the $1.5bn that LinkedIn shelled out seems small fry, but of course the two purchases aren’t really comparable in anything other than industry sector.
So what are the implications?
For Lynda users, will they have LinkedIn accounts forced upon them? Will LinkedIn disrupt the workable pricing structure Lynda have set out, in an effort to drive traffic through subscription bundles? For LinkedIn members, how will the content from Lynda be rolled out, and how will this affect users of the free package, if at all? Will this mean that non-paying users will see more functionality stripped away as LinkedIn put more stock (literally and figuratively) in video, in keeping with their focus on content of the last few months? One thing is for sure they will need to do a complete overhaul of their mobile and tablet apps if the UI for video consumption is to work as their members would like.
Why did it happen?
Placing member skills and talent front and centre is LinkedIn’s strategy, and with this comes content. LinkedIn want their site to be the place to STAY for L&D video content needs once the’ve looked at who’s hiring and what the job requirements are, rather than YouTube being the place to GO, and with Google+ not yet reaching its potential, acquiring a content provider like Lynda seems like much more of a realistic and successful proposition.