OverDrive Inc. has a long history of providing free content to the public. In 1986, they entered the industry by distributing CD-ROM products. Since 2000, the company has solely focused on electronic content. Today they distribute music, videos, eBooks, and audiobooks. OverDrive Inc. works with more than 5,000 publishers and 30,000 libraries. They help people find content through their local library. To use OverDrive Inc., you just log onto their website and enter your location. From there, they will show you locations in your area you can pull online material from. These locations include schools and libraries. Once you find a provider in your area, you can begin to search for books. You can also work backwards and look for audiobooks on their website, and then see if they are available to rent through a local library. Because you are essentially renting an audio or ebook from the library, you will probably have to place items on hold and wait for them to be ready to borrow. You enter your email and are notified when the book is available. Most libraries will not tell you how long the wait is. 

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The Good

  • Impressive stats
  • Free to rent
  • High app rating

OverDrive Inc. has several impressive stats, and there are several reasons why the experts at TBC would recommend them:

  • They have more than 2 million premium digital titles
  • They work with 5,000 publishers
  • They work with 300,000 libraries
  • They have content available in over 64 languages
  • High-rated iOS and Android apps (4.5/5 stars)

The most important thing to note about OverDrive Inc. is that content is free to rent. Although you can't keep any of the material you listen to, you do have access to popular and old titles to rent whenever you want.

OverDrive Inc.'s Android and iOS app have an average rating of 4.5/5 stars. Listeners like that they can download content without having to connect to the internet, that it's simple and clean to use, and the features.

The Bad

  • Titles vary by location
  • Limited selection

Even though OverDrive Inc. publishes that they have more than 2 million titles, the titles you can access vary by location. On top of that, the number of audiobooks available is only a fraction of that number. Our location had just over 8,000 audiobooks available for renters. Overall, this is a lot less than competitors, but about the same as other free services.

While the site is aesthetically pleasing and generally easy to use, there is a learning curve. You have to figure out which libraries in your area offer the widest selection. Even then, there are many books they advertise on their site that may not be available in your area.

The Bottom Line

OverDrive Inc. is perfect for people who want to rent audiobooks for free. It also helps if those people live near, and have access to, a library with a large collection of content. If you plan on renting books through this service, you will have to wait for material to become available, just like you would have to at a library. If you are the type of person who want books instantly, and wants to keep books afterward, OverDrive Inc. is not for you.

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User Reviews

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Kimmi
November 20th, 2019 Riverton, UT

I have used this in conjunction with my local library. It is easy to check out books. They automatically are returned if you choose not to return them earlier. I wish there were more books offered.

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June 11th, 2019 Logan, UT DETAILS
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Fairly easy to use. The interfaces recently updated and was helpful love listening to books

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Ken Francis
June 11th, 2019 Provo, UT

It has been a very useful free service. It isn't super user friendly and there aren't as many books as I'd like but it's good for being free.

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jasmin
November 27th, 2018 Springfield, VA

so simple to navigate and great to use! keep it up!

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Paula Henrie
August 28th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Overdrive inc. is such an amazing business. You get the access to read book for no charge! All you need is a library card or a student ID.

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Suzan Herskowitz
August 20th, 2018 Winchester, VA

I like Overdrive. I found it difficult to navigate at first and the app even harder to navigate. I started using Libby as an app and that is very user friendly. I wish the search function was more robust. I wish my library had a better selection of books (less romance and more NYT and Wash Post bestsellers for example). I wish they had more than 1 copy of an electronic Kindle book. The 6 month waits are ridiculous. I realize that this is not an OverDrive issue though but the consortium's issue.

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Nathan Johnson
August 6th, 2018 Palmyra, PA

Great app. I use it to borrow & download audio books from my local library. Works seamlessly.

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Abby Nelson
August 1st, 2018 Provo, UT

I love this app! Being able to check out books from the library at home in this app is fantastic!! It saves me time, gives me more access to books. It's brilliant really.

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Marilyn Greer
July 24th, 2018 Saint George, UT

I love OverDrive because I can listen to books for free but it takes a long time to get the books I want and the website is difficult to use.

