The ascendancy of the streaming format has implications for how educational content is used and purchased within universities, even if universities do not appear to be a priority market for media providers. The pedagogical possibilities for streaming content extend far beyond access to feature films and documentaries, providing, for instance, the opportunity to access a wide variety of academic conference presentations, or observe lab demonstrations.

Within universities, academic libraries are taking the lead in stewarding and procuring streaming resources and are being confronted with the logistical and budgetary challenges as vendors’ business models rapidly evolve. This summer, Ithaka S+R announced a new project to evaluate streaming market trends and to explore instructional practices and support needs related to teaching with streaming content. The project involves a unique partnership model with a cohort of academic libraries, and we are excited to share that 24 libraries will participate

What’s up next for the project?

Today, Ithaka S+R launched a survey on library decision-making related to streaming media more broadly including video and audio. The survey is the most comprehensive to-date on streaming in higher education: direct invitations have been sent to a representative at each four-year institution in the United States and to a representative at each library in the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). Representatives were selected because they have responsibility for making purchasing, licensing, and budget decisions for institutional collections. The survey asks them questions about their library’s streaming media strategy, including purchasing and licensing approaches. Findings will be made publicly available in spring 2022. 

In parallel to this landscape survey, our partnering libraries will be conducting qualitative research on streaming media use at their institution, focusing on video content. Each library will interview a subset of instructors at their institution who teach with video content in that area about their pedagogical goals and needs. Ithaka S+R will analyze the interviews collected across the cohort, and public findings will be shared in fall 2022. Our unique cross-institutional collaboration enables us to collect evidence at a large scale while still keeping the research contributions at individual institutions manageable. 

Together, the project’s mixed methods approach will provide a robust picture of how libraries are approaching streaming media and what their patrons will need in the years to come. The evidence collected will help libraries create new strategies for licensing and managing streaming use. 


Streaming Project Partner Libraries

We thank the 24 libraries that will be working with us on the project: 

  • Brigham Young University
  • California State University Fullerton
  • Central Washington University
  • Davidson College
  • Freie Universität Berlin
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Haverford College
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Portland State University
  • San Jose State University
  • Sewanee: The University of the South
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wyoming
  • Wayne State University