Bibliotheca has launched a new streaming entertainment service for libraries under the brand biblio+. This service addresses the complications and complexities associated with many of the existing library-oriented video services. Libraries pay an “unlimited access fee” for unlimited access to a wide selection of content. This fee is not tied to the volume of use by their patrons either in terms of simultaneous use of a title or the total number of titles viewed.
The service is free to library patrons, supported by access fees paid by their library. Biblio+ does not present advertisements to patrons.
Library patrons gain access to movies offered by biblio+ through signing in with their library card number. The biblio+ app is available for IOS, Android, and Smart TVs, such as Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, and Roku. The service can be accessed from a computer through biblioplus.com.
The development of biblio+ has been led by Stephane Richard, Senior Vice President for Movie and Streaming Products of biblio+, a new business unit of Bibliotheca. Richard previously served as Chief Product Officer for Kanopy (2016-2019). Oliver Martin is the Chief Product Officer for Bibliotheca and oversees biblio+.
The biblio+ collection focuses on entertainment, including a wide selection of movies. The catalog offers over 2,000 movies and will likely increase to over 5,000 in the next year. A comparison with Netflix puts the size of the biblio+ collection into perspective. According to MarketWatch, Netflix offered 3,849 movies in January 2020, down from about 6,500 in 2014.2
Bibliotheca launched its biblio+ service in November 2021 and is currently fulfilling requests for pricing, trails, and early subscriptions.
The company has also developed a new integrated content distribution platform, branded as uniFi+. This new technology, developed specifically for libraries, integrates with self-check kiosks, remote lockers, public computers, digital signage, and other devices to distribute content across library locations to patron-facing screens and equipment. UniFi+ is available to libraries in all the global regions it serves.
Bibliotheca Corporate Background
Bibliotheca is a major company offering a diverse range of products, including access and security systems, remote patron community solutions, self-service hardware and software, automated material handling, RFID, barcode, and electromagnetic technologies as well as the cloudLibrary digital lending platform. The biblio+ streaming media platform complements Bibliotheca's cloudLibrary platform for library lending of ebooks, audiobooks, comics, and magazines.
Bibliotheca was formed in 2011 through the acquisition of Bibliotheca RFID Library Systems based in Switzerland, Intellident based in the United Kingdom, and Integrated Library Group based in the United States, by One Equity Partners and merged them into a global company providing RFID technologies, self-service, and automated material handling equipment. Bibliotheca continued to expand with the acquisition of Tron Library Systems in 2012 and Alturis Group in 2015. In 2015 Bibliotheca acquired the Library Systems division of 3M, which substantially expanded its market share in the self-service and inventory security arena and provided an entry into the ebook lending sector through the cloudLibrary service. Over the course of the last decade, Bibliotheca has streamlined its product lines acquired from its incumbent businesses and unified its branding. Figure 1 illustrates Bibliotheca's mergers and acquisitions.
Its products take an increasingly comprehensive reach into libraries, spanning the management of physical inventory and the provision of digital content. The recently launched biblio+ streaming video platform complements cloudLibrary and strengthens its position as a provider of digital content services for public libraries.
The company saw a major change in its executive management team in January 2020, with the appointment of Ray Hood as Chief Executive Officer, Fred Gattelaro as Chief Operations Officer, Michael Burstein as Chief Financial Officer, and Oliver Martin as Chief Product Officer. Since the installation of the new executive team, the company has accelerated product development and created a suite of integrated products that form a technology ecosystem which serves libraries and their patrons.
Bibliotheca currently employs a workforce of 360 people, has a presence in 22 countries, and has products in over 30,000 libraries.