When getting out of debt we need to look at all areas of your finances to try and save money. Cutting cable is an obvious answer as it can save you a couple thousand dollars a year. So, what do you replace it with? Well, Netflix and Hulu are options but still involve a monthly fee and those can have commercials. In this Hoopla Digital App Review, I will show you how we recently discovered this and why we are loving it.
Hoopla Digital App
Hoopla Digital is an app that allows you to stream movies, televisions shows, audiobooks, music and read eBooks and comics for free. It is available on multiple platforms such as your TV, computer, phone and tablet depending on what type of media you are accessing.
So, why is it free?
It is free because it a service paid for by your local public library. Just as they pay money for physical books, DVDs and music, they also pay for access to these titles. So, while nothing is truly free in life, this is free for you to use.
The library is a great life hack. We have used it increasingly more and more to help save us money on books and DVDs. It is also a great place to take our kids for story time too.
We realized though that we weren’t using the library to its full potential. My wife came across Hoopla Digital and easily set it up on all our devices in minutes. Then, we saw what a great resource it was and it was all free.
As noted on Wikipedia, there are over 500,000 content titles spread between the six type of formats previously mentioned.
How To Stream Movies For Free
Signing up for hoopla is easy. The most critical step is to make sure you have a valid library card from your local library. The Phoenix Public Library is our local library system and that’s how we were introduced to Hoopla. If you don’t have a library card, why not make it a free outing this weekend!
Please note not all libraries offer Hoopla, but many of them do. When you sign-up just enter your zip code or city name and a list of participating libraries will appear. Once you have a library card the remaining steps are as easy as can be. Simply complete the following steps and you’re good to go!
Click here to find out if your local library offers Hoopla as a service.
- Navigate to https://www.hoopladigital.com/
- Click “get started today”
- Create your login information, select your local library
- Enter your library card information
- You’re registered!
How Does Hoopla Work
Hoopla can be enjoyed in many different ways and on different devices. No matter which device you use you can simply search for the app “hoopla”, download, and login! See the image below for all the compatible devices.
- TV – You can watch movies and TVs shows directly on your TV assuming you have a compatible device. We have an Amazon FireStick and we downloaded the Hoopla app on that device. Hoopla is also available on similar devices like Roku and Apple TV. Downloading and using the app is just as easy as other streaming services like Netflix or Hulu.
- Mobile Phone – You can also download Hoopla on your phone and it’s compatible with both Android and iPhone. I personally prefer to use my phone for audiobooks. You can also read eBooks and stream video from your phone as well. It’s an easy and compact way to access digital content from your library.
- iPads and Tablets – Similar to your mobile phone, you can also access your Hoopla media from your tablet. Hoopla works on iPads and other tablets including some kindle devices. Just like your mobile phone, the app allows you to access all your digital content, including video, eBooks, and audiobooks.
Download Hoopla To Your Devices
As you can see, Hoopla offers its content on many devices. It’s highly likely that you’ll have at least one device that’s compatible with Hoopla. Seriously, try this today! Getting the library card is probably your biggest hurdle! I had heard of Hoopla previously and once I finally downloaded it I was really glad I did. Frankly, I wish I had done it sooner. They have a lot of content!
As a side note, I discovered they had the documentary, “The Men Who Built America”. This title was previously available on Netflix, but unfortunately, we never had the chance to finish it before it expired from their list of offerings. As I was browsing the titles it happened to pop up!
No need to pay to rent or buy that now. Why spend your hard-earned money on a movie or book when you don’t have to? Put it towards debt instead! If in doubt, search your library and see if they have that title available. You really can’t beat free!
Hoopla Pros And Cons
- It’s free!
- It’s available on all major devices.
- It offers a variety of content types.
- For viewing comics, Hoopla has a special “Action View,” which shows one panel at a time to prevent zooming in and out of multiple panels.
- You can download a title to your device to watch/listen to later when you don’t have access to the internet.
- You are limited to a certain amount of titles you can checkout per month.
- Not available in all library systems.
- You need a library card. This is less of a problem, but if you don’t already have one it is an extra step when registering.
- Do not support Smart TVs
To further expand on why the amount you can check out is limited, it is because each title checked out costs the library. Therefore, they need to limit their spending. It might seem wasteful, but keep in mind as libraries switch from physical products to digital products, this clearly is a great way for them to lower overall operating costs and increase the options available to the taxpayers and users.
The actual amount you can checkout varies per library system, but for your information, we can checkout 10 per month in Phoenix. That seems to be typical in most places, but I have also seen as low as 5 per month.
If that isn’t enough, then you can easily have one account per library card holder. So, my wife and I can each have one and our kids can each as well. We found that those episodes of Paw Patrol go really fast!
I found this image above on the Hoopla Digital website showing the Seattle Public Library by the Architecture firm OMA. As an Architect myself, this makes me love Hoopla more! Definitely a ‘pro’ in my book and a must-see building!
Hoopla Digital App Review
It is easy for me to recommend the Hoopla Digital app to you. There really is no downside. It is free and convenient to use. It allows you to expand the content available to you if you combine it with Netflix or Hulu. You can even get rid of cable entirely and use this as part of your replacement strategy for saving money.
When we paid off $107K of debt in 33 months cutting cable was one of the first things we did. That single move saved us thousands of dollars. I know I am excited to finish the “The Men Who Built America” finally since I think we were still in debt when we started it!
Seriously though, even if you don’t use it that much, you should have Hoopla set up on all your devices. It is a no brainer!