Digital distributor OverDrive plans to update its audiobook download services to allow users instant access to titles, the company announced Wednesday. Starting later this year, streaming audiobooks from OverDrive will be available on smartphones, tablets, and computers. This instant access to audiobooks will eliminate long download times at libraries and schools throughout the OverDrive network.
The new service—dubbed “Listen Now”—will complement existing download options already in use via the OverDrive Media Console app, which will allow users access to complete titles and enable them to sample audio excerpts before downloading titles.
“OverDrive is continuously seeking to improve user experience and add convenient options [for users] to enjoy, browse and sample eBooks, audiobooks, and other digital media from the library,” said David Burleigh, director of marketing at OverDrive. “Streaming audiobooks brings instant access and a smooth user experience to library patrons and students.”
According to OverDrive, streaming audiobooks will add value to library audiobook collections, enforce copyright laws, and support permitted lending models. At the end of the borrowing period, access to streaming audio titles will expire.
Streaming audiobook samples will also be available to libraries via OverDrive Media Stations, which provide access to digital content on touchscreen monitors and public Internet workstations.
As part of June Is Audiobook Month, OverDrive is also offering schools and libraries discounts on thousands of audio titles, including thousands of half-price titles from Blackstone Audio and Tantor Media.