In an effort to increase accessibility of U-M video content and share it with a larger, more global audience, the university is using its redesigned YouTube website as the primary source for videos.
The new YouTube channel, youtube.com/um, will host a variety of videos produced by the university, including content aired on Comcast channel 22, the Michigan Channel. As a cost-saving measure, the university will discontinue the local area broadcast effective June 28.
“Providing access to our videos through social media platforms, such as YouTube, better aligns with how content is consumed by the public in the 21st century,” said Lisa Rudgers, vice president for global communications.
“Our students, alumni and the larger community around the world can access a variety of U-M videos from their computers or mobile devices — whenever and wherever they choose.”
According to YouTube, 70 percent of its website traffic comes from outside the United States, and the site experiences more than 1 billion unique visitors each month with more than 200 million views a day via mobile connections.
Rudgers also noted hosting videos on YouTube creates an interactive experience providing the opportunity for individuals to like, share and engage in a dialogue about U-M content.
With nearly 4,000 subscribers and 1.4 million video views so far, the new U-M YouTube site reorganizes content under categories and by schools and colleges to provide for easier searching.
The site also combines the university’s presence on many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, and includes a spotlight section highlighting comments from followers on the various platforms.
In addition, all videos posted on YouTube fulfill Web accessibility requirements by providing closed captioning for the hearing impaired, an option not offered to viewers of the Michigan Channel.
“With its limited audience and the expenses associated with preparing videos for a single media outlet, continuing to operate the Michigan Channel is no longer an effective use of university resources,” Rudgers said.
The Michigan Channel is airing short video clips notifying viewers how to access the same educational content through the dedicated “Michigan Channel” playlist on the U-M YouTube site. Typical programming includes lectures, discussions and programs recorded on campus featuring faculty, staff and visiting scholars.
The university began its operation of local channel 22 in 1997, transitioning to the name “Michigan Channel” in 2003.
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