Patron-Driven Acquisition | Alexander Street

Patron-Driven Acquisition

How can you provide patrons with broad access to video on a limited budget? How do you ensure resources are relevant to patrons? With a PDA membership, of course.

  • With Alexander Street's PDA your users get access to more than 34,000 video titles.
  • PDA gives your patrons the power to determine what streaming video content you acquire.
  • After a set number of video playbacks, the usage automatically triggers a subscription to specific single titles. Most PDA titles have the option to upgrade subscriptions to perpetual ownership. 
  • Your patrons choose the content, you choose the terms. It's as easy as that!

New for 2017:

  • New Exclusive Content: Welcome BroadwayHD, Milestone Films, and Sony Pictures Classics*.
  • Custom profiling made easy: With the help of our Customer Engagement Team, Alexander Street allows you to customize and manage your PDA account. By publisher or subject, YOU decide what films to expose to your patrons.
  • Automatic Perpetual Ownership:  Automatic perpetual ownership of qualifying titles is granted once you've reached $499 in invoices for a title.
  • Admin Portal Value-Adds:  Custom profiling, easy access, and a strong focus on data.
  • No Deposit Required: Membership is free, and no charges are incurred until the 4th time a title is viewed beyond 30 seconds.


New for 2017

  • New Exclusive Content: In keeping with what you expect, we're proud to bring PDA members the BEST content available only from Alexander Street, from our latest exclusive streaming library agreements with BroadwayHD, Milestone Films, and Sony Pictures Classics*.
  • Admin Portal Value-Adds:  Alexander Street now makes your admin portal access easier than ever.
    • Custom profiling made easy: With the help of our Customer Engagement Team, Alexander Street allows you to customize and manage your PDA account. By publisher or subject, YOU decide what films to expose to your patrons.
    • Focus on data: A new, easy-to-read dashboard allows PDA members to quickly and easily review usage and engagement statistics, with a forward look at impact measures. You will see how, when, and why patrons are using your content and the influence the films have on learning.
    • One point of entry: A single page now provides access to custom MARC records, COUNTER4 and other statistics,and engagement reports, all enriched with an emphasis on impact data.
  • Automatic Perpetual Ownership:  Tired of paying year after year to renew popular films?  Automatic perpetual ownership is now granted for qualifying titles once you've reached $499 in total invoices per title.
  • No Deposit Required: Membership is free, and no charges are incurred until the 4th time a title is viewed beyond 30 seconds. Then an invoice is triggered for a 1-year subscription to that film. You may choose to upgrade to a 3-year subscription, or perpetual rights (available for most titles). Your patrons choose the content - you choose the terms.

PDA: Select and PDA: Feature Films offer focused content:

  1. PDA: Select includes 14,000+ titles available only from Alexander Street. With this option, your library can provide access to high quality academic films available nowhere else, and there's no overlap with any PDA programs you may already have in place. Content spans many subject areas, including anthropology, counseling and therapy, business, documentary and feature film, education, history, fashion, music and dance, news and current affairs, drama and more.
  2. PDA: Feature Films provides access to 2,500+ feature films, silent films, and world cinema titles and is perfect for supplementing an existing video collection with qualilty major cinema. Many are exclusive to Alexander Street -- from top content providers including Sony Pictures Classics*, Milestone Films,  First Run Features, Zeitgeist Films, DEFA Film Library, Oscilloscope, Pragda Films, Global Lens, Film Movement, British Film Institute, Flicker Alley, and others. 

Already have another PDA program in place? That's okay!

You know that PDA is right for you. Add PDA: Select for access to additional titles available only from Alexander Street, all 14,000+ of them. It costs nothing to set up. We've done all the work for you, so there's no worry about overlapping with your current PDA program.

Why Alexander Street?

Alexander Street delivers:

  • Tremendous flexibility, with a large number of delivery and acquisition options, and we offer perpetual rights for most titles.
  • The most streaming titles available for instant subscription or purchase (34,000+ of our best films and growing).
  • Top-quality content—PDA includes more than 500 unique content partners including Sony Pictures Classics*, BroadwayHD, Milestone Films, BBC, Bloomberg, Canal+, CRM Learning, Discovery, CBS, HBO, Janus Films (Criterion Collection), Kantola, Medcom, National Geographic, NBCUniversal, Opus Arte, Royal Anthropological Institute, First Run Features, and many more.
  • A vast array of tools to support learning and teaching—semantic facet browsing, a video clipping service, and much more.
  • The attentive support you need to help make the most of video at your institution.

How does Alexander Street’s PDA program work?

Your patrons will receive unlimited access to videos without any setup fee or upfront commitment. Users will be able to search and stream with complete interface functionality, as if these titles were already a permanent part of your holdings.

To help you manage your budget, we offer a spending cap feature that ensures you stay within your budget even if your patrons are highly active users. You can increase your cap during the PDA period. Additionally, title-level suppression prevents your users from seeing or using content you don’t want to acquire.

The PDA program also provides a detailed admin portal that helps you monitor your account’s activity. You can see which titles have been recently triggered with 24-hour currency, track your spending against your cap, and upgrade triggered titles to multi-year subscriptions or perpetual purchases when rights are available.

What support will I receive?

PDA at Alexander Street comes with consultative support including usage tools, faculty outreach, training resources, COUNTER-compliant usage stats, a dedicated account manager, title suppression capabilities, budget management tools, and more.

I have questions! How can I learn more?

If you are a librarian and would like to learn more, check out the bibliography above or email


*Authorized to stream in U.S. universities and colleges only.



PDA allowed us to increase access in a cost-effective manner. But it has to be easy to implement and manage.

Cory Tucker Head, Continuing Resources & Collections, University of Nevada