Free e-books and music downloads available in South Florida
The digital age has spawned a number of trends consumers have grown comfortable with. As consumers become more integrated with mobile technology, they are beginning to grow more interested in digital content, such as music and electronic books (e-books). Companies like Amazon and Apple have begun offering these digital products to consumers for a fee, but libraries in South Florida are offering them to consumers free of charge. These libraries are utilizing QR codes to compete with corporate competitors.
Broward County Library Without Walls
Florida’s Broward County has launched a new initiative called Broward County Library Without Walls (BCL WoW). The initiative is encompassed in an online service where consumers can access thousands of e-books, each of which is in the public domain and not subject to the country’s copyright laws. Using the OverDrive mobile application, consumers can also gain access to audio books and music. This content can be access by scanning QR codes that can be found at libraries throughout Broward County.
Broward joins the Freegal Music Service
Broward County libraries offering access to free music has caused something of a stir amongst consumers. Broward has joined the Freegal Music Service, a nationwide service developed by Library Ideas LLC. The service allows libraries throughout the country to offer free music downloads to visitors. Broward County is currently able to offer consumers music from Sony Music Entertainment’s catalogue. A new selection of songs will be available each week, allowing for variety. Libraries are able to obtain distribution rights for this music through the Freegal Music Service.
QR codes may help drive traffic to local libraries
County officials believe that this initiative will be successful and help consumers grow more attached to local libraries. The services will be available at all hours of the day, even when libraries are closed. Those using the OverDrive application will be able to download books and music while at home instead of having to make a trip to local libraries. These consumers will still have the opportunity to find and scan QR codes as a way to gain access to digital content.
Broward County is not alone in its adoption of QR codes. Palm Beach County has also begun offering downloadable e-books via QR codes. The county does not have any intention of joining the Freegal Music Service at this time, however.