The Many Reasons Why LinkedIn Bought Lynda.com

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAOCAAAAJDQ5MzE0YmFkLThmZmUtNGMwYi05OTZkLWIwMzg5MWQ1OTUyOAWhile my favorite daily newsletter summed up LinkedIn’s acquisition of online learning company Lynda.com in one sentence:

“Pending shareholder approval, the $1.5 billion deal will allow LinkedIn to make Lynda.com’s 6,300 online skill-building courses and 267,000 video tutorials a part of its social network for professionals”,

I thought I’d pull together a bit more of the recent coverage of my employer’s biggest single move yet:

Ryan Roslansky, LinkedIn’s head of content products welcomed the company and its employees and explained the synergies between our companies on the LinkedIn blog. He and Jeff Weiner, our CEO, explain how this a “meaningful step on [LinkedIn’s] way to building the Economic Graph” and Jeff goes on to explain how it will ensure LinkedIn plays a role in helping its users live up to the third of his three pillars of career advice that one should “always be learning.” Lynda herself explained how this acquisition would help “more people learn the skills that are needed in today’s rapidly changing economic landscape.”

While some questioned the valuation – which at 1.5B was “almost 3x more than all its previous acquisitions combined” – LinkedIn was widely lauded for the acquisition, particularly for the “impact on its bottom line” and the quality of Lynda.com’s content.

Kurt Wagner at recode explains the three reasons he thinks LinkedIn bought Lynda.com: First, the companies’ missions align as evidenced by the above statements by their CEOs and Lynda. Next, Lynda.com will allow LinkedIn to further its connections to students. As he notes, “Lynda already works with 40 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities, including all of the Ivy League schools.” Last he notes perhaps the most obvious reason: this is a content play and video is king these days.

The official press release is helpful in summarizing Lynda.com as a platform:

“Through a subscription to lynda.com’s service, individual members and organizations have access to a comprehensive collection of top quality courses taught by industry experts, offered in [5 languages]…lynda.com serves corporate, government and educational organizations” and its video library contains “more than 6,300, engaging, top-quality courses and more than 267,000 video tutorials taught by recognized industry experts.”

The release also covers the respective companies’ CEOs’ high level explanations of the value in the partnership: It quotes Weiner saying

“The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do […] lynda.com’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity.”

And Eric Robison, CEO of lynda.com states:

“In LinkedIn, we have found an incredible partner who shares our vision and passion for empowering people around the world to make real change in their lives through access to information, learning and professional development.”

Note: These views are my own and, in writing this summary and quoting the articles above, I do not represent LinkedIn.

The Many Reasons Why LinkedIn Bought Lynda.com

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