Digital media company OverDrive buys the library assets of audiobook producer RBmedia – Crain’s Cleveland Business

Posted: June 25, 2020 at 3:42 am


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Garfield Heights-based OverDrive Inc., the most prominent digital reading platform for libraries and schools, has made its first acquisition under new ownership.

OverDrive announced in a news release that it's buying assets of audiobook firm RBmedia's library business, including the RBdigital platform in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia. RBmedia has a library catalog of more than 45,000 titles. The deal will make those audiobooks available to OverDrive's platform.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition comes about two weeks after private equity firm KKR completed its purchase of OverDrive from Tokyo-based online retailer Rakuten. KKR also owns RBmedia.

OverDrive said in the release that 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." It also said it will explore the addition of RBdigital services such as digital magazines from ZINIO to the OverDrive platform.

"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, in a statement.

RBmedia's publishing businesses will continue to supply their titles to libraries and direct-to-consumer services worldwide, OverDrive said. Those publishing brands include Recorded Books, Tantor Media, HighBridge, Kalorama Audio, ChristianAudio, Gildan Media, GraphicAudio, W.F. Howes in the United Kingdom, and Wavesound in Australia.

OverDrive, founded in 1986, serves about 45,000 libraries and schools in 78 countries.

KKR has made a string of investments in related digital media companies, including RBmedia, which it bought in 2018.

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Digital media company OverDrive buys the library assets of audiobook producer RBmedia - Crain's Cleveland Business

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June 25th, 2020 at 3:42 am

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