Archive for overdrive
Library Journal has released the results of its 2014 survey, which tracks materials spending in public libraries across the country. The libraries are categorized according to patron size and circulation size, as well as budget size. In what comes as a tremendous surprise given the frightening state of libraries’ crisis-level budgets, spending actually increased microscopically, which is still far better than a decrease.
The spending on print books, movies/DVDs, and CDs or other downloadable music was interesting, despite the easy availability of movies and music from other sources. While music circulation and spending has dropped, DVDs remain the single best investment with the circulation far outweighing the financial cost.
The unfortunate reduction in print book purchasing could go either way; while ebook spending did increase for most libraries regardless of size, overall materials spending decreased in library systems who had suffered branch closing, reductions in staff, and reductions in operating hours.
In even better news, every category of library size reported an overall increase in circulation for a total 2% increase. In a finding that speaks to the vital role that libraries play, it was those libraries that serve rural communities that reported the highest book circulation numbers, largely due to the lack of bookstores in these communities and the unavailability of “one day delivery lockers” or Sunday delivery from online retailers.
Interestingly, libraries that reported a decrease in total book circulation actually pointed to ebooks as the culprit. With the ease of purchase and download and the more affordable price of digital over print, it appears as though consumers are quick to press the “buy it now” button instead of waiting for the book to become available through the library, either in print or in digital. This phenomenon has been shared for years from companies like Kobo and OverDrive, who’ve worked to convince publishers that library lending and ebooks are good for their business.
The full report from Library Journal is available HERE.
From the very beginning of digital lending through libraries and personal consumer shares, publishers have been wary of the implications of ebook lending. Once libraries became convinced to at least experiment in the library realm with their digital titles, artificial barriers were often put in place, such as limits on numbers of checkouts and 300% increases in price over an identical title in print. Libraries have suffered under the weight of trying to offer digital lending to their patrons while still ensuring that bestselling and front list titles make it to their virtual shelves.
Digital content provider OverDrive made a monumental announcement today in saying that Macmillan has made its entire ebook catalog available for the first time for lending through OverDrive’s school library partners. From the initial six hundred-plus titles that the publisher originally offered, Macmillan has now made more than 12,000 ebooks available to school libraries for student lending.
“Macmillan offers a wide collection of children’s and young-adult eBooks perfect for the K-12 audience,” said Karen Estrovich, Director of Collection Development at OverDrive. “We are thrilled that our U.S. and Canadian school partners will now have access to these titles, which are highly popular and often requested.”
Unlike some of the restrictions put on ebook lending, Macmillan has made all of its ebooks available without circulation limits, but still under a very standard one-book-one-user model, meaning schools who wish to stock more than one copy–just as they must do with print editions–must purchase additional licenses. The books are, however, only licensed for a 12-month period.
OverDrive has made major strides in the lending sector by helping publishers not only see the security behind opening up their catalogs to lending, but also to see the actual benefits in terms of consumer engagement and increased sales revenue once a book has been borrowed.
Overdrive Read is an innovative program that sees a single eBook become available for libraries to loan out an infinite amount of times. This is a stark contrast to the normal practice to the one title, one loan mentality. Obviously there is some very compelling aspects of the Reader program, but librarians are beginning to feel ambushed to the short notice of titles becoming available.
Starting February 17th, until March 5th, Food Network and Cooking Channel star Aida Mollenkamp has provided her culinary guide Keys to the Kitchen to libraries that do business with Overdrive. Overdrive gave libraries one week notice via email on the logistics of digitally distributing it to their patrons.
Overdrive has always gave the libraries one single week notice before the start of the program. A fair number are becoming quite vocal about the short notice and their inability to develop internal marketing material to properly promote it. Many librarians all over the USA talked to Good e-Reader at various American Library Association events. Most of them liked the spirit of the program, but were not actively participating due to the one week notice. It simply was not enough time to make flyers or posters, or educate the public on what it is all about.
Kristin Schultz commented “Is there ANY way you can give us more notice than 2 weeks? This is the third time for the Big Library Read and every time it’s like I’m ambushed. Why cannot we have more advance notice for promotion?” Meanwhile, Julie Bauer weighed in “I’d like to echo what Kristin is saying – there is very little time for us to plan anything around Big Library Read (even with that extra week). A couple of months’ notice would be more like it.”
Overdrive should be giving libraries over a months notice before the advent of any Read program. One week, is way too short and going forward, my recommendation is distribute a content calendar of titles coming out later in the year and forwarding them to libraries.
