Update on YouTube EDU applications

Letter from YouTube EDU:

I received this in my inbox recently from “The YouTube Team” regarding my pending (of nearly a year) YouTube EDU application.

Thank you for applying to YouTube EDU, home to high quality educational content from around the world!

<< I applied nearly a year ago.  IMO this “high quality education content” has not been vetted or paid attention to from YouTube for quite some time.>>

Our vision is to provide a vibrant, global platform where anyone, anywhere can obtain a world-class education.  Whether you are a student, teacher, or gifted storyteller, our hope is that you will continually discover, create, and share educational videos with the world.  

<< Lovely message.  Moving right along… >>

To reach this vision, we are currently revamping YouTube EDU to bring you a bigger and better version of what you’ve seen to date.

<< Revamping, you say?  I have felt for some time somewhat slighted by the fact that YouTube doesn’t pay very close attention to the content that their accepted channels are posting.  There are a lot of promotional/marketing videos and only a handful of educational videos.   Yet, they have turned higher ed institutions down, mine included, for lacking in the latter. >>

While we are not currently accepting new applications for YouTube EDU…

<< Turned down again.  Drats. >>

…we do invite you to consider applying for the YouTube Partner Program, which enables access to features such as premium branding capabilities, ability to upload longform high quality video, and advanced analytics. You can apply for the YouTube Partner Program at: http://www.youtube.com/partners.

<< Hmm.  The Partner Program requires monetization of videos and a Google AdSense account.  YouTube also has written on their site:  “We are currently focusing on accepting users who regularly produce videos intended for viewing by a wide audience or who publish popular or commercially successful videos in other ways (such as DVDs sold online).”  Something tells me this will not bode well for most higher ed institutions. >>

To learn more about Google education resources, check out http://www.google.com/edu.
To make the most of your YouTube experience, visit YouTube Essentials: http://www.youtube.com/t/about_essentials.

Again, thank you for your interest and we appreciate your understanding as we work to achieve our vision!

<< Blah blah blah. >>

The YouTube Team

Insider information:

I’ve since learned that in the past the requirement for EDU status was to have a  ‘representative amount of educational content’ on your channel, which typically meant at least 50 videos, of which some are full courses (e.g. lecture 1-20 of an entire course).


I’ll be very interested to see how YouTube goes about revamping their EDU site.  Will the requirements change?  Will current EDU partners be ushered into the “new” system, even if their current content doesn’t meet the old requirements?

What do you think?

About Mallory Wood

Mallory Wood is a Vermont-based higher ed marketing professional with a passion for social media, web video, and event production. View all posts by Mallory Wood

5 responses to “Update on YouTube EDU applications

  • Nick DeNardis

    Not sure if anyone else is in the same boat, but we (Wayne State University) were accepted as an EDU partner in 2009. I can’t get the exact date at the moment but with was with the terms that we needed to upload educational content in order to be considered for the youtube.com/edu directory.

    Over the next six month we added as many educational videos as possible. But this did not include full course lectures for various reasons. When we had more than 50% non-promotional material I responded and asked to be included in the directory. We were denied. “We are adding channels to the Directory provided they are fully branded and are composed of primarily educational materials, as opposed to marketing, campus life, or prospectus materials. Please check back once your channel fits this criteria.” Pretty vague if you ask me. But now that you bring up the full course material, that makes sense.

    I wonder how many other institutions are caught in this limbo state?

  • Mallory Wood


    So you have all of the branding benefits of being an EDU partner but Wayne State does not appear in the EDU directory?

    Very interesting as that is the same state of limbo that St. Mike’s is in. We do not appear in the directory but have long had the ability to brand our channel and upload videos of over 10 minutes in length (back when a regular YouTube user could not do so). And the message you received denying you directory access is the same message that we were given in late 2009 when I first asked to be included in the directory.

    Are there others out there?

  • Teri Olson

    I have applied for the EDU channel and have been denied at Luther College. The response we got was the same response above and was about six months later. Anyone have any advice as to where to go from here?

  • Talmadge (@Talmadge)

    Hi Mallory,

    Sounds to me that schools may be caught between YouTube’s quest for traffic and a narrowly targeted audience. Since YT monetizes off of advertising, they need videos with a broad commercial appeal, however EDU vids are more narrowly focused on either prospective students or particular fields – neither of which produce views in the millions. YouTube’s system may not be the right fit for the kind of content institutions want and need to make.

    Have a great week,


  • Mallory Wood

    I’ve been a supporter of using YouTube for uploading video content because it is the elephant in the room. You can’t ignore the second largest search engine on the web! Plus, as my readers know, I like making YouTube videos interactive with the annotations feature.

    But you raise an interesting point, Tal. There are few EDU videos on YouTube that have received millions (or even hundreds of thousands) of views. Just because YouTube has the most traffic doesn’t mean the audience is our target.

    I’m curious what others think… should higher ed find a better system for video content?

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