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OverDrive to "Acquire" Part of RBmedia

Overdrive just announced they are "buying" part of RBmedia RBdigital, although given that both companies are owned by KKR, this is really more of a reorganization than an acquisition.

 OverDrive is acquiring the assets of RBmedia’s library business, including the RBdigital platform in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia.

The acquisition of RBdigital will bring enhanced content and features to the OverDrive platform, enabling it to better serve the needs of libraries around the world, including access to new release Recorded Books audiobooks. Moreover, OverDrive will be exploring the addition of popular RBdigital services like digital magazines from ZINIO to the OverDrive platform. As the owner of both RBmedia and OverDrive, KKR is uniquely positioned to facilitate this transaction and help bring libraries the best solutions possible.

"Combining the RBdigital library business with OverDrive’s industry-leading technologies will greatly benefit libraries and their readers worldwide," said Steve Potash, founder and CEO of OverDrive. "We’re proud to enhance our value proposition for libraries by delighting readers with this new content on the award-winning Libby and Sora reading apps."

Basically what this deal means is that RBmedia RBdigital will continue to be a distributor for the consumer market, while OverDdrive will serve the library market. There’s no word yet on how this will affect Overdrive’s whitelabel retail ebookstore platform, but there doesn’t appear to be any conflict  or overlap with RBmedia RBdigital, so there’s no reason they cannot coexist.

KKR bought RBmedia RBdigital in late 2018, and bought Overdrive in late 2019.

image by JuliaC2006 via Flickr

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Anonymous July 12, 2020 um 11:04 pm

Personally as a librarian I think this is a mistake. Overdrive holds lists get way too long, books are costly to keep up, so selection was better for RBdigital and patrons liked going to RBdigital to escape the holds list. It was also more feasible cost wise to keep up RBdigital. I think this will destroy value not create it but time will tell.

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