Libraries in the United Kingdom now have access to HarperCollins titles via Overdrive. Starting today, eBooks and audiobooks will both be available for libraries to purchase and loan out to people who have e-readers, tablets or smartphones.
The terms for the titles are the same as they are for their US titles: each copy purchased may check out 26 times before its license expires and it has to be ordered again.
Readers in the UK will finally be able to checkout some great titles, for free, from their local library. Some of the most notable ones include; the Body Book by Cameron Diaz, Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford, 5 Lbs in 5 Days: The Juice Detox Diet by Jason Vale, A Song for the Dying by Stuart MacBride, How Did All This Happen by John Bishop, Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey by Emma Rowley & Gareth Neame, How to, Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern, Innocence by Dean Koontz, The Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth, We Are Water by Wally Lamb, The Pagan Lord by Bernard Cornwell and Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup.
Overdrive has quietly unveiled a radical change to their audiobook encryption system and it could have massive ramifications for any library that carries them. They are switching from the bulk and cumbersome WMA format and gravitating towards a simple DRM-Free MP3 Edition of the audiobook.
When you read a book, listen to a audiobook or watch a movie, you are mainly doing it with the official Overdrive app for Android, iOS or a number of other platforms. When the loan period is over, the title will disappear from your library and you won’t be able to listen to it anymore.
Overdrive is switching to MP3 because companies like Hachette, Penguin Group, Random House (Books on Tape and Listening Library), HarperCollins, AudioGo, Blackstone, Tantor Media and dozens of others all produce their audio editions in MP3 format. This makes being able to add the titles to the catalog quickly and then resell them to libraries, without a lull period of manually adding encryption.
In a blog post, Ben from Overdrive wrapped up by saying “We will soon be communicating the discontinuance of WMA sales, and then at a future date, we will announce when MP3 files will be the only supported format through OverDrive platforms. For libraries and schools that currently have WMA audiobook files in their collection, we will be working with the publishers of those titles to gain permissions to update your inventory to MP3. In the event that some titles are unavailable, an alternate solution will be offered to make up for the lost titles. Be on the lookout for announcements on our blog and from your Collection Development Specialist for a timeline of this process.”
As library ebook lending for both academic and public institutions continues to make steady progress, libraries are finally able to “shop” the competition to provide the best user experience for their patrons, the largest catalogs of bestselling titles, and investigate the available features of different platforms. With different choices and different publishers participating in content providers’ catalogs, libraries find themselves with a good deal of leg work in order to provide the best value and best experience.
But according to data gathered this month based on users’ ratings of digital library lending apps, OverDrive has come out as the clear favorite among patrons who reviewed the app.
According to a statement from OverDrive on the honor, “Based on data gathered January 22, 2014, the OverDrive app has rated highest in the Apple App Store among competitors, with the most recent release scoring 4.5 stars out of 5. Across all versions, the app received 37,110 reviews. For comparison, 3M Cloud Library is rated at 3.5 based on 1,595 reviews, while Baker & Taylor Axis Reader’s most recent release is rated 2 stars, with 16 reviews for all versions. Users are raving about the OverDrive app, with thousands of 5 star reviews such as: ‘I have always extolled the virtues of public libraries and now that I can carry the library with me on my iPad, I tell everyone I know about OverDrive.’”
OverDrive showed a similar favored status in both the Google Play and NOOK app stores, once again beating out 3M and Baker & Taylor. This higher rating among users also applied to OverDrive’s audiobook lending app, not just its print.
“Giving readers what they want by creating the best user experience has always been a top priority of ours,” said Shannon Lichty, Director of Partner Services at OverDrive, in a statement to Good e-Reader. “We use feedback from end users and our library partners to continuously innovate, update and strengthen our products. The OverDrive app is feature-rich and intuitive, allowing for easy borrowing on any device.”
OverDrive, one of the global leaders in digital content solutions for more than 28,000 public and school libraries, will be attending this week’s American Library Association Midwinter meeting, and demonstrating an exciting new offering. With the ability to borrow enhanced ebooks in the near future, OverDrive is giving attendees a sneak peek at what this experience will be like.
“Our investment in HTML5, EPUB3 fixed layout and media overlays using SMIL documents will enable publishers, libraries and schools to serve readers with enhanced reading abilities on the widest range of devices,” said David Burleigh, Director of Marketing at OverDrive, in a press release today. “We are excited to be working with leading trade, educational and children’s publishers to reach our worldwide network of booksellers and institutions with enhanced and interactive eBooks.”
