Purdue Libraries and School of Information Studies News

Changes Coming to Kanopy Streaming Media in 2020

December 3rd, 2019

By Rebecca Richardson, Assistant Dean for Collections and Access, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies.

As part of our ongoing effort to provide the highest quality media content for Purdue students and faculty, while endeavoring to be good stewards of university resources, Purdue University Libraries and School of Information Studies (PULSIS) will soon join institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and Duke in adopting a new “mediated” policy with the streaming video service Kanopy beginning January 1, 2020.

Kanopy is a streaming video platform that provides a wide variety of documentary, independent, and award-winning films for educational use. It is not a subscription service; rather, pricing is based upon the number of views per individual title, with expensive annual licensing fees incurred once a film has been viewed for 30 seconds just four times. At $150 per title, PULSIS spent $73,512 on Kanopy in 2018. In 2019, these costs ballooned to $137,000 in the first 10 months alone. This is an exorbitant amount of money to pay for media that we do not get to retain in our permanent collections. With academic and student recreational use both contributing to Kanopy’s rising expenditures, we can no longer sustain an unlimited-use model.

Beginning January 1, Kanopy will be restricted to instructional use and select learning-based opportunities only. We will continue to allow the Criterion, PBS, and Media Education Foundation collections to remain unmediated in their entirety, but instructors interested in other unlicensed titles will be prompted to request access directly through the Kanopy platform. License expirations will vary by title, and instructors who require access to a Kanopy title for a course will need to check on its availability before the start of each semester. Kanopy is one of many exceptional video resources available through the PULSIS, and we encourage all of our patrons to explore our extensive collections of media across a wide variety of platforms and formats.

A Libguide (Library Guide) at provides an in-depth look at the video streaming platforms available to the Purdue University community.

For inquiries or more information about upcoming changes to Kanopy, please contact Assistant Dean Richardson at