Answered By: Carrie Forbes
Last Updated: Jul 29, 2022     Views: 837

Effective October 1, 2020, DU Libraries has transitioned to a mediated access model for Kanopy, the Libraries’ most popular streaming video platform. Access is now limited primarily to academic and instructional use. This change is a result of Kanopy’s unsustainable increase in cost coupled with an 8% reduction to the Libraries’ collection development budget this fiscal year. In mediating access, DU Libraries joins libraries at universities such as Brandeis, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Purdue, and Stanford that have adopted similar mediated access to Kanopy.

Changing to mediated access will allow the Libraries to continue to make leased Kanopy titles available in support of the academic curriculum and manage streaming video costs. That said, all Criterion Collection, PBS, and documentary films will remain unmediated. What does this mean? Faculty and students will be able to view films within the aforementioned collections—without having to submit an approval request—at any time. In addition, films that the Libraries previously licensed and are still under license (nearly 900) remain available for viewing. For all other titles that fall outside The Criterion Collection, PBS, documentary films, and currently licensed films, faculty and students will be prompted to request access through the Kanopy platform.

To place mediated access in perspective, the Libraries spends $150 for every film licensed through Kanopy, which is not a subscription service. Rather, Kanopy’s pricing is based on number of views per individual title. After a film is viewed for just 30 seconds four times, the Libraries incurs a licensing cost ($150) for that film. Last year alone, the Libraries spent nearly $132,000 on Kanopy titles. This cost is in addition to the many other streaming video platforms to which the Libraries pays for access—Academic Video Online, Films on Demand, and Swank Digital Campus, to name only a few.

Currently, this thorough Streaming Media library guide offers information about streaming video platforms available to the DU community, and the guide will be updated soon to reflect changes to Kanopy access.

In the meantime, for questions about changes to Kanopy contact Jack Maness, Associate Dean for Scholarly Communication and Collections Services at, and Shannon Tharp, Collections & Content Management Librarian at