Academic Video Online | Alexander Street

Academic Video Online

Academic Video Online is the most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries. It delivers over 70,000 titles spanning the widest range of subject areas including anthropology, business, counseling, film, health, history, music, and more. More than 18,000* titles are exclusive to Alexander Street, all with a predictable annual cost.

Curated for the educational experience, the massive depth of content and breadth of content-types (such as documentaries, films, demonstrations, etc.) in Academic Video Online makes it a useful resource for all types of patrons, giving libraries a high return on investment.


“… demands for both video and audio resources are up strongly: the 2020 survey found that 52% of students are now looking for video-based content (up from 39% in 2018)... .” 
Source: Market Survey: How Permanent Is the Swing to Digital in Higher Education?  Written by: Kate Worlock, Outsell Inc.

Academic Video Online: Change the Way You Look at Video

Inspiring documentaries.  Thought-provoking films.  Arthouse favorites.  Practical training videos. With unlimited access to twice the videos of any provider, Academic Video Online is the most comprehensive streaming video solution for libraries*.

On-Demand Audio Described Video Now Available 

 We're proud to be adding audio description to selected titles in Academic Video Online!  The first of its kind in the academic market, our On-Demand Audio Description Program includes:

  • If you have a student who needs an accommodation, libraries may request audio-description through Product Manager Sarah Brennan, which will then be added to Academic Video Online within 2 weeks, at no charge.
  • Available in Academic Video Online and ProQuest One Academic


See an overview of the database with links to guides, tutorials, and more. Visit the Libguide.

Public Performance Rights

Films available in Academic Video Online include limited public performance rights, which includes permission for classroom showings, as well as public screenings, as long as no admission is being charged.**

What's new in Academic Video Online

Stay up to date on the new content coming in to Academic Video Online here.

Unmatched content

Academic Video Online includes a variety of video material available with curricular relevance: documentaries, interviews, feature films, performances, news programs and newsreels, and demonstrations. Patrons will find thousands of award-winning films, including Academy®, Emmy®, and Peabody® winners. Academic institutions will find the most frequently used films for classroom instruction, plus newly released films and previously unavailable archival material.

Subject strengths

Academic Video Online covers many disciplines and subject areas, with specific strengths in:

  • American History (12,520)
  • Newsreels (7,915)
  • World History (7,465)
  • Business & Economics (7,325)
  • Education (6,720)
  • Anthropology (6,310)
  • Science (4,400)
  • Media Studies (3,790)
  • Politics & Current Affairs (3,060)
  • Film (2,695)
  • Nursing (2,595)
  • Fashion (2,475)
  • Health Policy (2,245)
  • Environmental Studies (1,945)
  • Counseling & Therapy (1,775)
    • Psychology (1,080)
  • Black Studies (1,715)
  • Classical Music (1,705)
  • Asian Studies (1,470)
  • Sports Medicine/Exercise Science (1,435)
  • Art & Architecture (1,315)
  • Dance (1,200)
  • Global Issues (940)
  • Literature (910)
  • Theatre (815)
  • Women's Studies (710)
  • Engineering (685)
  • Religion (640)
  • LGBT Studies (580)
  • Cooking (550)
  • Rehabilitation Therapy (535)
  • Social Theory (435)
  • and more!
* Please Note: Titles counts are subject to change and are approximate. Territory restrictions apply. Individual videos may be accounted for in multiple categories in order to accurately represent the disciplines they support. Browse for more discipline search options.

Build by Choice (perpetual rights)

At the end of each subscription term, your entire subscription cost is automatically applied towards owning perpetual rights to your choice of videos. Most films offer this option. The longer you subscribe, the more titles you own.
For 12 month subscriptions, you will be eligible to make your selections the year your subscription term ends (for example: if your subscription starts May 2020, you are eligible to make selections in 2021).
Selections must be completed by December (exact date varies) of your eligible calendar yearLearn more.

Media hosting 

Free and EXCLUSIVE to Academic Video Online subscribing libraries only. Upload an unlimited amount of locally produced streaming content, or content you've licensed from other vendors, and make it visible to your institution. Librarians add metadata for discoverability and permanently link content to their catalogs. Learn more.

 Admin Portal: Gather insights into the data behind usage 

  It includes:

  • Custom MARC Records, COUNTER4 and COUNTER5 Statistics, up-to-date title lists, and more.
  • Our dashboard makes understanding usage easy.
  • Access to marketing materials to help increase usage.
  • And much more…

  Current subscriber can start using the admin portal now at

  If you are not a customer and would like your own personal tour, email

Top partnerships

The collection represents content from over 800 leading distributors, producers, and filmmakers. Some of the top names include: 

  • PBS*
  • BBC
  • CNN
  • WSJ/Dow Jones
  • Sony Pictures Classics*
  • 60 MINUTES / CBS
  • A+E Networks’ HISTORY®
  • Dummies
  • Bloomberg Media Distribution
  • Documentary Educational Resources (DER)
  • Microtraining
  • Envision, Inc.
  • Stanley Milgram
  • Dallas Learning Solutions
  • CreativeLive
  • Davidson Films
  • Annenberg Learner
  • The George Balanchine Foundation
  • Royal Shakespeare Company
  • Third World Newsreel
  • And MORE!

