SOURCE: OverDrive, Inc.

OverDrive, Inc.

January 14, 2014 07:00 ET

Libraries Reach 102 Million Digital Checkouts During Record-Breaking 2013

2014 to Feature Enhanced eBooks and New Technology to Further Drive Digital Reader Engagement

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwired - Jan 14, 2014) -  OverDrive announced today that 2013 was a banner year for libraries and schools with record numbers in digital engagement. Available eBook and audiobook titles, website visitors, eBook discovery and digital checkouts all increased substantially over 2012. A surge in mobile device usage highlights the demand for on-the-go access, with more than half of all digital checkouts coming from mobile platforms.

The trend in digital reading continues to grow rapidly. Readers borrowed more than 102 million digital titles across the OverDrive network in 2013, up 44% over 2012. For comparison, it took 10 years to reach the first 100 million digital checkouts from 2003-2012, and the next 100 million was surpassed within one year. Other major milestones in 2013 include:

  • A 46% increase over 2012 in eBook checkouts (79 million)
  • A 37% increase over 2012 in audiobook checkouts (22.9 million)
  • A 147% increase over 2012 in mobile checkouts (49.5 million)
  • More than 4.3 billion page views on OverDrive-powered library and school websites
  • Mobile platforms now account for nearly 1/2 of all checkouts and 2/3 of all traffic
  • Six of OverDrive's standalone libraries facilitated more than one million digital checkouts from their individual collections
  • Library and school websites had 193 million visits to their OverDrive digital catalog, 1 million more than 2012
  • Discoverability increased to 1.8 billion in 2013, up from over 1 billion cover image impressions in 2012, giving readers countless options for "what to read next"

"This past year was a breakthrough year for OverDrive," said Shannon Lichty, Director of Partner Services at OverDrive. "Through innovation and exemplary partner performance, digital reading is now more accessible and more prolific than ever. We are looking forward to additional enhancements in 2014 to create the ultimate streamlined experience and enhanced interactivity for users."

Technology and support for enhanced eBooks will roll out in 2014, including features such as synched audio and text, fixed layouts, interactivity and multimedia. Demonstrations of these innovations will take place at the OverDrive booth at Digital Book World this week in New York City, as well as at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia January 24-28. 

OverDrive released several new products, services and features to help libraries and schools increase digital circulation in 2013. The launches of OverDrive Media Station, Circulation APIs and multilingual website support helps to introduce readers to the digital catalog and easily navigate the library's website. In addition, children can now safely explore libraries' digital catalogs through the new eReading Room, a dedicated segment of a library's website free of mature content. Also in 2013, OverDrive announced the availability of its new Netflix-like Streaming Video service with widespread compatibility and instant viewing of thousands of digital video titles.

Further enhancing the user experience, OverDrive increased its catalog to 1.8 million digital titles from more than 5,000 publishers, including all of the major publishers such as Penguin, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, McGraw-Hill, Macmillan and many more. Libraries and schools can now purchase licenses for eBooks and audiobooks from an additional 250 publishers added in 2013. Titles come in a multitude of formats compatible with any major device, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle® (U.S. only).

Based on various statistics including downloads, sales, holds, samples, ratings and page views, top titles in OverDrive's collection for 2013 included Inferno by Dan Brown, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin, Fast Forward by Juliet Madison, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, and The House of Hades (audiobook) by Rick Riordan.

OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 list as a company that matters most in the digital content industry for 2013, its fifth year in a row to earn that honor. OverDrive Media Console was named one of PC Magazine's 100 Best Android Apps of 2013, and one of TechRadar's Best Free Android Apps of 2014. Now partnering with more than 28,000 libraries and schools in 42 countries, including 90 percent of the U.S. public libraries, OverDrive is the largest distributor of eBooks and audiobooks for lending platforms worldwide.

About OverDrive
OverDrive is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, digital audiobooks, music and video. We supply a secure lending platform for 28,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide with support for all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle® (U.S. only). Recent enhancements to OverDrive's platform include multilingual user interface support, in-library touchscreen services for browsing and instant sampling of eBooks or audiobooks, and OverDrive Read, the company's EPUB and HTML5 browser-based reading experience.

Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland. www.overdrive.com.

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