Public Libraries are Moving Away From DVDs in Favor of Streaming Offerings by Popular Demand




, ,

When was the last time you checked out a DVD from your local library? We thought so. More people are ditching DVDs in favor of streaming video content offerings, even from public libraries. The pandemic has only accelerated that growth with people spending more time inside and in front of a screen.

Libraries offer streaming services like Kanopy and Hoopla that patrons can access with their library membership. Kanopy conducted new research among public libraries that shows more than 47% of participants plan to increase streaming video budgets in 2021, and over 71% expect an increase over the next three years. In contrast, just over 9% of participants will have DVD budgets increase during 2021, and approximately 15% expect an increase in the next three years.

“Our FY20 streaming budget saw a significant increase due to closure from the pandemic,” added Marco Daniels, a library associate with Oak Bluffs Public Library in Oak Bluffs, MA. “We expect to continue this trend in FY21, but it is important to note the increase in our streaming budget comes from the decrease in our DVD budget.”

And people aren’t just using these streaming services for entertainment. Libraries report seeing surges in educational streaming content too, and the trend is expected to continue through the coming years. Data provided by Kanopy shows that in addition to entertainment, 58.2% of libraries say their patrons use streaming videos for other purposes such as personal enrichment and class assignments.

“During the pandemic we experienced a sharp spike in streaming video usage, and this increase has continued even though we reopened for in-person service over the summer,” said Kay Cahill, director, collections & technology, Vancouver Public Library. “We saw a strong appetite for educational streaming video content in 2020 and a significant increase in recreational and educational use.”

Disclaimer: To address the growing use of ad blockers we now use affiliate links to sites like, streaming services, and others. Affiliate links help sites like Cord Cutters News, stay open. Affiliate links cost you nothing but help me support my family. We do not allow paid reviews on this site. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from :

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices here.