Library App Kanopy Kids Starts Streaming ‘Sesame Street’ for Free

Janko Roettgers

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Want to watch “Sesame Street,” but don’t have an HBO subscription? There’s now another option, courtesy of the library streaming platform Kanopy: Users can now stream 24 episodes of the kids show for free, without any commercials.

Granted, the episodes in question aren’t exactly new: Kanopy is streaming a dozen episodes each from “Sesame Street” season 39 and 40 via Kanopy Kids, the children-focused section of its app. As part of the two-year deal with Sesame Workshop, viewers get unlimited plays of the episodes in question.

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“We’re thrilled to bring this collection of ‘Sesame Street’ episodes to Kanopy library communities nationwide,” said Sesame Workshop senior vice president Scott Chambers. “As viewing habits change, free-to-the-user services like this one make it easier than ever for all families to access quality children’s content they can trust, which is essential to Sesame Workshop’s mission.”

Sesame Street used to air on PBS, but moved to HBO in 2015. Starting next year, new episodes of the popular children’s show will air on HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s new streaming service. PBS still gets access to to Sesame Street episodes after 9 months, and currently makes a handful of older episodes available for free through the PBS Kids apps and site.

Kanopy’s apps are available for  iOS, Android, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and Roku. The service is free to use and ad-free, but users do have to authenticate with their local library credentials. Kanopy does work with thousands of local libraries, and also offers access to its service to university students with a .edu email address.

Kanopy is one of a handful of services helping libraries transition to the digital age. Others include Hoopla, Overdrive and Enki. In addition to streaming video, these services also offer access to e-books, audio books and other forms of digital media for free. Individual usage restrictions often differ from library to library.

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