OverDrive Digital Library Circulation Grew 10% in 2022 – Publishers Weekly

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Another year, another record increase for OverDrive's circulation. In a release today, the digital library market leader announced that its customers worldwide borrowed some 555 million e-books, digital audiobooks, digital magazines, comics, and other content—a 10% increase over 2021.
The 2022 figures suggest that demand for digital resources in libraries continues to be robust even as the rate of growth slows from pandemic levels. Last year, OverDrive reported some 506 million digital lends, a 16% increase over 2020. In 2020, in the aftermath of widespread library and school closures due to Covid-19, OverDrive reported 430 million lends, a 33% increase over 2019. And in 2019, the year before the pandemic hit, the company reported 326 million lends, a 20% increase over 2018.
OverDrive officials say the 2022 data includes another milestone for the company: users have now checked out more than 3 billion e-books from libraries and schools in the OverDrive network since the first e-book checkout in 2003. OverDrive now serves more than 88,000 libraries and schools in 109 countries worldwide, including its popular Libby and Sora Reading apps. In 2022, OverDrive added more than a million new digital titles and 73 new content partners.
Among other data reported this week by OverDrive:

  • Libby app installations were up 42% and Libby checkouts grew 30%.
  • Sora app checkouts grew 10%.
  • E-book lends grew more modestly than other digital content. Readers borrowed: 331 million e-books in 2022, a 4% increase over 2021. while digital audio checkouts jumped 17% (191 million) and digital magazine checkouts were up 38% (32 million).
  • Comics and graphic novel checkouts grew by 18% (33 million).
  • Public library systems achieving more than 1 million digital book checkouts rose to 129, a 7% increase, including one system reporting over 10 million (the full list will be released later this month).
  • E-book and audiobook holds placed were up 13% (214 million).

In the release, OverDrive points to a range of factors that helped spur 2022’s growth, including the company's ongoing “advocacy work to provide fair, flexible and reasonable content access models,” and a host of initiatives, including support for Community Reads, digital book clubs, and other reader programs. More than 14,000 libraries held their own local digital book clubs in 2022, OverDrive officials note.
For more, see the full release here.
OverDrive's Most Popular E-books in 2022

  1. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster)
  2. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (Henry Holt and Co.)
  3. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Publishing Group)
  4. Verity by Colleen Hoover (Grand Central Publishing)
  5. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Washington Square Press)
  6. The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles (Penguin Publishing Group)
  7. It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover (Atria Books)
  8. The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake (Sourcebooks) *Big Library Read title
  9. The Judge’s List by John Grisham (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)
  10. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by E. Schwab (Tor Publishing Group)

OverDrive's Most Popular Audiobooks in 2022

  1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Books on Tape)
  2. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave (Simon & Schuster Audio)
  3. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah (Macmillan Audio)
  4. Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty (Macmillan Audio)
  5. The Guest List by Lucy Foley (HarperAudio)
  6. Atomic Habits by James Clear (Books on Tape)
  7. Dune by Frank Herbert (Macmillan Audio)
  8. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (HarperAudio)
  9. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Simon & Schuster Audio)
  10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Duke Classics)

OverDrive's Top Titles by Genre in 2022:

  • Adult fiction: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  • Adult nonfiction: Educated by Tara Westover
  • Young adult fiction: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Children’s fiction: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

OverDrive's Most popular Magazines in 2022:

  1. Us Weekly
  2. The New Yorker
  3. HELLO! magazine
  4. Woman’s World
  5. New Scientist

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