BBC Audiobooks are delighted to announce a distribution agreement with OverDrive, a global distributor of digital audiobooks, eBooks and more to libraries, to enable BBC Audiobooks content to be made available as downloads to library borrowers


The agreement will see 1500 titles available initially, with a rolling programme in place thereafter to make the latest BBC Audiobooks recordings available for library borrowers to check out and download. The OverDrive platform will allow libraries to pick and choose which titles they purchase to create a tailored virtual library suited to the tastes of their members, the revenue created will then be divided between BBC Audiobooks and OverDrive.  The titles available cover the full range of genres published by BBC Audiobooks from popular Radio 4 dramas through to best-selling titles such as “The Water Horse” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” which was voted the UK’s favourite audiobook in 2008, as well as hundreds of unabridged recordings.

Mike Bowen, Managing Director of BBC Audiobooks said: “We believe firmly that digital lending is an essential part of the future for public libraries and we’re very happy that our audiobooks, which are enormously popular with library users up and down the country and internationally, will be available on OverDrive’s industry-leading platform for library downloads.”

Karen Potash, Collection Development Specialist for OverDrive said: “This content agreement gives libraries in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa access to premium content from one of the world’s most respected names in audiobooks. We’re thrilled to further expand our global presence with a strong partner like BBC Audiobooks.”

Once added to a library’s custom download website powered by OverDrive, BBC Audiobooks downloads can be borrowed by anyone who is a member of the library.  A library borrower can browse their library’s digital catalogue for titles, check out the digital audiobooks they want using their library card, and download them to their home computer using the free OverDrive Media Console software. The borrowed titles can then be transferred  to a compatible MP3 player, and at the end of the lending period, the files automatically expire.

Libraries in Luton and Essex have joined up with OverDrive to offer a download service to their members and further libraries are expected to sign up to this service in the next few months. To find out if your local library has joined the network, go to Digital Media Locator section of the OverDrive website:


For further information about BBC Audiobooks please contact Emma Finlay on: t. 020 8433 2536 or e.

For further information about OverDrive please contact David Burleigh on: t. +1 216 573 6886 x218 or e.

About BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to maximise the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights. The company has seven core businesses: BBC Worldwide Channels, BBC Worldwide Content & Production, BBC Worldwide Digital Media, BBC Worldwide Global Brands, BBC Worldwide Sales & Distribution, BBC Magazines and BBC Home Entertainment. In 2007/08, BBC Worldwide generated profits of £117.7million on sales of £916.3million.

About OverDrive

OverDrive is a leading full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video. We deliver secure management, DRM protection, and download fulfilment services for hundreds of publishers and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers serving millions of end users. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, OH.