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eReolen – the Danish, national e-lending platform - Nordic library meeting in Copenhagen


Published on what’s up: The Danish E- and Audiobook Solution
Mikkel Christoffersen,

In the Nordic library organizations we believe that international cooperation can create a better world. That's one of the reasons why we meet, once a year, with all the other Nordic countries, discussing how we can strengthen cooperation between libraries for the benefit of people and society. (And I don't mention Trump at all)

This year we meet in Copenhagen and have a series of presentations and discussions, which you can see more about

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eReolen – the Danish, national e-lending platform - Nordic library meeting in Copenhagen

  1. 1. eReolen – the Danish, national e-lending platform Mikkel Christoffersen, senior adviser Copenhagen Libraries and ”eReolen” Copenhagen, January 18, 2018
  2. 2. Mikkel is: • National project manager • Lending and business model architect • Leads the negotiating team • Chairman of NAPLE’s expert group on e- lending • EU TAIEX recognised e-lending expert • So there!
  3. 3. What is eReolen? • eReolen is the Danish public libraries’ joint ebook and digital audiobook service • It’s an association with all Danish public libraries as members, an organisation with lots of paid and voluntary employees, and a web site and Android and iOS apps • 28.000 ebooks and 7.500 digital audio books are available and increases daily • 2,9 mn loans in 2017 from 600+ publishers
  4. 4. eReolen eReolen Global eReolen GO!
  5. 5. Setup Publisher Datawell Selection OPAC eReolen Publizon Stores & streaming National Bibliography An offer to libraries Publishers’ jointly owned portal Librarians’ committee
  6. 6. Basic business model • For every loan, libraries are charged a fee to publizon and to eReolen (€0,30/€0,30) • eReolens fees are used to buy free time from library employees like me and to do projects and to finance development such as web site, apps etc. • Publishers, Publizon and eReolen enter into a three-way contract complex
  7. 7. The association ”eReolen” Board Editorial group Support Selection Project coordination Negotiation team General assembly
  8. 8. Lending models 1. One-copy one-user (license): We have four loans per license. Purchase and management is national as are the reservation queues. 2. One-copy multiple-users (click): The bread and butter of our platform (or used to be). Fixed prices based on age or length of audio book and there are local restrictions. 3. Free-for-all (suscription): We pay once for all or part of a publisher’s catalogue. Then’s it’s free except for the fee.
  9. 9. Prices • Transaction fee for all loans: €0.30 to eReolen, €0.30 to Publizon • Licenses: Retail price for 4 loans. E.g. a license is €12; each loan is €3 + fee. • Click: ebooks have fixed priced based on age: €1,40 - €2,00. Audiobooks have fixed price based on length: €1,21 – €2,55 • Subscription: Based on an estimate. Scary stuff! Lots of money involved.
  10. 10. Models in a book’s lifecycle Demand Time License Click Subscription
  11. 11. Local restrictions • Libraries have an administration hub to put in local restrictions; money spent, number of simultaneous loans etc. • The system checks local user data and permissions when the user logs in
  12. 12. Traditional use of models
  13. 13. The effect of 1C1U
  14. 14. Explicit models
  15. 15. 2016: a new world • In 2015 Lindhardt & Ringhof and Gyldendal the two biggest publishers got into a fight • In 2016 Gyldendal dropped out of eReolen again, but L&R stayed on and in 2017 they converted all their titles into free-for-all based on a three-year-contract • This changed the dynamic on and off eReolen dramatically
  16. 16. New use of models
  17. 17. Integration w. social media
  18. 18. Audiobooks is the new black • Audiobooks have risen over the years without much PR from us • They draw in new user groups like young men • Believed to be a ”medium of the time” and related to podcasts • The real beneficiary of digitisation • But is it reading? Cognitively? Legally?
