Effective February 1, 2020, Cowles Library will begin mediating requests for streaming films on the Kanopy platform, and priority will be given to films requested for course use. This is a change from the more direct click-and-play access model the library has used since adopting Kanopy in fall 2017.
The model will continue to allow click-and-play access to already-licensed films until their license expiration date, and will allow new licensing requests only for course-related films.
A Difficult Decision
Increasing costs of the service led to our decision to adopt this new model. Knowing how popular this service is with our faculty and students, we struggled with this decision. We understand that click-and-play access is more convenient than mediated requests, and we do not enjoy placing restrictions on popular resources. The service’s growing popularity, however, has nearly doubled our annual expenditure for Kanopy films in the last year.
Kanopy’s Pricing Model
Unlike familiar streaming video platforms like Netflix and Hulu, which use a flat-rate subscription fee, Kanopy’s business model is based on the number of views per title, and four views of any film results in a charge to Cowles Library of $150 for a one-year license. This model is, unfortunately, unsustainable for the library as Kanopy becomes more popular and annual costs become unpredictable.
Many other libraries that use Kanopy are struggling with this same issue, as this Film Quarterly article illustrates.
- If you have used a Kanopy film for a course and are concerned about the license expiration, contact the library at email@example.com.
- If you find an unlicensed Kanopy film you would like to use for a course, complete the request form on the Kanopy website as early as possible. In the message area, please let us know when you intend to use the film. The request form looks like this:
- If you intend to use a film for a course, but it does not need to be streamed (e.g., you’ll show it in class vs. having students watch it on their own), contact the library at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can find a DVD or Blu-ray version that may be less expensive.
Kanopy License Expirations
Here is a current list of Kanopy and Swank films the library has licensed. If you do not see a film listed here, it means that we do not own a license or our license has expired.