Kanopy Study Finds COVID-19 Fuels Streaming Video Explosion

In what may be the most unsurprising study released following 2020, newly announced data from Kanopy finds that streaming video usage increased significantly because of the coronavirus.

Polling more than 730 librarians, Kanopy’s research found people streamed video for a variety of reasons, and this trend is expected to continue through 2023 as consumers shift their preferences from physical media to streaming content. 

“During the pandemic we experience a sharp spike in streaming video usage and this increase has continued even though we reopened for in-person service over the summer,” comments Kay Cahill, director, collections & technology, Vancouver Public Library. 

“We saw a strong appetite for educational streaming video content in 2020 and a significant increase in recreational and educational use.”

Kanopy is a company that partners with libraries and filmmakers to give users free access to films. Content from these filmmakers includes movies from A23, Criterion Collection, Paramount, PBS and Kino Lorber.

The company has an app that is available to Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple iOS and Android platform users. 

Moving into the new year survey participant Marco Daniels, a library associate with Oak Bluffs Public Library, Oak Bluffs, MA, notes this shift in media consumption will continue for the foreseeable future. 

“Our FY20 [fiscal year 2020] streaming budget saw a significant increase due to closure from the pandemic,” adds Daniels. 

“We expect to continue this trend in FY21 [fiscal year 2021], but it is important to note the increase in our streaming budget comes from the decrease in our DVD budget.”

Other Findings from the Kanopy Streaming Video Study

  • More than 47% of the study’s participants stated their video budgets will increase in 2021, and over 71% stated an increase over the next three years. 
  • Another 9% of study participants said their DVD budgets will increase in 2021, and another 15% said their DVD budgets will increase over the next three years. 
  • Approximately 55% of public libraries offer multiple streaming services. Training patrons to use these platforms is a challenge. 

To see the entire study click here.

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