Collection Management @ UM Libraries

What is Streaming Video?

Streaming video is video content that is continuously delivered to a user via the internet. Many users are familiar with streaming video through Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Academic libraries are not allowed to offer streaming video through these services. Instead, we offer streaming video through alternate providers. More information about these providers below.

General Notes:

  • Please consider requesting the library purchase a physical DVD if it will be sufficient for your needs.
  • If you know a title will be used multiple years, the library can generally acquire a 3-year license for a more efficient price than a 1-year license. You should let us know when you contact the library (either directly to an individual or via the Kanopy form) if this is the case.


Kanopy is a streaming video service that offers access to over 30,000 films, including from well-known providers like Janus Films, Kino Lorber, and Media Education Foundation.

For academic libraries, Kanopy offers three models (see below). Please not that the library does not perpetually own any content through Kanopy through these models.

Capped Spend Model

The capped spend model, which was introduced to us in Summer 2019, functions as a subscription. That is, library users have full access to every movie on the platform for the license year. In addition, the library gains 1-year access to a finite number of titles that can extend past the license year (see Patron-Driven Acquisition Model for more details on this).

The library evaluated this model in August 2019, and found that the cost exceeded the budget available for streaming media in fiscal year 2020.

Patron-Driven Acquisition Model

In a patron-driven acquisition (PDA) model, the library authorizes specific subject collections or filmmakers/providers (note: cannot be done on a title-by-title basis) to be available through the Kanopy platform. UM Libraries currently authorizes filmakers/providers only.

If a user would like a title that is not through the authorized filmmakers/providers, then a request can be made for the library to either add that filmmaker/provider or purchase the individual title (see individually-purchased model below)

While the PDA model is in effect, all viewings that exceed 30 seconds are considered a use. Once a particular title receives 4 such plays during a 12-month span, then a 1-year license to the title is purchased. Each 1-year license costs the library $150.

The library is using this model for the initial part of fiscal year 2020. We will transition to an individually-purchased (mediated) model if the PDA model proves unsustainable for the FY20 streaming video budget.

Individually-Purchased (Mediated) Model

In this model, users must request (via the Kanopy platform or directly through email) the library purchase all streaming video licenses. The library reviews the request and determines whether/how the request will be fulfilled. For example, the title may be made available on the Kanopy platform, made available on an alternate platform, or made available through a physical DVD (if a viable option for user need).

As with the PDA model, 1-year licenses purchased individually will cost $150.

Screenshot of Kanopy form:

Kanopy Mediation Form

Other Notes

  • If the intent is for a specific title to be used multiple years, then the library can purchase 3-year licenses at a small discount ($350 for 3 years).

Other Streaming Video

This list provides information on other streaming video options available to the library:

Swank (general)

Swank generally owns the licensing rights to titles not available on other platforms. Specifically, these titles tend to be "Hollywood" movies (e.g., Black Panther, Black KKKlansman, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, etc.)

Licenses purchases through Swank are more expensive than other vendors; however, the library can secure discounted pricing--that still exceeds the cost of other vendors--if buying in bulk (at least 10 licenses).

Infobase (general)

When available, the library will purchase licenses through Infobase rather than Kanopy due to price differences (50% discount on 1-year licenses, and 57% discount on 3-year licenses). This is only an option for a limited number of providers/filmmakers.

Academic Video Online (general)

AVON is a streaming video platform offered through Proquest / Alexander Street Press. Proquest offers AVON through an evidence-model. This model functions as a subscription (i.e., the library is able to provide unlimited access to all content for the duration of the license, which is typically 1-year). The library at the end of that year is then able to acquire (i.e., have perpetually) a set number of titles at no further cost.

The library has reviewed AVON in the past, and has thus far elected to not pursue it as a streaming video option. and Counseling and Therapy (subject specific)

The library currently offers both of these subject-specific video collections via a subscription model. link

Counseling and Therapy link