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L.A. library Kanopy users’ top 10 movies, TV shows of 2024

Los Angeles Public Library users are A24 superfans. Kanopy has the receipts.

The streaming service, available free to users with a library card from participating libraries, revealed L.A. library users’ most-watched films and TV shows of 2024 so far exclusively to The Times — and every feature film on the list was distributed by the indie powerhouse, led by Celine Song’s 2023 movie “Past Lives” at No. 1 overall. Among TV series, the first season of 2002’s “The Forsyte Saga,” starring Damian Lewis and Gina McKee, led the way at No. 3. (See the full list below.)

During a recent phone interview, Kanopy’s general Manager Jason Tyrrell said the list forms a snapshot of what users want from the site.

“You’re definitely seeing that cinephiles and the filmmaking community tend to use Kanopy as a resource,” said Tyrrell. “Especially in L.A. we found filmmakers, cinematographers, screenwriters, editors — they actually use Kanopy as a research tool. Because we’re one of those platforms where you can do a deep dive on a filmmaker or an artist or an actor that you love.”

Where many other streaming services have placed an emphasis on original content, Kanopy — which has seen sign-ups to the service from L.A. library users increase by 23% from last year — remains committed to building its catalog.

“Our tagline is ‘Films That Matter’ and we do take that to heart,” said Tyrrell. “We’re looking for content from any period in film history within any genre that is meaningful for an audience. What I’m looking for is something that’s a high-quality representation of whatever it’s supposed to be.”

Kanopy’s collection is now up to more than 30,000 titles. The service reaches over 158 million U.S. library cardholders at 4,000 libraries, and more than 1,800 U.S. colleges and universities serving 15 million students.

“We pride ourselves on the stability of that collection as well,” said Tyrrell. “Historically there was that promise of streaming, this idea that you could have at your fingertips the breadth of cinema history whenever you want it. And I think practically for consumers it hasn’t played out that way, but at Kanopy we do see our role in some respects as archival and we highlight titles that just don’t have a place in other areas of distribution. They may exist on other streaming services, but they’re not being surfaced, recommended or marketed there. So filmmakers and distributors will find a second, third, or fourth life for a title on Kanopy because our patrons are not new-release driven. They really are discovery-driven.”

Joaquin Phoenix in Ari Aster’s “Beau is Afraid.”


Here are the 10 most popular titles on Kanopy among L.A. Public Library users so far in 2024.

1. “Past Lives”
2. “Beau Is Afraid”
3. “The Forsyte Saga”: Season 1
4. “The Whale”
5. “You Hurt My Feelings”
6. “Showing Up”
7. “The Prisoner”
8. “Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire”
9. “Father Brown”: Season 1
10. “Death in Paradise”: Season 1

Although the top 10 lean heavily into films released by A24, Tyrrell is quick to point out that the site also has popular titles from distributors such as Neon, Bleecker Street, Magnolia Pictures, IFC Films and others.

And as for the TV titles, which include the classic 1967 series “The Prisoner” and the long-running detective dramedy “Death in Paradise,” Tyrrell said, “it’s important that we’re not too exclusively focused on art house. We really do want, as the library is, to be a resource for everybody. And everyone likes crime TV. You put any show where a murder gets solved on Kanopy and we’ve got folks watching it.”

Tyrrell added, “And then we’ve got the series about Rome from the History Channel, which I feel like it’s got to be a meme, right? Like people saw how much their boyfriends know about the Roman Empire, and they wanted to brush up on their history or something.”

Michelle Williams in the movie "Showing Up."

Michelle Williams in the movie “Showing Up.”

(Allyson Riggs/A24)

For Tyrrell, Kanopy’s core partner is what sets it apart from other streaming platforms.

“Obviously all of this is made possible with our partnerships with the libraries,” said Tyrrell. “We love working closely with them and sort of following their goals for expanding access. We want to get library cards in more people’s hands. There’s a whole host of free and freely available digital resources from everyone’s library that is just unbelievable. In this kind of time when it seems like every streaming service is either bundling or raising prices, there’s this great bundle of services from the library that I wish more folks knew about.

“In some respects, Kanopy is in effect one of the marketing arms of your library system,” Tyrrell said. “So hopefully as we go forward and organically more and more people hear about the platform, that means more library cards in more hands. And that’s important for the sustainability of that critical piece of our community.”


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