Overdrive bought the library unit of RBdigital last year, which meant that all of their audiobooks and magazines would be available on the platform. Many libraries had their patrons download multiple apps in order to read or listen to digital content, but this is not the case anymore. Thousands of libraries are now making blog posts, sending out newsletters and starting public awareness campaigns that they are transitioning away from RBdigital and Zinio and only doing business with Overdrive and their Libby app.
Libby is compatible with all major computers and devices, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets and Chromebook. Through Libby, readers can also “send to Kindle” (U.S. only). All titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Readers can also download titles onto Libby for offline use. Named one of PCMag’s Best Free Software of 2019 and one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, Libby is one of the best apps on the market.
Libraries are sending out mixed messages to their patrons about the switch from RBdigital to Overdrive. Some are saying it is a quality of life upgrade, others are saying its a strategic move. In any case, Overdrive bought the library unit from RBDigital, so Overdrive is now the kingpin of digital distribution. Their only remaining competitors are Hoopla and the Cloud Library. In a couple of weeks the RBdigital platform and app will be retired.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.