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OverDrive

This dashboard brings together data, trends, news, and other resources from Library Technology Guides describing the organization, its executive leadership, personnel employed, business history, as well as related features and news articles.

Connect to the OverDrive website

One OverDrive Way
Cleveland, Ohio 44125
United States
Phone: 216-573-6886
Web site: https://company.overdrive.com/
Email:

Executive Leadership

photo of Richard Sarnoff
Richard Sarnoff
Board Chairman and Partner KKR
photo of Steve  Potash
Steve Potash
President and Chief Executive Officer
photo of Lori Franklin
Lori Franklin
Chief Operating Officer
photo of Greg Farmer
Greg Farmer
Chief Financial Officer
photo of Jeff Sterling
Jeff Sterling
Chief Technology Officer
photo of Erica Lazzaro
Erica Lazzaro
Executive Vice President, Publisher Services and General Counsel
photo of Ryan Fish
Ryan Fish
Executive Vice President, Product Management

Company Ownership

Overdrive has been owned by KKR since June 2020

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions for OverDrive

Documents or articles featuring OverDrive

Breeding, Marshall. Overdrive Sale Has Closed. July 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The February 2020 issue of Smart Library Newsletter featured the proposed transfer of ownership of OverDrive from Rakuten to investment firm KKR. This transaction, initiated in December 2019, closed in early June 2020.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive to Change Ownership. February 2020. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OverDrive, the largest commercial provider of e-books and other digital content to libraries, issued a Christmas Eve announcement of its pending change in ownership. The company's current owner Rakuten has entered into a definitive agreement to sell OverDrive to KKR, a major US-based investment firm. As digital lending continues its steady rise, this news sparks interest and raises questions for the library community.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrives New Owners: What It Means. December 2020. American Libraries. OverDrive, the largest commercial provider of ebooks and other digital content to libraries, issued a surprise announcement on December 24 about a pending change in its ownership. The company’s current owner Rakuten—a Japanese online retailing company—has entered a definitive agreement to sell OverDrive to KKR, a major US-based investment firm. This news on the digital lending front has sparked considerable interest and raised numerous questions from the library community.

Breeding, Marshall. Developments in E-book Lending Technologies. June 2013. Smart Libraries Newsletter. The support of e-book lending stands as one of the crucial technology issues for public libraries. The initial phase of library e-book lending was mostly based on acquiring titles from one or more e-book providers and then delivering users to platforms provided by those vendors for selection, check-out, and downloading titles to e-reading devices. Libraries naturally want to provide a similar service for e-books as they offer for their print collections. General expectations would include the ability to develop a collection shaped according to the interests and research needs of its community and for library patrons to borrow e-books without cost, for reasonable loan periods, and with protected privacy. Yet, fulfilling ideal expectations for library e-book lending services continues to face a number of obstacles. From a technology perspective, challenges lie in simplifying the way that patrons can select, check-out, and download items. On the business and legal front, only portions of the collective e-book universe are available to libraries to purchase for their lending programs, and in many cases higher costs per title apply and possibly limitations on lending terms. The developments seen in recent months reflect ongoing progress in each of these areas.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive Prepares to Release API for E-Book Lending Integration. May 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. Until now, OverDrive has delivered its service through its own hosted platform, taking advantage of the limited capabilities of established protocols such as SIP2, Remote Patron Authentication, to integrate its services into third-party applications. In response to the increasing demand for interoperability and integration, OverDrive has announced its plans to deliver a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to allow the developers of other related products, typically integrated library systems, online catalogs, mobile app developers, or discovery interfaces, to incorporate OverDrive's e-book discovery, lending, and management functionality. These APIs will be available to libraries that partner with OverDrive and to approved third-party vendors.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive acquires Booki.sh. May 2012. Smart Libraries Newsletter. OverDrive announced in March 2012 that it had acquired the Australia-based company Booki.sh, a portfolio project of Inventive Labs, a small consulting and software development firm founded by Joseph Pearson and Virginia Murdoch. Following the acquisition of Booki.sh, the remaining consulting business will combine with Icelab, another Web consulting firm.

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News Announcements

June 9, 2021. OverDrive to acquire video streaming service Kanopy. OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, announced today that it is acquiring Kanopy, a leading video streaming service for public and academic libraries. The acquisition of Kanopy will bring one of the industry's most-acclaimed video catalogs to the OverDrive platform to better serve public and academic libraries around the world. Kanopy provides academic institutions and public libraries with an award-winning catalog of over 30,000 highly curated films. Kanopy is used by millions of students and library patrons and is available on all major web, mobile and TV platforms.


April 28, 2021. OverDrive adds new content categories for libraries. OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, announced the expansion of its industry-leading catalog to include new categories of digital content. In addition to ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines, libraries can now supplement their digital collections with a wide variety of content that entertains, educates and provides unique digital experiences. These new Databases & Streaming Media services are available to OverDrive's network of 22,000 public, academic and corporate library partners worldwide and available to patrons through the award-winning Libby app.


April 27, 2021. OverDrive Founder and CEO Receives 2020 Dively Entrepreneur Award. Harvard Business School Club of Northeastern Ohio named OverDrive founder and CEO Steve Potash the recipient of the 2020 Dively Entrepreneur Award. The George S. Dively Entrepreneurship Award is presented annually to an individual or company in Northeast Ohio based on substantial success as an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial company. It also spotlights a history of innovation, solid financial performance, and achievements in the marketplace.


