By Hannah Johnson | @hannahsjohnson
On Thursday (March 10), OverDrive announced that three more library systems will begin using their digital library distribution services: Öffentliche Bücherhallen in Germany, Büchereien Wien in Austria, and Pestalozzi-Bibliothek in Switzerland. OverDrive distributes ebooks, audiobooks, music and video to 34,000 libraries, schools and colleges around the world.
Ahead of the Bibliothek and Information Deutschland Congress in Leipzig on March 14-17, OverDrive has brought in Daniel Bräuer to handle business development in German-language markets and to support libraries there with OverDrive services.
In a prepared statement, OverDrive said that in 2015, loaned out over 165 million ebooks, audiobooks and streaming video to library patrons around the world, an increase of 20 percent over 2014. Audiobook lending grew by 35 percent over 2014.
OverDrive was acquired by Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten—which also owns ebook retailer Kobo—in March 2015 for around 24 billion yen ($410 million). Despite Rakuten’s recent write-down of various businesses, Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn told Publishing Perspectives, “Rakuten’s commitment to and confidence in the ebook market is evident in the purchase of OverDrive and continuing investments in Kobo’s global growth.”
In related news, see today’s interview with Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn on age demographics in e-reading and more.