Hoopla Review – Is Hoopla Free & Safe?

Hoopla is an online library of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV series, comics, and more. It partners with public libraries across the United States to provide library members with free content.

I’m a Hoopla user myself, and I love it.

In this review, I will explain what Hoopla is, how to sign up, whether it’s truly free and safe, and its pros and cons.

Let’s get into it!

Verdict

Our Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hoopla is a great digital library for free ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, TV series, and more. All you need is a membership at a participating library. It is free and safe.

Pros

  • It has a large selection of content (although the selection depends on your library).
  • You can download audiobooks, ebooks, and other media to listen to or consume offline with the mobile app.
  • Hoopla is free to use, and there are no ads.
  • There is no limit to how many times you can check most items out (not including Flex Borrows).
  • The app is user-friendly and has a clean interface.

Cons

  • You can only borrow a certain number of items per month.
  • Items can only be borrowed for a certain period, after which they will be automatically returned.
  • Downloading something offline still requires you to use the app.

What Is Hoopla?

Hoopla is a digital library offering ebooks, magazines, audiobooks, films, comics, and other useful content.

It has tied up with local libraries across the United States to offer all of the above content without any charge.

Not all libraries are partnered with Hoopla. If your library is partnered with Hoopla, though, you can use your library card to sign up for a Hoopla account and immediately begin borrowing content.

Which Content Is Available on Hoopla?

An important thing to understand about Hoopla is that the available content will depend on your specific library’s catalog. If your library doesn’t offer a certain book or audiobook, you might not find it on Hoopla.

With that said, let’s go over the types of content you can check out on Hoopla.

1. Ebooks

Hoopla offers a wide selection of ebooks in different genres. They include timeless classics as well as new books that were released in the past few years.

Ebooks are available in multiple genres, including romance, fiction, nonfiction, religion, language studies, and more.

2. Audiobooks

I no longer pay for premium audiobook subscription services. Instead, I simply use Hoopla.

I find Hoopla to have a decent selection of audiobooks. While I can’t find every audiobook I want on it, I am able to find most; at the very least, I’ll find interesting alternatives in the same genre.

One thing I don’t like about audiobooks on Hoopla is that there can often be a few versions of the same audiobook, each read by a different narrator. Some may even be abridged.

If there are a few versions, it can be difficult to decide which version to listen to.

Audiobooks can be streamed live or downloaded to your device. While you can stream audiobooks from a web browser, you can only download them on the mobile app.

You can’t download audiobooks as MP3 files, only as in-app downloads. While that allows you to listen to the audiobook without an internet connection, the downloads will disappear once the lending period is over.

Also Read: Is Audible Worth It?

3. Comics, Movies, and Television

There are all sorts of comics available on Hoopla. Whether you’re interested in classic comics, manga, superhero comics, or any other genre, you will find a great selection of titles.

In addition, there are movies and TV series available for live streaming or downloading (on mobile devices). Hoopla might not have all the popular series and movies you want, but it’s free and can help you save on your streaming subscriptions.

4. Music

You can also borrow music albums from Hoopla.

Of course, there are already plenty of free music streaming services, such as Spotify. However, Hoopla allows you to download entire albums to your device (as in-app downloads) and listen to them offline, without ads.

For example, Taylor Swift’s 2019 album “Lover” is available from Hoopla (again, this can vary based on your library).

5. BingePasses

The BingePasses feature is an excellent workaround to the limited amount of monthly borrows you’re allowed on Hoopla.

A BingePass gives you access to a curated selection of digital media centered around a single topic. Content included in a BingePass are offered by third parties and may include magazines, podcasts, ebooks, video courses, and more.

BingePasses are valid for seven days. For example, the CuriosityStream Bingepass gives you access to thousands of films, shows, and series on topics such as nature, science, and history.

Curiosity Stream is just one of the streaming and digital media services that Hoopla has partnered with to offer BingePasses.

