Toronto Public Library is planning to offer Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) like service free of cost to Toronto library cardholders. The Library is holding discussions with Hoopla digital, an online streaming service to offer an online library of films, music albums, TV shows and audio books, says a report from The Star.
Next big thing for libraries
“We could have an agreement in the next week or so,” said Ana-Maria Critchley, a library spokeswoman.
The service, if materialised, could offer instant access to 10,000 movies, on Hoopla’s website and App based network. Subscribers would be able to stream the content on a smartphones, tablet or home computer.
Michael Manon, Hoopla’s chief brand manager said that Victoria, Edmonton and Hamilton have already subscribed for the service. Hoopla entered into a deal with the Hamilton Public library for which it charges a small fee every time the title is borrowed. The user can rent the movies for two days, album for seven days and audio books for three weeks. After the completion of the time period, the content is washed out from the subscriber’s library.
“It’s the next evolution for libraries,” Manon said.
If the deal becomes reality, then it would gulp the physical movie rentals, cutting down the budget of libraries and it would be a great way to attract the YouTube generation, said Manon.
“It provides a great deal of relevance to the millennial crowds,” Manon said.
Rapid expansion, rich collection
Hoopla has a rich collection of the movies that date back to 70’s. Its “The New and Notable” section include movies like The Mummy returns (2001), Liar Liar (1997) and Jaws (1978). In the music section, one could get contemporary albums like Drake’s 2013 album Nothing Was the Same, Pure Heroine by Lordeand, Katy Perry’s PRISM.
In a recent press release, it was stated that fast growing Ohio-based Company is looking forward to reach 800 libraries by 2014, and around 130 North American libraries already provide this service. Manon said that the company is adding 8 to 12 library systems every week.
There is no confirmation if the Toronto Public library would put rental caps on the on these subscription. Toronto Public library has put more thrust on the paperless media in the recent years by making available digital magazines and audio books through its website.