Public libraries are now an option for people looking to stream movies and music.
Hoopla, a streaming service similar to Netflix (NFLX), was launched in 20 library systems in May. The service allows users to “borrow” movies from public libraries through streaming. In early September the service was reported to have over 220,000 users. The service differs from other streaming services in how the media is paid for. Public libraries can’t pay the kind of premiums that other services do and instead only pay when a movie is watched. The cost of streaming media for a library depends on what the media is. Prices can range from 99 cents to $2.99. Hoopla isn’t meant to replace DVD’s and won’t affect libraries’ collections. The service is available to PC users through web browsers and also has an app for Apple (AAPL) and Android products. A Hoopla app is currently being developed for Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox and Google’s (GOOG) Chromecast as well, reports the Associated Press.
“Hoopla provides a lot more options to people who would rather stream something, as opposed to downloading it or having a hard copy,” Jason Lea, the community outreach coordinator at Mentor Public Library in Ohio, told The News-Herald.