Netflix-like movie rentals could start coming to libraries

A Netflix-like movie service could soon be offered free of charge to Toronto library cardholders. The Toronto Public Library is currently in talks with Hoopla Digital, an online streaming service, to grant library users access to an online vault of films, music albums, TV shows and audiobooks. No late fees. No waiting lists.

The fact that Netflix can instantly, almost magically connect us to content sort of overshadows the fact that its business model hasn’t really changed since the early days when it was mailing DVDs to your front door. Essentially, Netflix is in the movie rental business… just like your local library is, where you can check out DVDs. And now they’re being motivated to start acting more like the mega-successful streaming service. There’s a growing push to upgrade public libraries so that members stream movies. At a time when Netflix is looking to increase the price of its streaming service, libraries across North America are partnering with a company called Hoopla to offer something similar for the price of a library card—namely, free.

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