University of California Television (UCTV) is celebrating a major achievement with the acquisition of its one-millionth YouTube subscriber after contributing educational content to the platform for over a decade.
UCTV’s YouTube Channel is an intersection of informational video content from virtually every corner of the University of California system—and viewers need not be UC students (or even alumni) to watch. The channel hosts thousands of videos on an array of topics—from surgeries to concert performances to documentary films and much more—that can be viewed by anyone with internet access.
Managed by UC San Diego’s Division of Extended Studies continuing education platform, UCTV transports knowledge far beyond campus borders and into the homes and lives of inquisitive viewers around the globe.
“We are thrilled to reach this highly-anticipated milestone,” says Natalie Walsh, executive director, UCTV. “Our mission is to take the amazing work being done on campuses across the UC system and bring those ideas to the general public, free and accessible to all. It is wonderful so many people from across the world are not only watching but also engaging with UCTV YouTube videos to learn and find inspiration.”
Like many YouTube success stories, UCTV’s began in the platform’s earliest days. In 2006, UCTV partnered with Google to provide 1,000 hours of educational content to what was then called Google Video. At the time, it was the largest provider of educational content to Google, all of which migrated to YouTube after the still-nascent video-sharing platform was acquired by Google. In 2008, YouTube awarded UCTV a coveted “original channel” slot, setting the stage for its upward trajectory ever since.
“UCTV is a critical vehicle through which we share educational opportunities, objective information, and inspirational performances with people of all ages, stages and backgrounds,” says Hugo Villar, dean, UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies. “This milestone is an indicator that our efforts, these videos, are helping us to move the accessibility needle for lifelong learners.”
To date, UCTV’s YouTube channel has more than 255 million combined views, with science, health, and food-related content reigning popular. As of this milestone, UCTV’s five most viewed videos are:
- Carl Orff: Carmina Burana (2006): 23,204,337 views
- Sugar: The Bitter Truth (2009): 19,133,410 views
- Cataracts: A Surgical Revolution (2014): 16,448,349 views
- Let Food Be Thy Medicine (2018): 10,937,128 views
- Blood Pressure (2018): 5,744,616 views
UCTV’s YouTube presence gives it access to a global audience, with dedicated viewers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, the Philippines and beyond. Its influence also extends beyond the platform. A few of its videos have gone massively viral, including “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” a lecture shedding light on the damage sugary foods can cause, which was picked up by The New York Times and the TV news program 60 Minutes.
“Our archive of programs is deep, and you can find videos to meet your interests,” says Walsh. “In an age of soundbites and short video hits, we pride ourselves on not talking down to our viewers and giving meaning and context to our programs.”