April 6, 2021. OverDrive Celebrates National Library Week with the Marvel Universe. In support of National Library Week, OverDrive partnered with Marvel to create nine original images depicting many of Marvel's most famous characters sharing their love of (digital) reading and libraries.


March 31, 2021. Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden to Keynote OverDrive’s International Conference. OverDrive, the leading supplier of ebooks, audiobooks and other digital media to a global network of schools, public libraries, government and corporate knowledge centers, announced that Dr. Carla Hayden will present the day 1 keynote at Digipalooza '21, August 3-5, 2021. Since 2006, Digipalooza has been the leading industry event bringing together a global community of librarians, educators, publishers and technologists sharing insights, trends and best practices for expanding access for all communities and readers. Digipalooza 21 will be held as a virtual three half-day online event featuring programming and networking opportunities throughout.


February 10, 2021. Readers Across the US Fall in Love with Nationwide Digital Book Club. Nearly 16,000 public libraries and tens of thousands of readers across the United States join together to enjoy the latest Together We Read: US digital book club selection. From February 10 to 24, readers with a valid library card can borrow and discuss author Kate Clayborn's award-winning witty romance ebook and audiobook, Love Lettering, for free with no waitlists or holds. Readers can access the digital book by downloading the award-winning Libby app and then participate in an online discussion.


January 22, 2021. New choice report studies academic collection development, reveals shift to ebooks. As digital books become more essential in colleges and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, academic librarians are adopting the ebook format at a vastly accelerated rate. To better understand ebook collection development in academic libraries, Choice, a publishing unit of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), conducted a research study to shine a much-needed light on the ways academic libraries are responding to the increased demand for digital content. Highlights include data showing that ebooks are an established part of academic library collections, many academic librarians' overarching acquisition model favors ebooks over print and both libraries and patrons have fully integrated ebooks into their workflows and practices.


January 12, 2021. Over 100 Public Libraries Exceed 1 Million Digital Book Checkouts in 2020. A record 102 public library systems from around the world empowered readers to borrow over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks from their digital collections in 2020. This represents the most systems ever to reach this milestone through OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform. Contributing factors include increased digital book usage due to the pandemic, elevated interest in social justice titles and BIPOC authors and strong circulation growth for children's and young adult titles because of remote learning.


January 7, 2021. 33% growth for digital books from public libraries and schools in 2020 sets records. Librarians and educators achieved record levels of digital book circulation in 2020. Readers worldwide borrowed 430 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines in the past 12 months, a 33% increase over 2019. This significant growth was influenced by the pandemic, social justice and remote learning. Data was reported by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for 65,000 libraries and schools worldwide.


December 15, 2020. OverDrive Education Announces Top Ebooks, Audiobooks Downloaded by Students from K-12 Schools In 2020. With K-12 students accessing digital books more than ever due to remote learning, OverDrive Education announced the most-read ebooks and audiobooks worldwide in 2020. Data is based on usage of ebooks and audiobooks from 38,000 schools in 71 countries. OverDrive Education, the leading digital reading platform for schools, reported tens of millions of digital books were borrowed and read on the Sora student reading app, nearly triple the total in 2019.


View All OverDrive News Announcements

Corporate Chronology

Jun 09, 2021 OverDrive to acquire video streaming service Kanopy
OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide, announced today that it is acquiring Kanopy, a leading video streaming service for public and academic libraries.

Jun 23, 2020 OverDrive to acquire RBdigital library buisiness from RBmedia
OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, announced today that it is acquiring the assets of RBmedia's library business, including the RBdigital platform in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

May 09, 2020 KKR acquires of OverDrive
OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, today announced the completion of its acquisition by KKR, a leading global investment firm. In December 2019, KKR announced that it had agreed to acquire OverDrive from Rakuten.

Mar 2015 OverDrive acquired by Rakuten
OverDrive, the leading eBook, audiobook and streaming video platform for libraries and schools, announced it entered into an agreement to be acquired by Rakuten Inc., one of the world’s largest Internet services companies. Insight Venture Partners has been the majority shareholder of OverDrive since 2010. OverDrive will operate as a subsidiary of Rakuten USA and will work closely with other Rakuten companies. Rakuten companies provide a variety of consumer and business-focused services including eReading (Kobo), e-commerce (Rakuten.com, formerly buy.com, and Ebates), instant messaging (Viber), and others in the US, Canada and around the world.

Mar 05, 2013 OverDrive acquires Australian eBook company Booki.sh
OverDrive announced it has acquired Australian eBook company Booki.sh. Booki.sh is the developer of a cloud-based platform for distributing, selling and reading popular eBooks from anywhere and on any device with a modern web browser. Booki.sh founders and principals Joseph Pearson, Virginia Murdoch and Peter Haasz will join OverDrive from their existing offices in Melbourne to expand the global distributor’s publishing, library and school initiatives.

Oct 18, 2010 Insight Venture Partners acquires majority ownership of OverDrive
OverDrive announced that Insight Venture Partners, a leading private equity firm focused on technology companies, has made a major investment in the company.

May 2003 OverDrive launches its service for library e-book lending
OverDrive launches its service for library e-book lending. Cleveland Public Library and King County Library System are early implementors.

2001 OverDrive launches Content Reserve digital marketplace

1986 OverDrive is founded by Steve Potash