Ever heard of Hoopla? I hadn’t either until very recently. This is a cord cutter tip from Ashley Sloboda, a reporter at the Kane County Chronicle.
Hoopla is a source of free digital video, music and audiobooks available to anyone who is a member of one of the participating libraries. To sign up you must have an actual library card – remember those?
I’m not seeing my San Diego library listed but the Orange County system is a member, and that is at least within driving range. I can register online for the card, but will have to make the drive to Irvine to pick up the actual document.
So what’s on Hoopla? As I browse through some of the movies I’m not seeing much recent content. Hoopla seems to skew toward classics and educational content. No Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones here. I’m curious if this is a licensing and or budget limitation.
One of my readers recently posted a comment on how she indeed borrowed Breaking Bad from her local library. And how she would put in requests for the library to buy what she wanted. So maybe we can make friends with our local librarian and get our favorite movies and TV shows online for free.
There is also a lot of digital music on Hoopla. Again not the latest releases but there is a diverse range of artists from Jay-Z to Lynyrd Skynrd. Interesting that per the Hoopla terms and conditions this material is strictly “borrowed” and not owned as it would be if you were buying it from Amazon or iTunes. Also mentioned on the front page: Hoopla’s “digital’s automatic return eliminates all late fees.” Apparently the streaming content just stops working after a while.
Hoopla runs on PC’s, iOS and Android devices. At this point I don’t see anything about a Hoopla Roku channel but that could change. In any case readers of this blog can probably figure out a couple ways to get Hoopla to show up on your big screen.