|Type||Privately held company|
|Founded||November 25, 2008|
Number of locations
|2 (San Francisco, Irvine)|
Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video platform for public libraries and universities that offers films and documentaries. Kanopy's subdivision, Kanopy Kids, includes children's programming; all Kanopy member accounts have access to Kanopy Kids.
Kanopy was founded in 2008 at Scarborough, Western Australia, by Olivia Humphrey, an Australian entrepreneur, as an educational tool for universities. Started in Australia, it is now headquartered in San Francisco, California. On 5 September 2017, the International Documentary Organisation published an extensive interview with Humphrey that describes Kanopy’s history and aspirations. In October 2019, Kevin Sayar succeeded Humphrey as CEO.
Kanopy provides each participating public library 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.
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. 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.
Librarians have access to an administrative dashboard which allows them to view user analytics and adjust budgets.
On July 1, 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 unpredictable and unsustainable costs.
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.