Stanford, Open University reach 50m downloads on iTunes U

4 Apr 2012

Stanford University and the Open University have each reached 50m downloads of their content from Apple’s education service iTunes U.

The Loop reports both university partners reached this milestone last month.

According to Stanford University, its range of lectures, courses and concerts have been downloaded 50m times on 14 March. It comes seven years after Stanford became the first university to offer public access to this content through iTunes U. It now offers more than 100 collections of course lectures through the service.

The most popular content downloaded were in subjects such as engineering, particularly for building an iOS app, and quantum physics, from one of the fathers of string theory, Leonard Susskind.

“It shows there is a huge appetite for high-quality educational content,” said Brent Izutsu, the senior programme manager for Stanford on iTunes U.

“And that will only grow as more people look online to supplement their education,” he said.

Stanford University also offers 13 full courses from the iTunes U app, which includes assignments and supplemental reading material. The app was launched in January and almost 300,000 people have enrolled in the iOS course since. Almost 98,000 have signed up for the Programming Methodology course.

Meanwhile, the Open University also saw 50m downloads of its content and reached more than 1m active subscriptions through the iTunes U app since its January launch.

The Open University also saw more than 40,000 new downloads of content each day.

Its most popular course on the iTunes U iPad app was The New Entrepreneurs course, with more than 100,000 active subscribers.

“With more than 50m downloads to date, we know that students value our high-quality learning materials, and that is really underlined by the speed with which we have reached 1m iTunes U app course subscribers,” said Martin Bean, vice-chancellor of the Open University.

Apple launched iTunes U in 2007 after testing the service with a number of pilot schools. It has since seen more than 700m downloads.