UO’s YouTube channel now reaches 20,000 subscribers

The Duck in sunglasses

For the University of Oregon on YouTube, 2020 proved to be a numerically appropriate milepost as the channel added its 20,000th subscriber this fall.

Although the UO has been showcasing its content on the popular video sharing website for more than a decade, recent years have marked a big upsurge in the number of viewers who subscribe and follow the channel.

According to Charlie Litchfield, associate director of video and photography in University Communications, more than 3,000 new subscribers joined up over the past six months alone. He attributed at least some of the growth to viewers’ search for information and community connections in an era of remote work and learning.

Among other pertinent content, coronavirus updates from the UO president and provost have ranked among the most-watched videos this year.

“We've worked hard to provide content that is both relevant and useful,” Litchfield said. “We’re particularly proud we’ve been able to make those connections during such a pivotal time.”

Launched in April 2007, the channel’s purpose is to highlight the “world-class teaching and research university in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon.” Since the channel’s debut, more than 1,800 videos have been uploaded, garnering more than 7 million total views.

The all-time most popular video was posted in December of 2010; YouTube users have clicked almost a million times to watch the men’s a cappella group On the Rocks perform their hit song, “Call Me a Duck.” 

Other videos among the most-watched include a 14-module teacher training series developed by the American English Institute; award-winning film director David Lynch addressing a UO audience on the topic of transcendental meditation; a student-sponsored talk on the search for Sasquatch; archival footage of the 1939 NCAA champion Tall Firs in action; and a guided tour of graduate student April Anson’s tiny house.

“Our content may be eclectic at times, but what ties it all together is a focus on this one great place, the UO community,” Litchfield said. “We’re excited to keep telling that story in new and interesting ways. You can expect everything from a documentary about the art of arguing to critical messages from our administrators as we continue to find our way through this crisis. We’re also working on a few new projects we hope will give viewers a look into the lives of UO students.”

In the meantime, here’s a look back at some of the top videos of 2020 so far:

The UO Community 

Any Duck can tell you, this is a special place filled with special people. This spot highlights some of the ways students, faculty and staff make connections to grow closer and stronger.

Sabrina Ionescu Changed Oregon Ducks Basketball 

Exploring the legend and legacy of No. 20. Still not a believer? Try telling that to WNBA all-time leading scorer Diana Taurasi or NBA icon Kobe Bryant, who are featured in this clip.

How to Make Really Good Coffee 

Whether your method of choice is espresso, pour-over or immersion, the UO’s “Dr. Coffee,” chemist Christopher Hendon, offers his research-based scoop on brewing up the very best results. 

Building the Bionic Eye 

One in four people will lose sight in their lifetime. Physicist Richard Taylor and a team of experts at the Materials Science Institute are working on a solution that’s powered by nanotechnology and inspired by 1970s TV. 

Day in the Life 

Ever wonder what UO students do when they’re not in class? In this video, environmental studies major Michael Yoo takes viewers through his process of creating a podcast episode. 

Spring 2020 Campus Tour 

Here’s proof that a virtual visit can be the next best thing to coming here in person. This year, YouTube users clicked on the tour video more than 65,000 times.

Operating Your Home during COVID-19 

As the pandemic arrived and suddenly reshaped arrangements for shelter, work and study, experts from the UO’s Biology and the Built Environment Center gave tips for maintaining healthy spaces at home. 

The Good, the Bad and the Indoor Microbe 

Offering a deeper dive into the topic of safe indoor environments, architecture professor Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg explains how building design can help mitigate the spread of bacteria and viruses. 

Rose Bowl Recap 2020 

More than just game highlights, this video revisits the entire Rose Bowl weekend experience for UO students, staff, fans and alumni in sunny California. Spoiler: the game had a happy ending, too.

—By Jason Stone, University Communications