Skip to content

The Walls Continue to Fall Down

This is an important announcement for those libraries that license and distribute audiobooks to their communities. If there are three things that I hear a lot in my travels it’s:
1. Libraries wanting audiobooks to be device independent
2. Libraries and users not wanting DRM on audiobooks
3. My seatmates on planes listening to audiobooks and proudly wanting to talk about them with quite a bit of excitement. There’s always surprised that their library might or does have them for just the time spent getting a library card. The biggest barrier is that they still think they have to go to the library to download. We have some “‘splainin to do Lucy!”
This step is a big step forward.
OverDrive to Distribute MP3 Audiobooks to Booksellers and Libraries
Download audiobooks compatible with iPod, Zune, and thousands of MP3 players

(Cleveland, OH) – March 19, 2008 – OverDrive® (, the leading digital book distributor to online retailers, libraries, and schools, announced today that it will expand its catalog of download audiobooks to include titles in MP3 format without DRM. Borders, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) will be the first bookseller to offer OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks without DRM at and at Digital Centers inside select Borders store locations. OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks will be compatible with nearly every MP3 player and mobile phone on the market including iPod, Zune, iPhone, and Creative Labs products.
OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks will go on sale in May at with thousands of best-selling titles from Random House Audio, Blackstone Audiobooks, Hachette Book Group, Books In Motion, plus dozens of other publishers. The new catalog of MP3 titles for retail will be added to OverDrive’s catalog of approximately 20,000 DRM-protected digital audiobooks and over 100,000 eBooks in popular formats.
“OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks will dramatically increase the market for download spoken word titles through our global retail network,” said Erica Lazzaro, OverDrive Senior Licensing Counsel. “Publishers, authors, and customers will benefit from MP3 compatibility of audiobooks with millions of mobile phones and MP3 players including the iPod.”
OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks are engineered for ease-of-use, convenient navigation, and simple transfer to portable players. Long unabridged audiobooks are divided into parts for easy access by both dial-up and broadband users, simple point-and-click transfer to portable players, and easy burning to CD. OverDrive Media Console, a free software program installed on more than 2 million PCs, is specifically designed for audiobooks and includes advanced listening features such as bookmarking and play speed control. OverDrive also plans to release OverDrive Media Console for Mac in conjunction with the launch of OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks.
Following the retail launch in May, a limited selection of OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks will be added to OverDrive’s extensive library network. OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks for library lending will include thousands of award-winning titles from Blackstone Audio, Books In Motion, CSA Word, and Audio Evolution, among others.
About OverDrive, Inc.
OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor and supplier of eBooks, audio books, music, and video. We deliver secure management, DRM protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and institutions (rights holders) and thousands of libraries, schools, retailers, and aggregators serving millions of end users. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH.
Media Contact:
David Burleigh
Director of Marketing
OverDrive, Inc.
216-573-6886 Ext 218

Posted on: March 21, 2008, 12:27 pm Category: Uncategorized

3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. At ACPL (Allen County Public Library – Fort Wayne, IN) have been furiously training to help patrons use the new Overdrive audiobooks that will go live for us during National Library week, Apr.13-19. We are so excited about this!!
    Thanks for all the tips you share.

  2. Joan Perlman said

    I’m delighted with the news about audiobooks without DRM. There are so many people in our community with iPods and iPhones who have not been about to use library resources. Also, it was great workshop at NSLS two weeks ago. And, thanks for sharing your tips and thoughts.

  3. The Borders DRM free MP3 audio books site went live today. Check it out and give us your feedback.