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It's hard to beat Kanopy on quality content. The streaming service, which is available in Australia, hosts thousands of critically acclaimed movies, some of them difficult to find anywhere else. The list includes film festival favourites, world cinema and prestigious documentaries.
The only downside? You can only access the platform if you have a library card or university login. Here's everything you need to know to get started with the service.
What is Kanopy?
Kanopy is a video streaming service specialising in "thoughtful entertainment". That means you won't find any Marvel blockbusters here. Instead, you can watch foreign films, classic cinema, independent titles, educational videos and a lot of award-winning productions that fare particularly well with critics.
Australian entrepreneur Olivia Humphrey founded the service back in 2008 as an educational tool for universities. Now it hosts thousands of titles, partnering with universities and public libraries to inspire and entertain members with a carefully curated collection of films, documentaries and kids programming.
How much does Kanopy cost?
Kanopy is completely free to use. All you need to do is access the website, enter your university or library information then start streaming. You won't have to sit through any ads either.
How does Kanopy work?
Just as your library offers books to borrow, Kanopy offers access to digital resources. The public library or university covers all costs, allowing you to watch for free.
Some of the partnering institutions might have set a cap on the number of titles you are allowed to stream every month. That's because they pay a licensing fee once a title has been streamed multiple times and they have to keep budgets in check. This can vary from institution to institution.
How to watch Kanopy
To start watching movies with Kanopy, you need to head to the Kanopy website and sign up. You can check to see if your public library or university is partnering with Kanopy on the service's website.
On the same note, if you're interested in getting a library card to access the service, you can enter your postcode on the Kanopy website to display nearby libraries that have made the platform available.
Once that's done, enter your library card information or university login details when prompted to sign up. Then, follow the instructions to create your Kanopy account using your email address or Facebook/Google login. You can start streaming in minutes.
What content is on Kanopy?
Kanopy has a vast library of titles, including a collection of movies and shows for kids available only in public libraries. You can browse the catalogue on the Kanopy website prior to signing up. As with most streaming services, new titles are added to the platform on a regular basis.
The bulk of the library consists of critically acclaimed independent films, foreign flicks and documentaries. You'll also see popular titles every now and then, such as Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Lion, Donnie Darko or Lady Bird. All in all, if you want to dazzle your friends with your vast knowledge of indie or underrated cinema, this is the platform for you.
Kanopy works with the following devices so you can watch on screens big and small, at home or on the go:
- Computers: All major browsers
- Smartphones and tablets: iOS, Android, Fire tablet
- TV: Selected Samsung smart TVs, Android TV, Fire TV
- Streaming devices: Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Telstra TV
Image source: Kanopy website
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