Overdrive has announced that later in 2017 they are unveiling a Cost-per-Circulation system that schools and libraries can utilize. This new initiative will allow libraries to offer a greater amount of digital content on their websites and via the Overdrive app and only incur a charge when a reader borrows a title.
The greater benefit of this new access model is that it’s just one more option for libraries and schools. They can mix their collections with a variety of access models – from one copy/one user, metered access to simultaneous use and soon Cost-per-Circ for eBooks and audiobooks – depending on the title, expected demand, and budget. Major publishing houses such as Simon & Schuster Audio with a selection of their audiobook catalog, Baker Publishing, Lerner Publishing and many more will make their catalogs available in Cost-per-Circ in addition to one copy/one user. With PDA models including Recommend to Library, Demand-Driven Acquisition and now Cost-per-Circ, libraries and schools will be able to more efficiently manage their digital book collections and target specific areas of their community by giving them more control of the books they purchase. For example, this model can complement school libraries’ existing models by adding a large collection of non-English or other independent titles for personalized learning.
Overdrive is launching this new system in order to offer a compelling alternative to Hoopla, who pioneered pay-per-use or what Overdrive is billing as Cost-per-Circ. In a few short years Hoopla went from a handful of libraries doing business with them to over 900. Libraries certainly dig being able to offer a huge collection of audiobooks and e-books and not have to pay for them individually, the libraries only pay when a patron borrows the title. Acquisition and Collection Managers like this system because they can establish certain threshold, so they do not go over budget. For example, a library can enter a budget of $10,000 a month and once the budget has been exceeded, the titles disappear until the next month.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.