About us

Kanopy was founded in 2007 with a single-minded idea: to change the way students learn through the power of film, while generating a sustainable economy for filmmakers.

To fully understand the mission that drives us, it's important to understand the two problems that used to define our market:

  • Problem 1: Higher education students watched more video outside their college worlds than any other resource, yet video was strangely absent as an academic resource. Put simply, although educational video was available on campus, no one was watching.
  • Problem 2: Filmmakers had no control or visibility in the educational video distribution market and there was an overwhelming sense of distrust in video distributors and a sense the market was not really viable.

The Kanopy Story

Our starting point is that we commit to offering filmmakers the majority share of every sale we make. We even go a step further and give each and every filmmaker a live dashboard so for the first time, they can have unique insights into their audience viewing behavior. We encourage filmmakers to open a dialogue with their audience direct. In doing so, we have been able to restore faith and trust in filmmakers through transparency and solid returns. That's why we're so proud of our video collection which attracts tens of thousands of leading productions - from documentary to fictional, independent to studio.

Our business model is simple - any university or college library can purchase a 1 or 3 year license to any film on Kanopy which is made available on their Kanopy video platform. Institutions are only charged when the films are viewed enough times to generate ROI for the library. ie The library only pays for videos that are actually used.

So how does all this address our lofty ideal of changing the way students learn through the power of film?
Easy. We believe film is one of the most powerful and engaging resources of our time. The Kanopy platform is designed to engage and share. Students from all over the world can watch films, share, comment, create clips and playlists, ask filmmaker questions...you name it. The students love it. They love it so much they bring Kanopy clips to class and then we get amazing feedback from professors like "I've been teaching film for 25 years and now students come to class armed with their Kanopy playlists. I've never felt so connected to my students than ever before."

Kanopy is now streaming to nearly 2000 institutions worldwide and continues to grow at a rapid rate. Millions of students are watching and learning from Kanopy videos and you know what makes us feel so good? They're not watching the latest episode of "Bachelor" (well, ok, maybe some are on other platforms) but they are watching videos on issues that matter. On gender, on race, on the environment. Videos that are challenging the way they think and introducing new ideas that are then shared and debated.

Ultimately we're playing a small but important role in growing and changing the world our audience lives in.

To learn more about Kanopy, please contact us!

Good for Librarians

Video streaming is now integrated into our lives - Netflix and Youtube are the two most popular websites in North America, you walk into an Apple store and you can no longer buy a device that supports DVDs, and 98% of 18-22 year-olds are watching on average 14 online videos per week. Whether it be for entertainment or learning, we all love the convenience and experience of online video.

Just as Netflix and Hulu works with people to provide them with a solution for watching films online, Kanopy works provides a solution for institutions and libraries to support the use of online videos by their members, patrons, students and faculty.

Our Collections

We have one of the largest collections of films in the world with 50,000+ films from thousands of leading producers such as Criterion Collection, Universal Paramount, The Great Courses, New Day Films, California Newsreel, Kino Lorber, PBS, First Run Features, Media Education Foundation, Documentary Educational Resources, etc. These films are all genres - from documentaries to movies and training videos - and touch on every topic imaginable.

Our User-Interface

We set up institutions with a dedicated and customizable website through which their users can access and watch the films whenever they like, wherever they are, on whatever device they prefer. Our user interface works with all authentication systems and has many amazing features to enhance the user experience with the films (captions, transcripts, clip/playlist creation tools, etc).

Our Models

We offer institutions the flexibility to design their own film collections and two different models for doing so. Our a-la-carte model allows you to pick and choose the films and collections you wish to open access to with a fixed upfront fee.

Our Patron-Driven-Acquisition program is our most popular model and is employed by over 5,000 institutions globally. The model offers libraries a simple and affordable way to open access to any of all of our broad film collections with a number of benefits:

  • Design your own collection selecting from our top subject and producer collections and getting immediate access to all new releases
  • Set your own budget setting your own budget that works for your institution
  • Pay only for value ensuring you only pay for high use films, providing a value guarantee as well the ability to support low use case requirements

Why filmmakers love Kanopy

Our Models

  • We return majority of every sale
  • Nonexclusive so we don't lock you into exclusive contracts, yet most of our filmmakers work only with Kanopy, testament to...


  • We open our statistics so you get real time data on which institutions are viewing your films. offers you a level of empowerment

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