Library Technology Guides

Company Directory

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: 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 Jen Leitman
Jen Leitman
Chief Marketing Officer
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 enables Discoverability of books and ebooks on the web. May 2022. Library Technology Newsletter. OverDrive has been a longstanding partner with Google to facilitate the discoverability of ebooks and audiobooks available from libraries. As the leading provider of digital collection materials to public libraries, its efforts have a large impact on the visibility of libraries on the web. Persons can borrow Ebooks and audiobooks from their library's OverDrive collection via Google search results. When searching for a book on Google, results will usually offer a knowledge panel presenting additional information about the title, along with action buttons for buying a copy or borrowing from a library. When available as an ebook or audiobook from a nearby library that offers the title, the Borrow action connects the user directly its page in the library's OverDrive collection.

Breeding, Marshall. OverDrive launches Patron Engagement Tools. March 2022. Library Technology Newsletter. OverDrive, a major provider of digital media services for libraries, has launched OverDrive Hub, a set of tools designed to provide new channels of communication with library patrons, along with additional analytics to measure use and engagement.

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. 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

February 21, 2024. Readers embark on emotional journey through US-wide book club. Readers across the United States are joining tens of thousands of booklovers nationwide by participating in the annual Together We Read US digital book club. From February 21-March 6, booklovers can enjoy Terah Shelton Harris's thought-provoking debut novel about family, redemption and unconditional love, One Summer in Savannah, as an ebook and audiobook for free. Readers can access the digital book from their public library with no waitlists or holds by downloading the Libby app. They may also participate in an online discussion with other readers throughout the country. The Together We Read US digital book club connects readers through thousands of U.S. public libraries with a featured ebook for two weeks and only requires a valid library card to get started. During the program, readers can participate in engaging online discussions about the book. This free program is facilitated by the library and OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for ebooks, audiobooks and magazines and creator of the award-winning Libby app.


January 26, 2024. Coming soon to a device near you: Big Movie Watch. For ten years, readers have been coming together for our ebook club, Big Library Read. Now, Kanopy users at libraries in the United States and Canada can share their love for film with Big Movie Watch! Kanopy's new film club is available for US and Canadian libraries on a pay-per-use program as well as those with PLUS only accounts. What's Love Got to Do with It? will be added to PLUS-only accounts for the duration of the program at no cost to the library.


January 18, 2024. TeachingBooks launches Book Resumes at LibLearnX to help librarians save time. TeachingBooks, the leading source for supplemental educational materials that “bring books to life,” is showcasing the new Book Resumes toolkit during the 2024 American Library Association's Library Learning Experience conference. LibLearnX attendees can learn more by visiting TeachingBooks in the OverDrive booth #1129 at the Baltimore Convention Center between January 20-22, 2024. Designed to address the changes and challenges to workflows for Juvenile and Young Adult collection development, Book Resumes help librarians and educators address the critical question, “Is this book right for my collection?”


January 11, 2024. 152 libraries exceed one million checkouts of digital content in 2023. Librarians investing in digital collections for the past year delivered new levels of service to all readers in their communities. In 2023, a record number 152 library systems and consortia in seven countries, from 41 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces each loaned more than one million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines for readers all ages and interests. Readers benefited from libraries' partnership with OverDrive as well as the increased adoption and use of Libby, the award-winning library reading app. The 152 public libraries are the highest performing of 22,000 in the OverDrive network, and are based in the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Germany.


January 4, 2024. Libraries achieve record-breaking circulation of digital media in 2023. Librarians and educators achieved new milestones in 2023 by providing increasingly robust streaming options to satisfy the interests of all ages and audiences. Readers worldwide borrowed 662 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines, a 19 percent increase over 2022. This growth was driven by a regular cadence of new release blockbuster titles, as well as new Libby reading app features and cost-effective access models. Streaming video through libraries and colleges on Kanopy also reached a record 23 million plays. Aggregated data was reported by OverDrive, the leading digital content platform for 92,000 libraries and schools in 115 countries worldwide. 2023 also marked the award-winning Libby app's one billionth digital book checkout. Due to the outreach efforts of 22,000 public libraries around the globe, more than 9 million people installed the Libby app in 2023 and became new library users, signaling the continued expansion of library services both inside and outside the branch.


December 14, 2023. Colleen Hoover, Rebecca Yarros and Prince Harry dominate public libraries' top digital book titles of 2023. This year's list of the most popular books in public libraries was dominated by romance novels and memoirs from three bestselling authors that whisk readers away to other worlds. Based on circulation figures from millions of readers in 18,000 public libraries in North America on the award-winning Libby reading app, Colleen Hoover, Rebecca Yarros and Prince Harry led in multiple categories for the top books borrowed in 2023. Libby provides free access to public libraries' collections of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and graphic novels, and was created by OverDrive, the leading digital content platform for libraries and schools worldwide.<


November 2, 2023. Libraries get into the spirit with worldwide digital book club. Readers around the globe are enjoying a “coming-of-age story of family and the supernatural” for free during Big Library Read, the world's largest digital book club. From November 2-16, booklovers with a valid public library card join thousands of others around the globe in borrowing Olivia Stephens's Artie and the Wolf Moon from their public library. Library card holders may read the ebook, audiobook or ebook with audio for free without waitlists or holds on the Libby app, then discuss online. The program is facilitated by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for popular ebooks, audiobooks and magazines and creator of the Libby app.


October 20, 2023. TeachingBooks and Sora Reading App Make It Easier and More Affordable to Support Early Literacy. As schools nationwide increasingly turn to evidence-based strategies for early literacy, TeachingBooks and OverDrive Education announced new services and products to address instructional needs. Discovery tools that classify popular picture books for phonics instruction and the Supersonic Phonics & Decodables package for PreK-grade 4 make it easier and more affordable to support early literacy initiatives. The ebooks are available to schools using Sora, the award-winning student reading app.


October 17, 2023. German libraries achieve three million digital book checkouts with OverDrive. German library users have fallen in love with the Libby library reading app. The highly rated, all-in-one library reading app for ebooks, audiobooks and magazines is used by over 400 German public libraries and was created by OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries worldwide. Through 30 September, libraries have loaned three million digital titles in 2023, which represents an increase of 46 percent year-over-year. Publishers are benefiting from the increased visibility of their books and direct spend from libraries, which has increased 25 percent over the same period. One factor contributing to the library success is Leselounge mit Libby, a countrywide digital book club that emphasizes not just reading, but community and shared experiences. In March 2023, nearly 4,000 library patrons read the selected Leselounge mit Libby title through Libby, which boasts a 4.8 average rating in the Apple App Store and was named both Apple and Google Play Editor's Choice.


July 25, 2023. OverDrive appoints Jennifer Leitman as first Chief Marketing Officer. OverDrive announced the appointment of Jennifer Leitman as its first Chief Marketing Officer. Leitman will unify marketing efforts across the company, raising brand awareness and engagement for the company's industry-leading platforms and apps, including OverDrive Marketplace, Libby, Sora, Kanopy and TeachingBooks. In this new role, she reports to OverDrive founder and CEO Steve Potash and also joins the company's Executive Team.


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.

Nov 25, 2008 Kanopy founded by Olivia Humphrey

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