Are you a regular Delta Air Lines passenger? Are you a premium subscriber on LinkedIn?

Because the second-largest airline and the largest business-related social media network are teaming up to offer a perk that you probably weren't expecting.

Starting immediately, Delta passengers will be able to stream LinkedIn Learning videos for free while they're aboard. These are video courses on things like  managing stressgetting things donecommunication and career development

They're normally are offered as part of a LinkedIn Premium membership, which goes for at least $29.99 a month. Fly with Delta, and you'll get them for free.

3 big benefits

Now, a few points:

  1. Maybe you've never even heard of LinkedIn Learning videos. I admit: I have a premium membership, and I'd never thought of watching one before. But there's an interesting catalog. We'll give you a few examples at the bottom of this post.
  2. It's possible that few people will actually take Delta and LinkedIn up on the offer to watch these in flight. Maybe it will turn out to be the "United tomato juice" of Delta Air Lines: a perk that people say they think is valuable, but almost never actually gets ordered. As we'll see below that doesn't really matter.
  3. Because this truly is a brilliant, entrepreneurial win-win marketing arrangement for both Delta and LinkedIn: a case where both sides stand to benefit, with almost no cost to them whatsoever

Let's break that last point down.

A marketing win

First, look at this from Delta's perspective. They get additional free video content to provide to passengers. It's focused on a business audience that is by far its most lucrative customer, and it's produced by a recognized and respected brand. 

Second, and even more brilliant, you have LinkedIn. Unlike almost all other social networks, LinkedIn has a really robust premium membership program. And by providing the videos for free on Delta, LinkedIn gets free marketing for its premium product.

But there's an additional layer here. Anytime a smart marketer considers giving away a product, they have to be concerned about cannibalization. They don't want to give away products, in other words, that customers would gladly have paid for.

In this deal however, it doesn't seem like there's any such risk. If you're not a premium LinkedIn subscriber, great--you get this little perk when you fly on Delta. If you already are a premium LinkedIn subscriber--well, you don't really get anything.

You'd already be able to access the videos via your membership. It's not as though you get some small portion of your monthly membership fee back, of course. So this becomes a free, 100 percent incremental membership program. They've already produced the videos, so Delta passenger who watches them and signs up for a premium LinkedIn account, is pure profit for LinkedIn. 

And now, the videos...

So that's why it's good for Delta and LinkedIn. Is it good for you as a passenger? Well sure, provided you're interested in using a bit of your flight time for personal development and improvement.

You can find a sample of the giant list at LinkedIn Learning, and it's a combination of recently produced videos by LinkedIn influencers and other members, along with content derived from Lynda (which LinkedIn acquired in 2015, before LinkedIn was itself acquired by Microsoft).

There's a wide variety on almost any business related topic, from soft skills like time management and productivity, to more technical offerings. 

In fact, there's probably only one downside to offering these from your point of view as a passenger: the guilt you might feel if you ignore the productivity videos, and binge watch movies instead.

But hey, it's your flight, and your choice. Win-win-win for everyone.

Published on: Sep 15, 2018
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