Being on iTunesU

I’m lucky enough to work for Oxford University, and part of my job is web development for the James Martin 21st Century School – a bespoke CF site I wrote which I’m constantly tinkering with.

Oxford University recently launched its presence on iTunesU, the learning and education channel on iTunes.

The School has been lucky enough to have several podcasts of major events which have been well featured on both the University’s front iTunesU page, but also the main iTunesU page itself.

One of our podcasts is currently appearing on iTunesU front page – Stiglitz on the Credit Crunch (for the second time); a great talk and very topical given the current climate. When this was launched, this podcast stayed at the top of the “most downloaded” list on iTunes for many, many weeks, and is still in the Top 10 podcasts within the University.

So what does that actually mean in terms of hits and bandwidth?

For that one podcast, it’s been downloaded 44,000 times, of which I’d estimate 90% came from iTunes.

2008 .mp3 Traffic: 3426.09 GB 
(iTunes Oxford launch was in October)

2009 .mp3 Traffic so far: 228.07 GB
(to beginning of March)

Total Downloads for podcasts: over 180,000 and counting, of which iTunesU accounts for probably 60% of that traffic.

So be warned, one mp3 is all it takes! It’s been a fantastic start, and now we’ve just got to keep the momentum going.

Sidenote: Obviously in a higher education environment, our webserver is on JANET, the academic network, and it’s also connected via Gigabit. As a University we pay JANET for access, but don’t, to the best of my knowledge, pay per GB traffic or anything. We’ve also got a dedicated server for the site, so we’ve never had an issue with memory etc. At the iTunes peak, the webserver was pumping out at least 50MB a second (and constantly, for quite a while…)