Thursday, March 18, 2010

OCLC Sell NetLibrary to EBSCO

The world’s largest library business OCLC, has sold its NetLibrary Division to the world’s largest subscription agent business, EBSCO Publishing. The purchase includes the NetLibrary eBook and eAudiobook platform.

In 2002 Netlibrary was fighting for its life, with bankruptcy staring in its face, when OCLC stepped in and purchased it, in a move then aimed at protecting libraries' investments in eBook content and also to explore its potential under the OCLC umbrella. Today NetLibrary continues to be a significant digital aggregator but in what is fast becoming a crowded space.

EBSCO will provide OCLC MARC eBooks records to libraries free of charge and will maintain NetLibrary’s eBook content purchase model and platform and whilst it also explore eBook subscription options. EBSCO plan to also give access to the NetLibrary eBook content on the EBSCOhost® platform.

It makes sense for EBSCO to acquire an instant ebook collection, platform and library contracts to compliment their market offer. It also makes sense for OCLC to focus on its core business and dispose of a non core division. It must make others look at their businesses and realise that it is no longer good enough to have a repository and platform, but you now have to have a complimentary service that can extend it organically.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would be interested to know your view on what this business consolidation might mean for publishers in the long term.