OverDrive Sees Meteoric Growth in Library eBook Demand

OverDrive has just released its activity  stats for the yer 2011, and they’re doing even better than some publishers. Twice as many people visited their digital library in 2011 as in 2010, and they viewed over 1.6 billion eBook listings.

Over 35 million titles were checked out in 2011, with another 17 million placed on hold. All this activity is drawn from the OverDrive catalog for libraries, which now includes 700 thousand copyrighted eBook, audiobook, and media titles in over 50 languages, with 300,000 titles added in 2011.

App users (Android, iOS, Windows) nearly doubled in 2011 (6 million to 11 million), and now account for 22% of all checkouts. The other 78% are spread cross a diverse group of devices, including the Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, and others.

Unfortunately, I am not sure that OverDrive will have similar success in the coming year. Publishers re growing increasingly hostile to OverDrive. Only yesterday Penguin decided to stop distributing audiobooks to OD. Late last year Penguin also decided to withdraw their eBooks, and they were not the first. A couple other major publishers won’t allow library eBooks, either (Hatchette, S&S).