Academic Video Online | Alexander Street

Academic Video Online

Academic Video Online is the most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries. It delivers 80,000+* titles spanning the widest range of subject areas including anthropology, business, counseling, film, health, history, music, and more. More than 19,000* 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.

Move beyond simply watching video to an active learning experience with our newest learning tool: Video Interaction Functionality

NOW AVAILABLE! Video Interaction Functionality will connect library content to the classroom and enhance student engagement for faculty by offering meaningful ways to leverage streaming video for collaboration, reflection, and assessment.

Watch a quick overview.

For faculty: This new functionality promotes student engagement by allowing professors to embed assessment and pedagogical tools within videos giving them a better understanding of student comprehension of course concepts. Interactive features include:

  • Multiple choice questions 
  • Free response 
  • Polling 
  • Fill in the blank response 
  • Vocabulary matching 
  • Discussion questions 
  • Collaboration activities
  • Reflective pause

Student results can be reported in the LMS gradebook, and faculty will have access to real-time analytics, to adapt their teaching based on student results to facilitate improved learning outcomes. 

For libraries: This offers more opportunity for usage and ROI of streaming video through Academic Video Online. Video interaction functionality encourages: 

  • Integration of library resources (streaming video) into the curriculum/syllabi 
  • Collaboration with faculty to increase the influence library resources have on learning outcomes. 
  • Increased awareness and use of library provided streaming video resources amongst faculty and students. 
Ready to learn more? Email


Listen to the newest episode of Clarivate's Ideas to Innovation podcast to explore the Film Platform documentary The Right to Read with award-winning filmmaker, Jenny Maxwell.

S3 | Episode 6 Reading Rights: America's Literacy Challenge

Through her documentary, Jenny uncovers the startling reality of reading proficiency among children and its cascading effects on society, democracy, and economic opportunities. This episode delves into the... (listen here).

New for 2024: Content Highlights to Support Monthly Library Celebrations

Monthly Library Celebrations Enrich your monthly celebrations (like Black History Month, Women's History Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, and more) with content from Academic Video Online. This list of videos provides a handful of videos to promote during monthly celebrations to your faculty and students, allowing you to easily plan ahead. 

Academic Video Online Overview Video

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

Case Studies

On-Demand Audio Described Video

We're proud to support the need for audio description in Academic Video Online!  If you have a student who needs an accommodation for a particular assigned video, please notify Product Manager Sarah Brennan. We’ll then have an audio described version of that video created and added to Academic Video Online, at no charge. We strive to complete all requests within 2-3 weeks.

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 into 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 (12,801)
  • Business & Economics (8,237)
  • Newsreels (7,918)
  • World History (7,790)
  • Education (7,208)
  • Anthropology (6,725)
  • Science (5,029)
  • Media Studies (3,927)
  • Politics & Current Affairs (3,300)
  • Film (3,191)
  • Music (3,070)
  • Nursing (2,711)
  • Fashion (2,503)
  • Health Policy (2,489)
  • Environmental Studies (2,325)
  • Counseling & Therapy (1,935)
    • Psychology (1,216)
  • Black Studies (1,876)
  • Art & Architecture (1,566)
  • Asian Studies (1,520)
  • Sports Medicine/Exercise Science (1,449)
  • How-to (1,338)
  • Literature (1,293)
  • Dance (1,264)
  • Theatre (1,129)
  • Global Issues (1,116)
  • Engineering (978)
  • Criminal Justice (880)
  • Women's Studies (856)
  • Language (822)
  • Religion (760)
  • LGBT Studies (684)
  • Rehabilitation Therapy (551)
  • Cooking (489)
  • Social Theory (461)
  • Latino Studies (360)
  • Multidisciplinary (346)
  • Disability Studies (231)
  • 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…

 Watch an overview. 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, Juno Films, 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.


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!

Market Trends

“… 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.


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.

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 and 5 usage stats



Product information

Academic Video Online is available by subscription to libraries worldwide.  All customers receive a subscription to The Media Hosting Service at no additional charge.
*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