What I Liked About Hoopla

It’s Free

While Hoopla requires a library subscription, it’s free to use. If you live in a decent-sized city, chances are high that you will find a library that has partnered with Hoopla to offer online content.

Check the websites of public libraries near you to see if they mention Hoopla. If they don’t, call and ask; it might not be mentioned on the website.

Public libraries in the US are government entities and free to join if you live in the same county. Library cards are usually free as well, although some libraries may charge a nominal fee of a few dollars for a replacement card.

Some public libraries even allow people living in different counties or cities to become members, although they may charge a small fee.

Also Read: Ways To Make Money By Reading Books

Wide Selection of Content

Hoopla pretty much gives you an entire public library in one app. I found the selection amazing; most of the books I wanted to read were available as ebooks, and many others were available as audiobooks as well.

Again, your experience can vary depending on your public library. However, most public libraries make it a goal to have as many renowned books as possible and to stock up on popular books that were recently published.

That’s for audiobooks and ebooks. For movies and TV series, I stick to Netflix.

While having movies and TV series available for free is great, I personally enjoy the selection on Netflix better.

Great Layout

The Hoopla app offers a great customer experience. It’s easy to navigate, doesn’t have complicated features, and is smooth, without lagging.

Not only does the app have a clean interface, but there are no ads, either.

Kids Mode

You can turn on Kids Mode in Hoopla. When Kids Mode is on, it will only recommend content suitable for children up to the age of 12.

To prevent your child from exiting Kids Mode, set a four-digit pin that will be required when turning off Kids Mode.

What I Didn’t Like About Hoopla

Titles Are Only Available for a Limited Time

Titles on Hoopla can be checked out for a certain period, after which they will automatically be returned to the library. That is similar to the way a regular library operates.

For my library, ebooks, comics, and audiobooks have a lending period of 21 days, movies and TV series have a lending period of three days, and music has a lending period of seven days.

Note that lending times can vary slightly, as libraries have the freedom to change them. For example, some libraries may only allow you to check out movies for two days.

It’s not all that bad, though. After a title is returned, you can simply borrow it again.

Remember, it’s digital media. When you borrow a physical book from a library, the library will usually restrict you from checking it out again for a certain amount of time to give other members an opportunity to read the book.

However, this isn’t a problem for digital content.

So, when I don’t get a chance to finish an audiobook before 21 days are up, I simply borrow it again.

There is an exception, though. Depending on your library, there may also be “Flex Borrows.”

They are different from traditional Hoopla Instant Borrows in that only one person can borrow them at a time, just like a physical book. You may have to place a hold on it or join a waitlist if it is currently checked out.

Also Read: Pros & Cons of Kindle

You Have a Limited Number of Borrows Per Month

You can only borrow a certain number of titles per month. For me, that’s 10 borrows a month across all categories (for example, you can borrow five audiobooks and five comics). Some libraries may offer more, such as 25 borrows per month.

While Hoopla is free to you, it’s not free for libraries. Libraries must pay a small amount for every ebook checked out; hence the monthly restrictions.

That’s enough for me, but if you plan on using Hoopla extensively, you will quickly find it to be a significant limitation. That’s especially true if you use it to borrow movies, which can easily be consumed in just a few hours.

By checking out BingePasses, though, you can get around this limitation. Each BingePass can have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of media to keep you busy and entertained.

Conclusion: Is Hoopla Free and Safe?

Yes, Hoopla is both free and safe.

As long as you have a valid library card, it’s free to use. You can use it anywhere you’d like; there are no geographical restrictions, even if you later move away from the area in which the library is located.

Be it while washing the dishes, riding public transport, shopping for groceries, or doing random chores around the house, I use it often to listen to my favorite stuff.

About Author

Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing.
Tom has been a full-time internet marketer for two decades now, earning millions of dollars while living life on his own terms. Along the way, he’s also coached thousands of other people to success.