  19. 19. 2017: interesting numbers Ebooks: 21.000 titles 1,1 mn. loans 256.000 users Audiobooks: 7.000 titles 1.8 mn. Loans 247.000 users Total: 28.000 titles 2.9 mn loans 366.000 users In 2014 publishers wouldn’t let us have their ebooks but begged us to create activity for the audiobooks that only libraries wanted and were able to move. Now it’s completely reversed!
  20. 20. Other interesting numbers Publisher revenue on ebooks in 2017: €1,7 mn Average per title: €1,54 Publisher revenue on audiobooks in 2017: €3,3 mn Average per title: €1,88
  21. 21. The debate 2011: eReolen is opened with 4.500 ebooks. All are 1CMU. Audiobooks is its own service. 2012: Big publishers wihdraw from eReolen (but not for audiobooks) citing too much activity for the bestsellers and declining sales. 4.500 –> 1.500 ebooks. 2013: Big publishers open their own service (EBIB) based on 1C1U. Central libraries buy into it, but user reactions are bad.
  22. 22. The debate 2014: eReolen is surprisingly thriving with small publishers, but not flourishing. EBIB shuts down and reunification talks starts 2015: All publishers return and the Compromise Model is born: 6 months of 1C1U the 1CMU + permanent 1C1U for some. Audiobooks merge with ebooks in one service. 2016: The big publishers pull out again even with their audiobooks citing too much activity and hurting new streaming services
  23. 23. Publishers’ points • eReolen makes people think literature is free • eReolen exhausts people’s reading needs so there’s no buy in them • eReolen should not focus on new, popular literature, because then it won’t sell • eReolen should not have genre literature • eReolen should not focus on older, less popular literature, because then the new titles won’t sell • It needs to be difficult and user-unfriendly to get to literature and use eReolen • Ebooks is a new, fragile market and needs protection • eReolen looks like a bookstore
  24. 24. eReolen’s points • In order to fulfil our mission we need a user-friendly, easy-to-use e-lending service with a good supply and few restrictions • We cannot and will not base an e-lending service for esp. children on restrictions • We acknowledge that publishers must be able to “work their channels” and their commercial interests in a general sense • We believe the great cycle of writing, publishing and reading is an ecology
  25. 25. 2018 • Our minister for culture has put pressure on the two sides since December 2016, and in late 2017 she increased that pressure threatening legislation • Libraries believes ECJ ruling on e-lending is a win, but it may be an expensive one • Libraries may lend ebooks; a book is a book • … if it has been acquired lawfully • … if the author is renumerated • Nothing about audiobooks, prices or terms
  26. 26. 2018 compromise • Actually a compromise-compromise • After long, difficult negotiations we landed a deal with Gyldendal and Modtryk and the other three have contacted us • We now work from a 50-50 model viz. restricted vs. not restricted and no restrictions for children • Streaming services hate us, publishers have turned neutral, authors are silent • 600 publishers rely on us almost solely
  27. 27. Tentative agreement • eReolen should not be the market leader in trade publishing • eReolen is uniquely suited for and very good at promoting the back catalogue and ”narrow” titles • Different models for different publishers; restriction for commerially interesting titles and no restriction where commercial interest is gone or awareness is key • ”Libraries are great at promoting literature and generate reading, but you’re cheap!”
  28. 28. More stats
  29. 29. Age and gender
  30. 30. A literary environment
  31. 31. User survey • 935 users answer a questionnaire • Focus groups with <30 yo. and >30 yo. users resectively as well as non-users in two cities • Focus on use and evaluating the service and the promotion, use of social media and communication in general
  32. 32. Integration with OPAC
  33. 33. Digitisation • There’s a market failure viz. Digitisation of the back catalogue and no public money • eReolen and library intelligence can help • We have two models: Collaboration with publishers for newer works. Help with data and copies for the older works. • No collective agreements!?
  34. 34. The potential
  35. 35. Thank you  Comments, questions, threats, fan-mail to: Mikkel Christoffersen Mob. +45 2049 1885