**DRAFT** Panopto Media Retention Policy

This draft policy is made available for public comment. Please direct feedback to Steven Endres.

This article explains the policies and procedures regarding the storage, retention, archiving, restoration, and deletion of videos in the Panopto platform.


Our retention policy can be summarized as follows:

  • Newly created videos reside in online storage for immediate access.
  • If viewers watch your videos with some regularity, they will remain in online storage indefinitely.
  • At the end of each month, we will scan the system for unwatched videos (as defined below) and move them to archival storage.
  • Any viewer can restore videos from the archive to online storage.
  • If videos in the archive are not restored for an extended time, they are deleted.

Types of Panopto Storage

In the Panopto platform, your videos are stored in two distinct ways: online storage and archival storage. Here's a quick breakdown to help you understand each of these storage areas:

Online Storage

  • Immediate Playback: Videos in online storage are ready for instant viewing.
  • Multiple Formats: The system keeps many copies of your videos in various formats and resolutions to ensure playback compatibility across different devices and internet connections.
  • Costly: Keeping many copies of a video dramatically increases the storage space; therefore, online storage is quite expensive.

Archival Storage

  • No Immediate Playback: Videos in archival storage aren't available for instant viewing.
  • Single Format: The system retains the best-quality copy of your video; the lower-quality formats are discarded.
  • Budget-Friendly: Archival storage keeps only one copy of your video, which keeps costs low..

In summary, archival storage keeps the best copy of your video, and the other formats are deleted. This saves storage space and money, but means the video cannot be played back immediately. Any user can restore a video from archival to online storage.

Retention Policy

Videos will be archived and deleted according to the following retention schedule:

Source Archival Policy Deletion Policy
Standard Uploads and Recordings Archive 18 months after last viewing. Delete after 3 years in archive.
Zoom Meeting Recordings Archive 6 months after last viewing. Delete after 18 months in archive.
Remote Recorder Recordings Archive 6 months after last viewing. Delete after 18 months in archive.


Scenario #1

You record a tutorial video using the Panopto desktop app in August 2016 for your fall semester course. The video is embedded in a Canvas module, which students complete in October. You copy these course materials (including the video) and use them again in Fall 2017, Fall 2018, and Fall 2019 semesters. Since the video is being rewatched each October, it has ongoing views and remains in online storage. After the Fall 2019 semester, the video is no longer watched, so it moves to the archive in April 2021 (18 months after its last viewing in October 2019). Once in the archive, you or any viewer can call for the video to be restored to online storage. If nobody calls for the video to be restored, it will be deleted in April 2024 (after 3 years in the archive).

Scenario #2

A big project kicks off in March 2020 with an online meeting recorded to the Zoom cloud. Zoom automatically transfers a copy of its cloud recording into Panopto. The project team refers back to this Panopto recording over the next several months until December 2020, when the project is completed. Once the video no longer has any viewers, it moves into the archive in June 2021 (6 months after its last viewing). The creator or any viewer can call for the video to be restored to online storage while in the archive. If the video remains unwatched, it will be deleted in December 2022 (after 18 months in the archive).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is DU implementing a retention policy for Panopto?

This retention policy for Panopto meets two needs: one administrative, the other financial.

Administrative: This retention policy is part of a broader initiative to define retention policies for all university records. Any recorded information created, received, or used by the University is considered a record. Under university record retention policies, every record has a specific amount of time it needs to be kept before it can and should be destroyed.

Financial: Panopto has moved to a new pricing model in which DU is charged for hours in the following categories:

  • Created hours: Hours of video recorded or uploaded to Panopto
  • Stored hours: Hours of video in online storage, including videos in the recycle bin
  • Archived hours: Hours of video in archival storage.

This retention policy helps us manage costs by balancing the volume of recordings in each category.

What content is included in the retention policy?

The retention policy applies to all recordings created and uploaded in Panopto including those in My Folder, course folders, and Zoom recordings folders.

Should I download my videos to my computer or other storage (OneDrive, etc.) to prevent them from being deleted?

No. Anything you need to keep can be stored in Panopto indefinitely. Simply playing the video will "reset the clock" and avoid deletion. In addition, Panopto is expected to introduce a new console to manage your media.

I have content that needs to be kept longer; can my content be made exempt from the policy?

Yes! We can exempt specific videos or folders from the retention policy as long as there's a business or regulatory need to do so. Please create a ticket with the IT Support Center describing your needs and we will set up the exemption for you.

When will the records retention activities begin?

Unwatched videos (as defined in the retention policy) will be moved to the archive at the end of September 2024. The policy will remain in effect from that point forward.

How do I know when my recording has last been viewed?

You can look at viewer statistics for your recording. You can also view statistics for an entire folder. To see statistics for a particular time frame, select Custom and then select the desired date range. Viewer statistics are not available for archived recordings.

Will I receive a message before my recordings are archived or deleted?

Panopto is working to give users notifications about pending retention actions. This functionality is currently not available.

How can videos be restored from the archive?

Should you or any viewer wish to access archived media, it undergoes a simple recovery process. Please note: the recovery process takes up to 48 hours to complete.

  • The media is moved from the archive back to online storage.
  • The alternative formats and resolutions needed for streaming are regenerated.
  • Your media is once again made available for immediate viewing.

Can I proactively delete a recording or a folder I don’t need any more?

Yes! We strongly encourage you to delete recordings you no longer need. This is the best way to maintain a clean system and save money for the institution.

What happens if I need a deleted recording?

Recordings that have not been permanently deleted can be recovered for 90 days. After 90 days, the recording cannot be recovered.

What happens to copied recordings?

There are two types of copies in Panopto:

  • Full Copy: A full copy is a new Panopto session with a complete copy of a media file that can be edited independently of the original. A full copy has its own viewing statistics that govern its retention under this policy.
  • Reference Copy: A reference copy is a new Panopto session that refers back to the original media file. When the original video is edited, the reference copy will automatically also reflect the same edits. A reference copy has its own viewing statistics that govern its retention under this policy. The original recording will not be archived or deleted until both the original and all of its reference copies have aged to the point of needing action under the retention policy.

How-To Articles

How to Restore Archived Content

Learn About Folder and Session Level Statistics

Learn About Video Reference Copies

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Article ID: 161998
Thu 5/9/24 7:48 PM
Tue 6/18/24 10:27 AM