Hoopla is quietly becoming a force to be reckoned with and is constantly adding content to their catalog and will soon give Overdrive a run for their money.
The success of Hoopla is attributed to their unique pay per use system. This means that libraries only pay them money when a patron borrows a title, each e-book does not cost money on its own. This is a big advantage because 3M and Overdrive both charge big bucks per copy, sometimes over $100 each.
Hoopla started to make a name for themselves a few years ago when the company rode on the success of the emerging audiobook space. Their catalog is one of the largest in the business with 13,000 digital editions and are adding a few hundred every month. Due to the success of digital audio they started a modest e-book collection and currently have 5,509 of them from publishers such as from Dundurn, Tyndale, Chicago Review, Rosetta and Orca.
Since e-books have proven to be success for Hoopla they are starting to field requests for other written content, such as graphic novels and comics. This has prompted them to sign a distribution deal with DC Comics to offer hundreds of graphic novels. As of July 2015 Hoopla now has 800 comics in total and they have been using conferences such as Book Expo America and the American Library Association Annual to get more deals done.
“We wanted to give libraries a way to be relevant in the digital age,” explained hoopla’s Jeff Jankowski in an interview with Good e-Reader. “Why take the limitations of the physical world and apply them to start of the art digital?”
Hoopla currently deals with 800 libraries in the US and that list is growing. Libraries have told me that they dig the fact that they can just add a ton of content and can set certain monetary thresholds so they can keep their digital spending within reasonable limits. It seems to me that Hoopla has a very compelling value proposition for libraries, that is hard to ignore.