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.