Content from 60 MINUTES, FILM PLATFORM, Sony Pictures Classics, Collective Eye, Microtraining Associates and more are not available through any other platforms in the academic market. 

We offer:

  • The most titles. This database is two times the size of any provider in the academic space. Topics are covered in more depth, and editors cover every aspect of the field.
  • The best titles. Exclusive titles and series are included like The Videofashion Library, The March of Time Newsreel Series, Obedience (Milgram), and the full set of Microtraining titles. Additionally, we have thousands of curricular titles produced specifically for the education market to be used in instruction.


Is it possible to fight infectious disease like COVID-19 - and create a more just world in the process?

Our inspiring panel discussion on global health and social justice with the founders of Partners In Health and Tabith Jackson, director of The Sundance Film Festibal, was a great inspiration. It also demonstrated how a film like Bending the Arc  (available in Academic Video Online) can be a catalyst for conversations on important topics across the curriculum.

Partners In Health is the subject of the best-selling book Mountains Beyond Mountains and the award-winning documentary Bending the Arc from executive producers Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Damon & Heidi Lindelof.

►Watch The Recording►

Bending the Arc is available in Academic Video Online through our partnership with FILM PLATFORM. FILM PLATFORM’s exclusive collection of documentary films has been carefully selected from prestigious film festivals, made by the best filmmakers from around the globe. Masterfully produced, the films create an emotional experience for the viewer, engaging them deeply and authentically in some of the most pressing issues of our time. See more of their titles.

Want an easy way to market Academic Video Online to your campus?

We've done all the work for you, so you don't have to. Share this marketing video with your faculty and students. Use this Online PR Kit to help promote Academic Video Online. It includes:

  • Templated press releases for local and school newspapers
  • Daily Tweets to promote your content
  • Student promotions
  • Bookmark, posters and more!

Researcher use of video almost doubled from 2014 to 2017

According to a recent ProQuest survey, video experienced the most dramatic increase in popularity among researchers of all content types. In 2015, only 39% of respondents were using video in their research. In 2017, use climbed to 71%, confirming the anecdotal evidence we’ve all seen.   Learn about this and other research we've been doing at ProQuest.

Video advisory board

Meet the video advisory board that contributes its expertise to the development of our high quality video collections.

Learning and search tools

In addition to the breadth and depth of content, Academic Video Online offers a wide range of platform tools for learning, research, and teaching, including:

  • Transcripts. Users view searchable, scrolling transcripts alongside many titles and continue to be added monthly.
  • Clipping functionality. Users can easily create, annotate, and share video clips and playlists, and can embed them in third-party sites.
  • HD-quality player. A video player with a 16:9 aspect ratio that streams up to 2.5 mbps allows for optimized high-definition viewing.
  • Comprehensive permissions. Our platform enables in-class, on-campus, and remote viewing.

Library tools

Academic Video Online contains a full suite of library tools including:


We work with all major discovery services

Multi-language interface

In-depth indexing and free MARC records


COUNTER-4 compliant usage stats



Product information

Academic Video Online is available by subscription to libraries worldwide.  All customers receive a subscription to The Media Hosting Service free.
*Territorial restrictions apply
**Excluding Film Platform titles


This database (Academic Video Online) has been invaluable, especially during the pandemic and with periods of remote instruction. What has been especially helpful has been all of the PBS content as well as the surprising amount of foreign language films you carry (our Modern Languages department deeply appreciates that).

Caroline Bartels, July 2021 Head Librarian, Katz Library, Horace Mann School

The demand and popularity of streaming video in libraries are undeniable and growing at a steady pace. Academic Video Online has been a popular choice in libraries for many years, and with good reason. Its catalog is large and diverse, with strengths in many different subject areas. It employs desirable modules for educational institutions, offers customization options, and provides administrative tools for retrieving data and reports. Overall, an excellent resource for libraries serving educational organizations at any level.

Library Journal, November 2019 By Rob Tench

The case for acquiring Academic Video Online is compelling. First, annual costs are predictable. Just as important, the company’s Build-by-Choice approach means that “at the end of each subscription term, your entire subscription cost is automatically applied towards owning perpetual rights to your choice of video titles,” with that year’s usage data informing the selection process. The longer an institution subscribes, the more titles it will own outright.

Library Journal, October 2017

Academic Video Online provides a vast database of film and video clips from documentary, newsreel, entertainment, and television sources. The range of material is broad and deep... The thematic range and temporal span make the collection relevant to many disciplines, courses, and student levels.

Joseph E. Taylor, III, Dept. of History, Simon Fraser University American Reference Books Annual (ARBA)

Looking for individual titles requested by faculty takes time and is often unsuccessful. We needed a comprehensive video resource that we could market to the whole university.

Victoria Koger, Collection Management Librarian, Eastern Kentucky University

Academic Video Online—with its massive library of more than 62,446 titles running nearly 30,000 hours—matches well with the conventional liberal arts curriculum....The case for acquiring Academic Video Online is compelling.

Library Journal