Rakuten Buys Overdrive, How Will They Deal with Kindle?

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I'm so surprised when I know the news that Rakuten bought Overdrive company for $410 million. It is true that they both confirmed and opened this news on their own official site, March 19, 2015.

rakuten buys overdrive

Overdrive is a leading marketplace in the library eBooks and audiobooks market. He is the person who makes digital media available to libraries, school students, and others. With Overdrive service, we can borrow or purchase books easily and read them on Kindle, Android, IOS devices.

About Rakuten and Overdrive

Rakuten, a major Japanese retailer, looks like it had strong confidence in eBooks industry and they will try its best to play its own role. Rakuten said today that it considers digital books as a strong part of its content ecosystem which covers video site Viki and on-demand video streaming service Wuaki.tv.

You may still remember that Rakuten bought Kobo back in 2012 for $315 million. As a new eBooks lover (I began to get interested in eBooks just from 2013), the first time I felt Rakuten's strong "ambition" was the time when I knew they released their new eReader "Kobo H2O", while Amazon Kindle just released their Kindle Voyage, expecially after Rakuten Kobo took over the Sony North American market.

Let's see what Takahito Aiki said, the head of Rakuten global business:

OverDrive’s deep content library
and relationships with publishers, libraries, schools, and retailers will allow Rakuten to extend our mission of empowerment to new market segments and accelerate the growth of our digital content businesses.

Steve Potash, Overdrive founder and CEO, added:

Rakuten’s vision of empowerment is
perfectly aligned with OverDrive. Since 1986, our vision has been to advance digital publishing and content to connect readers with books and information. We’re passionate about working with publishers, libraries, schools and retailers to make that happen, and we are very excited to join an innovative company that shares and supports our vision.

How will they deal with Kindle?

Overdrive will be acquised by Rakuten in April, and they will operate as a subsidiary of Rakuten.

It is great for Kobo customers because we can get eBooks directly from libraries onto our Kobo devices via Overdrive, no need to transfer via Adobe Digital Editions on a computer.

But for a large number of Kindle users, like me, I wonder what's it mean for Kindle library eBooks. All content in Overdrive libraries will be used to boost Rakutens Kobo e-reader and e-book store, which will compete with Amazon Kindle eReaders. impaction

I believe they will work together to make more user-friendly services, which may make some users like to read books with Kobo devices or apps. But at the same time I believe (I hope) they would increase sales of Kindle library books, in a differnt way.

The first reason, offering Kindle books obviously is a big part of the revenue stream for OverDrive.

And, there are a large number of Kindle book lovers, and they are the potential customer groups who will increase their incomes if they find a better way. As what it says, "your competitor is also your friend who help you make rapid progress".

What's more, abandoning the competitor and letting potential users go away is not Rakuten's style. B&N has done that thing by changing their DRM scheme, but it is proved that they are losing their customers.

The last but most important, we can back up our Kindle books in advance, and transfer them to our Kobo eReaders with ease. One tool is enough: Epubor Ultimate which helps you convert books between Kindle and Kobo easily.

Windows Version Download Mac Version Download

Why worry about? Two big eReader platforms with access to a large amount of content is better than having only Amazon Kindle for sure.

Above are just my own opinions. Anything want to discuss, add, or good point, feel free to let me know with a ticket, then I will consider adding them to this content. For more detailed comparison between Kindle and Kobo, please read Kindle VS. Kobo.


works for Epubor and writes articles for a collection of blogs such as ebookconverter.blogspot.com.

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