I just found out about this service and thought I’d pass it along in case readers weren’t aware of it.
Kanopy lets you stream 6 movies per calendar month for free
Setting up an account is straightforward:
- Navigate to https://www.kanopy.com/ and click “Watch Now”
- Search for your local public or university library
- Create an account and connect your library card or university ID
Once your account is confirmed, you receive 6 “play credits.” Each play credit can be redeemed to watch any movie in the system as many times as you wish for 3 days. Your play credits reset at the beginning of each calendar month.
Not all libraries and universities participate — the DC Public Library does, the Madison Public Library doesn’t — but many do, so hopefully if you’ve accumulated library memberships over the years as I have you’ll find you have at least one that works.
Finally, it seems you can add multiple library memberships to a single Kanopy account, which may allow you to receive more than 6 play credits per month. I’m not sure simply because I wasn’t able to find a second participating library where I’m a member. And of course if you have multiple people in your household you can get a library card and Kanopy account for each person.
Kanopy isn’t the be all and end all of streaming services, but if you use Amazon, Hulu, or Netflix you know the selection on each platform is limited. In that sense, Kanopy simply gives you a fourth place to check before you resort to pirating the movie you want to watch.
On the other hand, Kanopy seems to have a simple, functional interface, and it doesn’t autoplay previews when you move the cursor over a title, so you may end up preferring it to the ever-more-cumbersome interfaces of the other services.
In any case, for now it’s totally free, so you may as well check it out if you’re interested.
How does one acquire multiple library cards? I was under the impression proof of residency is required.
It usually is, but I move relatively frequently and the first thing I do in a new town is open a library card. They never expire so over the years you can collect quite a few as long as you don’t throw them away. Likewise, in a city like New York or San Francisco with multiple library systems you may be eligible for multiple library cards with only a single residency. Finally, many colleges and universities allow alumni to retain library access after they graduate.
I’ve had no problem getting multiple library cards in my state (CA).
Maple Cadtle says
Not necessarily. Some libraries have non-resident library cards. For example, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, DC Public Library, and others. Note the NYC library has discontinued Kanopy. Kanopy allows multiple memberships with
accumulated play credits. Check each library for non-resident card cost and number of Kanopy titles available. You can also use your university access if you are a student or faculty member.
I just found out about this service earlier today. The number of play credits seems to depend on the library system. Montgomery County, MD allows up to 10 play credits per month.
Thanks for the tip! I might have to cruise up to Montgomery County and pick up a library card!