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Sara Jane
July 17th, 2018 Crestwood, KY DETAILS
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We use overdrive through the public library. Great service! The iPhone app makes it very convenient.

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Boston Whipple
July 17th, 2018 Provo, UT

I have really enjoyed using OverDrive. There are some titles not available but I have been able to add several libraries and can usually find the books I want. I like that there you can listen at double time and I have listened to dozens of books without any issues.

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Diana Melnyk
June 25th, 2018

I use Overdrive all the time through my local library! I love the ease of getting a book to read without leaving the house!

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Jani Crawley
June 12th, 2018 New York, NY

Love OverDrive and have used it for years. Great way to get free library ebooks and audio books on my phone or ipad. Platform is a little hard to figure out initially, but then it is very easy.

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Madge Easton
June 11th, 2018 Orem, UT

After I got overdrive set up with my city library it was a snap to use. I have listened to a few books and was surprised at how many book were available to listen to.

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CAROLE SCOVILLE
June 11th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

Overdrive it's so complicated to use and it's so hard to login. All the books that I want to read are always checked out. I do not like it at all.

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Amy Crawley
June 5th, 2018 Draper, UT

Very easy to check out and in books. Really enjoy the flexibility of the platform.

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Brooke Hester
June 5th, 2018 Gilbert, AZ DETAILS
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Love how easy it is to find the books and super good books too.

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Sadie Scoville
June 5th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT

This is so complicated to use and it takes forever to login. Every time I want to check out a book they only have about 2 options and then I can never read on overdrive.

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Avery Fowler
May 29th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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I like using this with my library, but I can never seem to get the books I want because they are always checked out.

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Noelle
May 29th, 2018 Pleasant Grove, UT DETAILS
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Love this audiobook company. So easy to find things too.

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Alex Lewis
May 1st, 2018 Salt Lake City, UT DETAILS
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I love using OverDrive! It has been a game changer for me because now I can get audiobooks straight to my phone which means I can listen to them while I drive and it's all completely free! I can also get books to my Kindle for the times that I just want to read instead of listen. The app is very user friendly and easy to learn. They've had almost every single book I have looked up and I always get it in a timely manner. It's a must have for me!

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Cathy Gordon
May 1st, 2018 West Chester, OH

I love being able to download audible books from my library!!

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Rebecca
April 30th, 2018 Provo, UT

I love OverDrive! It is an easy way to keep up on reading all my favorite books while doing work and home assignments and chores! :) I have read some of my favorite books using OverDrive.

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Justin Ashby
April 25th, 2018 Portland, OR DETAILS
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I feel like it is fairly clunky. Although the end result seems to work, I never really feel confident navigating the service at all. It's certainly nice that it's free!

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Larry Hawker
April 24th, 2018 Las Vegas, NV DETAILS
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I really enjoy your service. What a great idea. And it helps support local libraries. I also really like the ability to speed up the reading. Keep up the innovation!

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Robyn Rhoton
April 24th, 2018 Alpine, UT DETAILS
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I work as a librarian and we use OverDrive in our school. I find the app easy to use and to teach the students. The system works well even if you use several different libraries. The cost of the books is similar to that of other systems but I still try to shop the sales.

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Carolee AhPing
April 16th, 2018 Heber, UT

I like overdrive because it's free through the library. They have a decent selection and they notify you when books become available. Not bad for free!

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Tiffany
December 19th, 2017 Phoenix, AZ DETAILS
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I LOVE OverDrive! It is easy to get Audiobooks and you don't have to worry about the hassle of running to the Library to pick up a copy. No more worrying about discs being scratched and skipping so you miss part of the story. It automatically returns the title when it is due and they have a great variety. Their App is very user friendly. I have also read some of their ebooks. As long as you have a current library card this company is a great resource of both reading and listening to books for free!

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Aubrey Rentschler
June 2nd, 2017 Salt Lake City, UT

I love that I can get a library book without even leaving my house. I just wish they had more books available.

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