Earlier this year, OverDrive surveyed 70,000 end users around the world to learn how they interact with their library’s digital collection. This survey offers insight into who eBook users are and how they are using digital titles. At Digipalooza, OverDrive shared the survey results and we’re excited to share them with those who couldn’t attend Digipalooza. Here are some key data points that we learned:



  • 77% were female
  • 59% of responses was from users in the 40-64 age group
  • 41% of users said they have a college education
  • Over 65% of responses came from households whose income is over $50,000
  • 53% of users said that, when browsing for digital books, they start at the library’s OverDrive-powered site and 62% stated that, when on the digital collection, they use the search to find specific titles to borrow. This shows that many users know what titles they’re looking for when beginning the search process. To get them involved in the selection process make sure you have the Recommend to Library feature on your site.
  • 51% of users visit the digital collection weekly, while 30% visit monthly. 35% of these users visit the physical branch less than once a month if at all. This proves the importance of extending your library’s marketing efforts beyond the library branches.
  • 61% of responders reported that title availability is the number one factor when deciding what to read. Lesson learned: managing holds and keeping your collection fresh is key to engaging users, both first-time and returning.

Thank you to everyone who participated and stay tuned for another survey next year!


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive

One Response to “OverDrive end user survey results – Spring 2013”

  1. Meghan

    Hi there – I love my overdrive app for iPhone! I have two questions/suggestions, though. When I listen to audiobooks, if I pause the book and switch apps, it often looses my place. Sometimes, if I’ve been listening for a while, I have to do a lot of skipping around to figure out where I left off. My workaround has been changing the volume after pausing it, before switching apps. This seems to work most of the time. Any way to improve the app so when you pause it saves your location? The second is when will you be integrating the MP3 audiobooks into the app for iPhone? Previous complaint aside, I really enjoy the interface for the audiobooks, and listening to the MP3 ones through the music app is a giant pain. Plus, I have to side load them, rather than direct download. I read and listen to several books a week, and LOVE that you let me get them from my library and take them with me everywhere! Thanks for making it even easier to read more!