Open University Reaches Epic Milestone of 20 Million Downloads on iTunes U

Jun 29, 2010
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Open University Reaches Epic Milestone of 20 Million Downloads on iTunes U

If you're a fan of iTunes, and you're a student of some major university out there, then you might have skimmed through iTunes U, or iTunes University. It's designed to help students continue their learning with extra materials, visual elements, and other assorted materials based on a particular university. And, within that store, you could find The Open University, and they've just reached a pretty big milestone for the company.

The Open University is the first university worldwide to reach 20 million downloads. That's 20 million downloaded tracks, which actually equals to something like a quarter of a million tracks per week, according to the press release. Since the launch of the Open University in June of 2008, it seems that the downloads have been soarcing off the digital shelves.

Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said: “I am delighted that the popularity of The Open University on iTunes U continues to go from strength to strength. Our success lies in providing original, custom-built content for iTunes U, linked to current and popular OU courses. Students are able to incorporate tracks into their studies, while informal learners anywhere in the world can tap into these excellent materials for free.”

Sticking with the whole university feel, it seems that people who have downloaded content from The Open University have done so to continue on their educational goals. A non-surprising 96% of customers responding to a survey said they use the materials for learning . . . Which shouldn't be all that shocking. Having the ability to download content that you can watch, read, or listen to whenever you want is essential to the business model, and it's obviously working for the company quite well. Check out the full press release below.

Press Release:

The Open University is the first university worldwide to reach 20 million downloads on iTunes U
The Open University (OU) today reached a milestone as the first university to hit 20 million downloaded tracks on iTunes U, a dedicated area within the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com). With an average of over a quarter of a million downloads per week*, the OU’s popularity has soared since content was first made available on iTunes U in June 2008.

Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said: “I am delighted that the popularity of The Open University on iTunes U continues to go from strength to strength. Our success lies in providing original, custom-built content for iTunes U, linked to current and popular OU courses. Students are able to incorporate tracks into their studies, while informal learners anywhere in the world can tap into these excellent materials for free.”

Most people downloading the OU’s tracks do so to continue their own education, with 96%** of respondents to an OU audience survey saying that they use the materials for learning. An upsurge in people accessing OU student websites on their mobile devices reinforces the increasing popularity of more flexible content like the materials on iTunes U. In June 2008, when The Open University on iTunes U was launched, 1,370 students accessed the OU’s student websites via their mobile devices – in May 2010, this had risen massively to over 11,000 unique student visitors in that month alone.

Over half of those who download OU content from iTunes U** engage with it whilst undertaking other activities. Martin Bean continued: “The way people want to learn is changing: many now actively seek out content they are interested in and which they can watch, read or listen to when it suits them. New channels are helping people to fit learning in with their lifestyles, and the OU has always kept pace with the changing world of technology, which is why we are such a resounding success on iTunes U.”

Over 4.5 million downloads from The Open University on iTunes U in the past year*** relate to tracks in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects – accounting for 28% of the total downloads in that time. Anyone can download OU tracks from iTunes U for free, and the most popular collections from The Open University on iTunes U have been languages and arts with the most downloaded to date being Beginner’s French.


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