041015_direct to consumer.jpg

Big Profits and High Margins in Direct-to-Consumer Online Learning

Barry Kelly
Apr 10, 2015 10:57:54 AM

It’s not only academic institutions that can make big business out of online learning


This week we read in the media that Lynda.com sold to LinkedIn for 1.5B, yes folks, that’s “B” for billon. It couldn’t happen to a better company and founding team, built from the ground up by wife and husband team Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin. They fulfilled an important need in the market from early on, teaching Web development by shipping DVDs to aspiring web designers and developers. Lynda.com had early success by helping this audience improve their craft and careers with high-quality content. They constantly adapted with learning delivery advancements and—as technology permitted—built an online learning giant, not overnight but with steady thoughtful growth that was good for their customers, employees and clients. It was not until Jan 2013 that they raised their first round of capital having grown organically in the prior 17 years.


Lynda.com has all the ingredients that make a great company and great product.

  • High quality learning content, designed for positive outcomes. 
  • Exceptional subject matter experts.
  • A delivery and distribution system that allows for a direct relationship with their customers and online learners.



At Thought Industries our job is to enable brands to build white-labeled online learning businesses. Whether in the form of profitable, direct-to-consumer, online learning products (online schools, video subscription sites, etc.) or to facilitate the educational relationship between brands and their customers, organizations can now leverage content and expertise to fulfill a need that people all over the globe have: the need to learn. Online education has made it easier than ever for individuals to pursue their passions and hobbies, expand their career options and gain fulfillment in their lives. Who better to turn to than the brands and media organizations they trust and interact with?


Many online learning organizations start out just like Lynda.com. With their success comes incredible validation that education outside the academic institutions is alive, well and growing.

Subscribe by Email