New enhanced eBook features coming soon include:
Synchronized Audiobooks and Text: Readers and students can select “Start Reading” to launch audiobook playback synchronized to each line or word in the eBook, which is highlighted as it is read. Synchronized eBook and audio titles provide access to the professionally recorded voice of the author or narrator as if the eBook and audiobook were published together.
Interactive Pages: OverDrive will also demonstrate test and quiz applications with real-time grading and answers. Other enhancements will demonstrate how games and learning interactions can motivate, instruct and reward readers as they progress through the pages of an educational title.
Fixed Layout Titles: Picture books and highly-stylized eBooks that deliver “true to print” presentations to readers for children’s titles as well for school titles with graphs and charts will be on display by OverDrive.
Multimedia: To support video, animations and sound embedded or linked from OverDrive-supported eBooks, the company is creating a series of “best practices” for immersive experiences for digital readers that ensure compatibility with OverDrive apps and reading products.
This initiative is the latest in a long line of recent features and upgrades, all designed to help libraries reach their patrons and meet their needs, while maintaining a cost effective measure to stay relevant in their communities.
As digital library lending continues to take root in public and school libraries, digital content solutions provider OverDrive has seen tremendous forward growth in the number of patron checkouts through libraries. Whereas it took the platform ten years to reach 100 million total checkouts, that number grew to 102 million checkouts in 2013 alone. This represents a 44% increase over last year alone.
OverDrive provided some key findings from data compiled over 2013:
- 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”
2014 will see OverDrive bring on support for enhanced ebook checkouts and other new features.
“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.”
UPDATE: The statistic “Library and school websites had 193 million visits to their OverDrive digital catalog, 1 million more than 2012” is incorrect. The correct statistic is, “Library and school websites had 193 million visits to their OverDrive digital catalog, up 107% from 2012.”
Overdrive and Penguin have announced residents of the US or Canada can now checkout eBooks from the library and have them sent directly to a Kindle, without the need of a USB. This move simplifies the entire process and makes Amazon owners not have to jump through a bunch of hoops to borrow and read books.
Last September Overdrive came to terms with Penguin to offer over 17,000 eBooks to be made available to libraries in the United States. The service was then rolled out into Canada in December and now there are close to 15,000 titles from Penguin can be ordered by public and college libraries.
Amazon currently controls over 75% of the e-reader market in the USA and Canada. The lifting of restrictions by Overdrive and Penguin makes sense from a device per capita point of view.
One of the big bright spots of digital books this year was the massive role libraries have played. The ALA in conjunction with Overdrive has been relentless in their pursuits to convince major publishers that books were not devalued when loaned out for free. Their efforts have brought on the big 5 publishing companies in either pilot projects or nationwide rollouts. This has set a new record as six different libraries have each loaned out over a million books.
The King County Library in Washington loaned out the most books this year with a total number of 1.6 million books, which was a 25% increase from 2012. The market leader in Canada was the Toronto Public library that loaned out 1.5 million, which was a 68% increase from last year. New York, Hennepin County, Cleland Public and Seattle Public all loaned out between 1.1 and 1 million eBooks each.
Part of Toronto Public Library’s marketing strategy this year included advertisements in subway and bus stations as well as using their OverDrive Media Station as a demonstration tool in local malls. OverDrive Media Station is a touchscreen kiosk that displays the library’s digital catalog, where users can browse, sample, place holds and send titles to their device of choice.
“We’re thrilled that we’ve made the Million Checkouts Club this year and we’re adding more content daily,” said Jane Pype, Toronto’s City Librarian. “We expect interest to grow even more in the years to come, particularly since more publishers have made their titles available, and it’s our hope that this trend will continue. We’re looking forward to seeing what next year brings for our readers of eBooks at Toronto Public Library.”
The one commonality factor that all of these libraries have in common is their relationship with Overdrive. They are the current market leader in audiobooks, eBooks and video content. They have set the standard in digital distribution, not only in the US, but Canada, Ireland, UK, and Australia. One huge growth area is China, which they formed a tentative partnership with and have promised entry into that market in mid-2014.
OverDrive, the world’s largest provider of digital content to academic and public libraries, announced a new partnership today that will increase its catalog of offered titles, specifically in key areas of business, science, and research. McGraw-Hill Professional, a widely respected provider of content and services for the medical, technical, and business communities, is making its list of books available for OverDrive’s 27,000 partner libraries. These libraries include both public and K-12 school libraries, as well as higher education libraries.
