Hoopla Streaming Service to Discontinue
As of January 1, 2020, we will no longer offer cardholders access to the streaming platform Hoopla. This difficult decision was reached after a thorough discussion with library staff and board trustees, and it coincides with the expiration of the current Hoopla subscription through the Finger Lakes Library System. The pricing model and cost of Hoopla make it unsustainable for us, and we believe that our resources are more effectively used towards purchasing more in-demand content through other platforms.
We will continue to offer free access to the digital content platform OverDrive (and its Libby app), and will be working with the Finger Lakes Library System to enhance access to popular titles and those that can be borrowed by more than one patron at a time (also known as “on-demand”). Though we do not have plans for replacing Hoopla streaming video or music services, library staff will continue to research options for patrons. Digital magazines will continue to be available through RBdigital.
For more information about this topic, or to voice questions and concerns, please contact us by email at email@example.com or by phone at 607-272-4557, ext. 260.
Why is TCPL discontinuing Hoopla?
TCPL, along with other Finger Lakes Library System libraries, began offering Hoopla in 2016 on a trial basis to provide streaming video. The costs associated with the service have risen steadily ever since, and in 2018 TCPL patrons’ use of Hoopla amounted to $17,158. Because Hoopla uses a cost-per-transaction business model, as opposed to a flat subscription fee, libraries pay more for increased use. This model is unsustainable and makes it difficult to properly budget for all of the resources and materials we aim to provide to patrons. Our contract with Hoopla expires on December 31, 2019, and will no longer be available to patrons after that date.
How much does Hoopla cost?
TCPL gets charged for every item a patron checks out, even if they don’t end up using it before it expires. The average cost of an item on Hoopla is $2.19.
What digital content does TCPL offer?
Patrons will continue to have free access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks through OverDrive and its Libby app. We will be working closely with FLLS member libraries to enhance the OverDrive collection and increase access to popular titles and those that can be borrowed by more than one patron at a time (also known as “on-demand”). Digital magazines will continue to be available through RBdigital. While there are no plans to offer an alternative resource for streaming video and music, we will continue to research options for patrons.
Why do I have to wait so long on OverDrive?
Since the advent of digital content lending, libraries have been constrained by publishers. Currently, two publishers (Macmillan and Blackstone Audio) have systems in place that prevent libraries from purchasing new titles before a set waiting period. Other publishers, such as Amazon, do not allow library lending of their content. Publishers that do participate in library lending often charge libraries up to five times the retail price. Despite these limitations, libraries have a vested interest in preserving patron access to information, and are working to provide patrons with the best access possible with the resources we have available to us. This sometimes means long waits for very popular titles. For more information about the issues surrounding digital content lending, and what advocacy opportunities exist, visit https://ebooksforall.org/.