Strong Growth for Ebooks in Libraries in 2014

2015-01-12

Overdrive is a large-scale ebook distribution system that powers many libraries and educational institutions in North America and Europe. The company reports that 2014 was another record year for its ebook business: in 2014, ebook checkouts in libraries and schools increased 33% from 2013. The total number of ebook checkouts was 137 million in 2014.
overdrive ebook system at helmet library
Two trends can be highlighted from the 2014 statistics provided by Overdrive. Mobile devices – primarily tablets and smartphones – have quickly become the dominant reading platform. Majority of ebook checkouts already take place on mobile devices. Reading of ebooks continues to grow strongly, even though in the U.S., ebook sales is growing only moderately after multiple years of hyper growth.

Total digital titles borrowed from libraries & schools: 137 million (+33% over 2013)
Tablets and smartphones now account for 52% of all checkouts
Mobile devices account 64% of all traffic (+100% over 2013)
Percentage of visits on tablet (43%), smartphone (21%), desktop (36% – down from 48% in 2013),
eBook circulation: 105 million (+32%)
Digital Audiobook circulation: 32 million (+38%)
Streaming video circulation (+46%)
OverDrive Read circulation (+124%)

The most popular nonfiction titles borrowed from Overdrive-powered libraries in 2014 were:

Adult nonfiction eBook: Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand, Random House Publishing Group
Adult nonfiction audiobook: Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand, Books on Tape
Children/YA nonfiction eBook: Heaven is for Real for Kids, Todd Burpo, Thomas Nelson


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