Review of our Youniversity.TV Experience

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Free, Video, Web | Posted on 09-08-2008

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We just received our final video from Youniversity.tv, and I wanted to share a few thoughts on our experience with them since I know many other colleges are considering their services.

Our timeline went something like this:

April 14th – Initial Contact
May 19th – Campus video shoot
June 2nd – Approved script
July 23rd – Video Preview
August 21st – Final video published online

They said we could send them b-roll to use, so I spent a few days compiling clips before they came.  In the end, they didn’t use any of it.   I think it’s for the better.  Their videographer had a unique style when shooting and the b-roll I got from campus relations would not have fit in well with the rest of the footage.

I was also concerned that the production would be heavily scripted, which I am not a big fan of.  One of the professors I had asked to be a part of the video wanted me to email YouniversityTV and see what type of questions she would be answering.  I leapt for joy when Steve sent me back this response:

“I don’t like to give out the list of questions as the interview will sound scripted and rehearsed.”

And sure enough, when interview time came for the camera it was a bunch of random questions with no retakes.

Another concern you might have is cost.  Well, there is none. You just have to place a link on our homepage.  (We bargained for the link to be on the Butler Bloggers page, the 2nd most visited page after the homepage.) So if they are paying salary and flying different crews and expensive camera equipment all over the US, where is their revenue?  Good question. I picked the brains of the crew for a bit at lunch and heard a few thoughts about future revenue, such as a paid subscription by students to watch videos.  Ads might be in the future as well.  So keep that in mind as you consider their service.

Overall, I am pleased with our experience with them as well as the final production.  I even make a cameo appearance in the video *slaps forehead*.  I was walking by the Star Fountain, trying to get ahold of Butler Blue II on my phone and the camera man taped it, and it never hit the cutting floor.  So I am forever etched in the Butler University video.

A few gripes: The site is very flash-heavy.  On our video’s page, I noticed that the school name is within the flash file, and our name is not in the title of the page or anywhere else.  For students searching the internet, they likely will not run across the video unless they click the link from our site. If we had paid, this would be a bigger issue for me, but it’s not too big of a deal since it was free.  Also, it would be nice to have an embed that we could just put on our page, but that would not be the best business model for them since they will rely on traffic to their site.

While it would be nice to have someone like CollegeClickTV come in and do some very real footage, Youniversity.tv is a safe option if you’re wanting to put video on your site without giving administration a heart attack.

Without further ado, here is our video: http://www.youniversity.tv/butler_university.html

To see more or learn how your campus can be involved, head to http://www.youniversity.tv.

Comments posted (9)

Thanks for sharing this, Brad.

So you can’t embed the video on your site, you must link to them? That’s a bummer – especially with no link back to you as you mention. (oops there’s a link at the very end of the video).

Also, I’m not terribly impressed with the encoding of the video. There’s a lot of fast motion and cuts which gives you tons of blockiness.

Yeah I remember these guys coming and shooting us FOREVER ago. Unlike the LiveVideoU guys that I blogged about months ago who did a turn around in like a month these guys seem to take forever to get everything together. I wonder what takes so long?

This is definitely a much more scripted video instead of lots of individual interviews. So the production quality/time is definitely a huge difference. I’ll be honest though the little sound effects they throw in are a little annoying.

Everyone should really check out CollegeClickTV, for prospective or even current college students there is no better place to find any kind of details you want about different universities. The best part about them is they actually do it in an entertaining way. Plus the quality of footage on CollegeClick blows those other services away.

Thanks,

Josh

Actually did a little digging and it looks like LiveVideoU is now CollegeClickTV. Just rebranded everything but the same content.

Sounds like this Josh guy works for college click… and as far as I’m concerned, why would any prospective student trust a site that has drunk college girls burping on camera discussing their school?

Brian – I thought the exact same thing. :)

No, I do not work for College ClickTV, just saw that they were the one with all the videos on US News and World Report. Just because you think a site is good suddenly you work them. I am actually still in college, just saw this conversation. Either way I am glad that there are this many great sites that you can find out information about your prospective college, whether it be Live Video U, CollegeClickTV, whatever.

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