“McGraw-Hill Professional is committed to supporting libraries and making our world-renowned content easily available to patrons in multiple formats,” said Philip Ruppel, President of McGraw-Hill Professional, in a press release. “We are very pleased to work with OverDrive to help us reach students, professionals, and those seeking to advance their education or careers.”
“McGraw-Hill Professional titles represent the best of breed in every business and technical category of publishing,” continued Karen Estrovich, Manager of Collection Development at OverDrive. “Our library and school partners have been asking for their award-winning titles, and we are pleased to be able to make these valuable titles available now to students and patrons worldwide.”
According to a statement from OverDrive, this new partnership will make titles such as collections as 5 Steps to a 5 AP (test prep series), Practice Makes Perfect (foreign language study), Schaum’s Outline (study aid series), Mike Meyers’ CompTIA (technical certification series), and Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World’s Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees. High-demand bestsellers include The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley; Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, et al, McGraw-Hill’s 5 TEAS Practice Tests by Kathy Zahler; and Programming the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started in Python by Simon Monk, available to patrons of member libraries.
Throughout the recent controversy over inappropriate and explicit content being listed in ebook retail websites alongside children’s and middle grade titles, the same questions kept coming to the surface: how did this happen, and how do we prevent it? Unfortunately for the authors and publishers of much of the questionable content, the immediate solution was to block nearly all titles with adult themes. Two retailers shut down their ebookstores altogether, while Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo all removed titles that they felt were in danger of being found by young consumers.
While the content has been slowly replaced in a one-at-a-time fashion, statements from at least one retailer have announced the position that they are under no obligation to sell any titles that do not meet their standards for appropriateness. Another retailer, Amazon, has taken the steps to evaluate the keywords that self-published authors associate with their titles and has begun the process of removing ebooks whose metadata and keywords seem intentionally misleading.
But in order to protect consumers, OverDrive announced today that it has created an online children’s reading room for its partner libraries. The purpose of this cyber sphere is to provide a safe and vetted location for young patrons to enjoy all of the same features and benefits that other patrons can have through the main OverDrive portal.
“eBooks are not just for adults, and we believe this site will help us highlight some of the great children’s content that we have to offer,” said Sharon Grant, Digital Branch Manager at Kitsap Regional Library where the digital reading room was piloted. “More importantly, we believe this site will save people time because it effectively highlights books by reading levels, age groups and interests.”
According to the press release on the launch of this child-safe library environment, “The eReading Room is a safe environment for children, independent of the larger digital collection, yet easily accessible and fully integrated – seamlessly working with your existing catalog. OverDrive offers clean, friendly, simple design options and the choice of including juvenile and/or young adult fiction and nonfiction titles. All titles in the eReading Room are also cataloged by reading level, ATOS scores, and other reading metrics to help parents and teachers select titles to aid in literacy campaigns. Adults and kids can sample titles in OverDrive Read prior to checking out a title.”
Hopefully, efforts such as this one will be sufficient to protect the interests of all parties involved. While young readers should not be subjected to material that is willfully mislabeled with the express purpose of attracting children, authors who have taken the appropriate steps to put their content only in front of mature audiences should not suffer under the sweeping changes that retailers have had to make.
Overdrive revealed exclusively to Good e-Reader at Book Expo America their new streaming video platform that allows libraries to offer video in addition to eBooks and audiobooks. Today the first phase of their pilot project is finally getting off the ground at the Los Angeles Public Library.
The video service ties into libraries existing ILS systems and titles are available to purchase instantly. The video titles are housed on the same platform as all of your eBook, audiobook and music titles, creating a simple, one-location user experience for the patrons. This means, that users can watch the videos in the same app as they use to read eBooks.
When libraries purchase videos a large number of titles are available under a one copy/one user access plan. They also offer Streaming Video collections under simultaneous access plans. OverDrive will also support new metered access models for streaming video such as Cost per Checkout (CPC) as required by select studios.
“OverDrive’s Streaming Video service allows us to expand the library’s e-media offerings while dramatically improving convenience and our users’ experience,” says Peggy Murphy, Principal Librarian and Collection Services Manager. “For the user, it couldn’t be easier. There are no apps to install, no software to download – like they’re used to doing with OverDrive Read, they can just click on a title and instantly enjoy!”