OverDrive announces move to all MP3 audiobooks

OverDrive, one of the major vendors of audiobooks to libraries, has announced that it will be moving away from the WMA format and making audiobooks for the library market available solely as MP3s.

Reasons for the shift include the facts that MP3s are widely compatible across various listening devices and that the vast majority of the company’s audiobook collection is already in MP3 format, including titles from Hachette, Penguin Group, Random House (Books on Tape and Listening Library), HarperCollins, AudioGo, Blackstone, Tantor Media, and more.

While OverDrive has not announced a firm date for the change, the company will be communicating with customers about the discontinuance of WMA sales, and then, at a future date, will announce when MP3 files will be the only  format supported through OverDrive platforms. The company promises to work with libraries and schools that currently have WMA audiobook files in their collections to gain permissions to update those inventories to MP3.

Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (sklose@mediasourceinc.com, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.


  1. Paul says:

    This is a pretty great announcement, but I know that over a third of all Audiobook titles my library has on OverDrive are only available in WMA format. I doubt that we’ll simply lose those titles, but I’ll look forward to hear how this all shakes out. With Penguin relenting on the “USB only” downloads for Kindle titles and now this, OverDrive is becoming a more and more attractive vendor, at least from a user perspective…