Video Discovery Stats for DSVA: A First Look

Our Diamonstein-Spielvogel video archive collection, comprised of about 130 videos, was introduced this past fall and represents our first digital video collection. Our Digital Collections system (Tripod) does not yet support discovery within a video collection, so in the interim, we are using two external video services in tandem to host the collection and are relying on their native interfaces for search and retrieval.

  • videos uploaded to iTunes U the week of September 21, 2008
  • videos uploaded to YouTube the week of December 14, 2008

Each service provides some distinct advantages over the other. A basic matrix of differences can be found here:


To gauge use, we looked at about 8 weeks of data in both systems following the publication of the videos in YouTube. There were 16,412 YouTube views, 993 iTunes downloads, and 392 iTunes previews.

Diamonstein-Spielvogel Video Archive Usage Stats
Dec 14, 2008 – Feb 8, 2009


  • An iTunes Preview is when someone double-clicks a video to watch it without downloading it.
  • An iTunes Download is when someone clicks the “GET MOVIE” button to download the video to their computer.
  • YouTube does not allow downloads
  • We can’t tell how many times iTunes U videos have been watched after they have been downloaded.

Where Are All These Views Coming From?

The iTunes views & downloads all happen in the same place: the collection interface in iTunes U. We don’t know how many originated with an external link (URL’s are available for individual iTunes tracks). With the YouTube videos, people are finding them in a multitude of ways. Here are example stats for our most-viewed video (as of today, Feb 25):

But no single discovery method for YouTube videos stands out as ‘primary’ across the collections. Of our five most-viewed videos (see Top 10 below), Winogrand has been viewed mostly through an embedded player (32.0%, primarily from a street photography blog), Meyerowitz was discovered most frequently as a ‘related video’ to other YouTube videos (26.0%), Maloof was viewed most frequently via external links (35.0%, mostly from a woodworker community site), and Dine was found mostly via keyword searching in YouTube (34.0%).

Top 10 Videos


  1. Visions and Images: Garry Winogrand, 1981 (2,576 views)
  2. Visions and Images: Joel Meyerowitz, 1981 (918)
  3. Visions and Images: Elliot Erwitt, 1981 (607)
  4. Handmade in America: Sam Maloof (546)
  5. Inside New York’s Art World: Jim Dine (470)
  6. Inside New York’s Art World: Lee Krasner, 1978 (454)
  7. Visions and Images: Harry Callahan, 1981 (377)
  8. Inside New York’s Art World: Motherwell (358)
  9. Visions and Images: Arnold Newman, 1981 (331)
  10. Visions and Images: Duane Michaels (291)


  1. American Architecture Now: Frank Gehry, 1980 (60 downloads)
  2. American Architecture Now: Peter Eisenman, Jaquelin Robertson, 1984 (35)
  3. Visions and Images: Garry Winogrand, 1981 (28)
  4. American Architecture Now: Stanley Tigerman, 1984 (28)
  5. Visions and Images: Elliot Erwitt, 1981 (27)
  6. American Architecture Now: Philip Johnson (27)
  7. Visions and Images: Joel Meyerowitz, 1981 (26)
  8. American Architecture Now: Richard Meier (24)
  9. Visions and Images: Arnold Newman, 1981 (22)
  10. American Architecture Now: Michael Graves, 1980 (21)


Only four videos appear in both Top Tens, so there is disparity in which videos are most popular in both systems. 6 of the top 10 videos in iTunes are from the American Architecture Now series yet not a single one of these even cracks the top 10 in YouTube. Does this mean architecture enthusiasts are more apt to be iTunes users? Probably not. A more likely explanation for this phenomenon is the arrangement of tabs for the various series in the iTunes interface:

American Architecture Now is the first and default tab, thus videos in the other series are initially hidden from view. We may reconsider the tab arrangement for future collections.

Comments & Ratings

YouTube’s comment and rating functions have both been used considerably in the collection. As of today (Feb 25) we have received 35 total comments on 24 videos (High: 3). 84 ratings have been cast on 41 videos (High: 9). 36 of the 41 rated videos have a 5/5 star average rating, 1 has a 3/5 average, and 4 have a 1/5 average. The high ratings indicate that people are finding the videos to be valuable, and that is reinforced by the grateful messages that comprise the majority of the comments received.

Other Observations

It’s unclear to what extent the services complement each other, although we have already had a patron contact us through YouTube inquiring about how s/he could download the videos (iTunes makes this possible). It’s also conceivable that someone might download a video from iTunes, watch it, and then use the YouTube version to discuss or share it.