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.
- 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.
- 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.