OverDrive to Acquire Kanopy

From Publishers Weekly:

OverDrive, the market leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools, has announced that it is acquiring Kanopy, a popular video streaming service for public and academic libraries. Terms of the acquisition were not announced.

The acquisition of Kanopy adds an extensive video catalog to the OverDrive platform, with some 30,000 films available to students and library users through the Kanopy platform, including iconic films produced by A24, Criterion Collection, Paramount, PBS and Kino Lorber. The move is yet another major move for OverDrive, which in June of last year acquired the library assets of RBmedia, just weeks after OverDrive itself was acquired by investment firm KKR.

Link to the rest at Publishers Weekly and thanks to C. for the tip.

1 thought on “OverDrive to Acquire Kanopy”

  1. This is the monopoly that literati and such, like Dave Eggers (see the piece a little below this one about how he’s going to release his next novel), should care about. Anyone who claims that Amazon is a problem has no clue about the stranglehold Overdrive has on public libraries.

    And if you think that doesn’t matter, you’ve never:

    * had kids under ten in your household, whose concept of what a “book” means will be created either by your personal collection or their local school and public libraries

    * known anyone in a long-term care facility, because there’s no place to store books (and limited ability to manipulate them; I spent most of a year post-surgery in one not that long ago…)

    * attempted to get a public library to acquire an e-book of interest to its patrons, by a regional author supposedly entitled to preference in acquisitions, only to be told “Overdrive won’t provide that to us because we’re not on the right plan” (although the library had plenty of money in the budget and searches showed other libraries carrying that e-book through Overdrive)

    * tried to get a library to consider another vendor in addition to Overdrive, or in place of Overdrive, only to discover that the various interlocking exclusivity agreements make that impossible (not to mention that more than one of the Big Five refuses to work with any library-based e-book system other than Overdrive)

    * known a student of any age who was required to use a particular edition of a particular work for class, and tried to check it out through Overdrive’s system only to discover that (despite the way catalogs appear to work) that only author-and-title are preserved and one may get an uncorrected edition, or a competing publisher’s edition, or an abridged edition

    * put a packet sniffer on Libby to see what it was telling Overdrive about your computer or smartphone

    * pondered whether Overdrive’s circulation-control system is consistent with the American Library Association’s stance against libraries allowing third parties (law enforcement… or advertisers) to know anything about borrower’s reading habits

    Against all of that, Amazon’s use of relentless efficiency and wide reach — however often coming close to misuse of market power — is laughable. And the less said about the overt censorship employed by some of those local booksellers, the better.

    And here, we’ve got Overdrive explicitly using its monopoly power to buy up a competitor.

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