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Privately held company
Industryvideo streaming
FounderOlivia Humphrey
Number of locations
2 (San Francisco, United States; Sydney, Australia)
Websitewww.kanopy.com/ Edit this on Wikidata

Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video platform for public libraries and universities[1] that offers viewers a large collection of award-winning films and documentaries.[2] Kanopy's subdivision, Kanopy Kids, includes children's programming; all Kanopy member accounts have access to Kanopy Kids.[3]


Kanopy was founded in 2008 by CEO Olivia Humphrey, as an educational tool for universities.[4] It is headquartered in San Francisco, California.[5]


Kanopy provides each participating public library[6] and university with a dedicated and customizable website through which members can stream films. The service includes features such as captions, transcripts, clip creation, and playlist creation that allow users to share videos.[7][8][9]

Business model[edit]

Public library patrons, and university students and faculty are able to watch Kanopy free-of-charge with their institution’s library card. Institutions pay for the films their students and faculty watch on a per-view basis.[7] This model used by libraries is referred to as “patron-driven acquisition” where each view (watching a video for 30 seconds or more) will prompt the sale of a license fee for that title. Costs vary per institutional contract, but have been estimated in 2019 for single titles to be $150 for one year, $350 for a 3-year license.[10]

Librarians have access to an administrative dashboard which allows them to view user analytics and adjust budgets.[7]

In 2019, three of the largest public libraries in the United States—the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Queens Public Library—discontinued Kanopy, citing unsustainable costs.[11]

Device support[edit]

Kanopy can be viewed on a computer, mobile device, or television via a web browser supporting HTML5 video or the Kanopy app for Amazon Fire Tablet and Fire Stick, Android, Apple iOS, and Roku.[12]


  1. ^ "About Us". Kanopy.
  2. ^ "Kanopy Streaming Video". University of Oregon. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
  3. ^ "Kanopy, the On-Demand Streaming Video Service Free for Public Library Members, Adds Children's Content with Launch of Kanopy Kids". prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  4. ^ Smith, Sean. "Kanopy Concept Created in Garage". Yahoo! 7 News. The West Australian. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
  5. ^ White, Tom. "A Conversation with Kanopy Founder and CEO Olivia Humphrey". ida. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  6. ^ "Kanopy chief Olivia Humphrey backs R&D scheme | theaustralian". theaustralian.com.au. Retrieved 2017-05-15.
  7. ^ a b c Flatley, Robert. "Standard Review: Kanopy Streaming". The Charleston Advisor. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  8. ^ Haigney, Sophie (August 7, 2017). "Now Showing at the Public Library: 30,000 Movies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  9. ^ Kenny, Glenn (September 1, 2017). "Library Cards Unlock Film Vaults". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  10. ^ Cagle, Chris (3 May 2019). "Kanopy: Not Just Like Netflix, and Not Free". Film Quarterly. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  11. ^ New York Public Library, "Statement About Kanopy" https://twitter.com/nypl/status/1143258229822107648
  12. ^ "How to stream movies for free using your Grand Rapids library card". MLive.com. Retrieved 2017-05-15.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]