Live-streaming gains popularity

When Cory Booker LAW ’97 speaks at this year’s Class Day ceremony, he will be speaking to an audience much larger than the members of the class of 2013 and their relatives.

The University has increased its online multimedia presence by filming and live streaming various major University events, including Commencement exercises, lectures, conversations with faculty and other special events. Event organizers throughout Yale’s departments and centers said live streaming allows the University to expand the audience that can access its special events. Since the service became available at Yale roughly two years ago, more and more groups within the University have requested to live stream their events, and the Broadcast and Media Center has had to hire freelancers to meet demand.

“Disseminating videos online is an extremely powerful way to share some of the amazing people, stories and events of Yale with the world,” Lucas Swineford, the director of the Office of Digital Dissemination — which includes the Broadcast and Media Center — said in a Wednesday email.

The Broadcast and Media Center’s staff of 10 manages the production of most of the University’s video and audio services, including taping talks, such as Kofi Annan’s town hall last week, Swineford said. He added that social media integration into online programming will continue to evolve.

Marilyn Wilkes, the public affairs director for the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, which oversees the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, said talks featuring the most prestigious speakers have been live streamed, rather than simply videotaped, in the past two years.

“So many more people can benefit by watching [online],” Wilkes said, adding that members of the Yale community who are unable to find seats at oversubscribed talks can also watch events online.

Stuart DeCew FES ’11 SOM ’11, program director for the Center for Business and the Environment, said the center streams most events live because online viewers are more likely to pay attention for longer if they know the event is live, he said.

@YaleLive, a monthly live program hosted by Eric Gershon, a senior communications officer in the Office of Public Affairs and Communications, features an interview with a Yale faculty member in each episode. The show integrates viewers’ online questions for the duration of each episode.

“We think of it as a way to let anyone in the world with access to the Internet suggest a question for a Yale professor, or simply to listen to a Yale scholar talk informally about a subject of general interest,” Gershon said in a Thursday email.

Analytics information about different videos’ audiences may help the media staff identify material well-suited for online streaming, Swineford said. He added that his office will need more time to identify trends and begin making programming decisions based on analytics.

Karen Peart, the associate university press secretary, said in a Thursday email that expanded online distribution capabilities, through live and archival video streaming, social media use, Yale News and other platforms, have helped open Yale’s gates.

“It allows those interested in Yale who are not on campus to understand, appreciate and enjoy the University to a degree that was not possible previously,” Peart said.

Yale University joined YouTube on Sept. 18, 2006.

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