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Music Industry

Hoopla: What Is It And How To Use It?

Photograph of the blog post author, Carla Johnson

Carla Johnson


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Envision being able to take your local library with you wherever you go. Hoopla Digital allows you to do just that! Anywhere you take your mobile device or have access to a computer, you can log onto your Hoopla account and borrow thousands of different titles.  


You have loads of options to listen to from audiobooks or music albums, watch movies or TV shows, or read e-books and e-comics!

Sound good to you? Here is everything you need to know about Hoopla.

What Is Hoopla?


Hoopla is a virtual extension of a local library system that lets you rent audiobooks. It has extended itself from not only audiobooks but also includes comics, movies, music, and TV as rental options, as well.

Additionally, Hoopla Digital has succeeded to evade some of its competitors’ restrictions. It offers offline file downloads and online streaming options. There is also good device compatibility that has just stepped up to include Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast.

Hoopla is the digital service of Midwest Tape, a leading provider of entertainment media products and services. DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and shelf-ready solutions, to public libraries across North America for over a quarter of a century. The point has always been to partner with libraries in delivering the best content to patrons in the most streamlined manner possible.

Hoopla Digital is a free service courtesy of local libraries.

How Does Hoopla Work?


To use Hoopla, all you have to do is look for your local library in Hoopla’s database. It helps you based on your location. You provide an email address, password, library card information, then, you are in!

Next, select what you wish to borrow and you can enjoy listening whenever you like. Hoopla has six various types of content and they can all be borrowed for certain amounts of time.

Movies and TV show episodes can be borrowed for 3 days, music albums can be borrowed for a week, and audiobooks, e-books, and e-comics can be borrowed for 3 weeks. Even better, you don’t need to worry about late fees!

As an artist, you can play or read everything right on Hoopla Digital making it easy for you. All you need is a basic web browser add-on! 

What Does Hoopla Do?

hoopla logo

Hoopla Digital can be useful for artists/creatives as it is a groundbreaking digital media service offered by your local public library. It lets you borrow movies, music, audiobooks, eBooks, comics, and TV shows to enjoy on your computer, tablet, or phone and even your TV!

Titles can be streamed straight away or downloaded on phones/tablets for offline amusement later. They have thousands of titles to pick from. With plenty being added each day, the public library is always full.

Hoopla Library

Hoopla is a free public library in cities that sign up, it comes at a price to the libraries which adopt it. 

If a user borrows an item, libraries pay between $0.99 to $2.99 per title. The library system sets limits to the number of items a member can borrow each month.

Hoopla Audiobooks

By downloading a book directly and then playing it through the application, you can easily listen to audiobooks. Hoopla has a system of user-generated bookmarks and the player will pick up where you left off.

They also have e-books and comics which are available for 21 days. They have a good selection so you’re sure to find something interesting to read. Just don’t expect to find the latest and greatest novels or comics.

Hoopla Movies

You can watch movies right now with Hoopla. You can stream hit movies with good quality, although HD is not offered at this point in time. This is something they are currently working on implementing in the near future. 

Most titles are available for 72 hours after you check them out, but a few titles will only be available for 48 hours. 

The catalog is fairly large but is by no means an exhaustive one. The great news is though that there are several modern titles to choose from.


With HooplaTV, you can watch TV and stream episodes of PBS, Great Courses, The Librarians, Gigaim, and much more! 

You can find out more on the website here.

The Hoopla App


Hoopla is not only for enjoying on desktop computers or laptops, you can use it on your mobile devices as well!

Download the free application from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. You can borrow and enjoy titles just like you would if you were using Hoopla on a regular computer.

On the mobile app, you can complete a temporary download to play content without an internet connection. It’s worth noting that this feature is exclusive to the digital mobile app.

Alternatives To Hoopla

What else is out there? In this section of our review, we are going to examine some Hoopla alternatives. 


overdrive logo

The greatest difference between Overdrive and Hoopla is the fact that Overdrive sometimes has a wait for checking out audiobooks or eBooks. 

However, Overdrive might be considered better because it works with sped up audio and has a wider selection of current books.

The Hoopla mobile app also does not allow downloading files of titles to your device so that you can enjoy them offline, which is something that OverDrive does let you do.


libby logo

Hoopla identifies itself as a library media streaming platform. Libby on the other hand, is an eBook/audiobook reader app, which limits readers to borrow only written materials. 

In order to utilise both apps, users only need a device, a WiFi connection, and a library card.


audible logo

The biggest difference with Audible is that you can pay for a monthly subscription, unlike Hoopla which works in conjunction with a library.

Both of these services allow the user to download the books so you are not using cellular data when you are not connected to WiFi. 

Conclusion – Hoopla


Hoopla’s major selling point is the range of content available through it. You can borrow audiobooks, e-books, e-comics, movies, music, and TV shows with more than 500,000 titles all together! 

Another great thing about it is that it takes care of the back-end mechanics for you. Titles are returned automatically once their lending period is up. Also, a few small and simple web browser additions are all that you need to get the most out of the content available through the Hoopla website. Or, you can take titles on the go with the mobile app. 

That’s our review Hoopla, but we recommend you check out what Hoopla is about for yourself! After all, it’s free to use Hoopla, so you’ve really got nothing to lose! 

Would you like to get in touch with Music Gateway to see how we can help you with music for your film? Then please use this link to get in touch with us to discuss any opportunities such as Sync Licensing, Music Licensing, Music Clearance, Sync Libraries or Music Libraries, etc., you may want to take further.

You can book a call with Sam – Head of Sync Licensing – as a potential lead. We are always happy to talk to musicians like you. Please do get in touch.


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