The news today that LinkedIn has agreed to buy video training company Lynda.com came to some as a surprise, but it’s really just the latest (if largest!) signal of the incredible interest in tools and content to help employees (and employers) with the kind of ongoing, lifelong learning and career development that will be critical to success in the 21st century workforce.
Safari started in 2001 as a collection of books offered via the nascent Web, and we’ve since also seen demand grow considerably for video content. Indeed, we have collected and curated more than 11,000 hours of video training (about the same as Lynda, and far more than any other video training site).
But while video gets a lot of media attention, we know firsthand from our millions of users that only a very small percentage (less than 5%) just watch video content. Just as most of us tend to be quite omnivorous in our overall media diet — flitting about among YouTube, Buzzfeed, Twitter, and Snapchat — when it comes to learning new skills, most people prefer a mix of content types. That’s why we’re proud to be able to complement those 11,000 hours of video with more than 29,000 ebooks and audiobooks on business, technology, leadership, and design — exactly the kinds of skills needed to succeed in our information economy.
The average Safari user spends nearly 2 hours per week reading books and watching video content, and they read about 9 times as much as they watch. A typical pattern we see is that people read books in small chunks on their phone during their morning and afternoon commute, and then watch video courses or conferences in longer sessions on the weekends (and usually on a tablet). That kind of daily habit and practice of learning and reading is like mental exercise, and is the perfect preparation for a knowledge-based economy in a state of constant change.
At Safari, our guiding principle is that we believe everyone deserves a remarkable career. That’s why we help companies around the world provide and track learning across the world’s largest library of training courses, ebooks, audio books, and conference recordings. (In fact, assuming it takes about 5 hours to read a 400-page book, we have well over 170,000 hours of training resources!)
So for us it isn’t that much of a surprise that LinkedIn is thinking about more ways to help people develop in their career — great workplaces invest in giving their people the opportunity to learn and improve the skills they need to do their best work, and promote a culture of sharing that knowledge. And that’s something we’ve been doing for more than a decade with thousands of the world’s best companies (including LinkedIn).
Everyone deserves a remarkable career. Start exploring the world’s largest library of training courses, ebooks, audio books, and conference recordings today for free.