As Audiobooks Boom, Publishers Get Inventive With Sound-Only Recipes, Puzzles, How-Tos

Publishers are experimenting with a new format for audiobooks: Aural guides that accompany listeners through activities such as cooking, gardening and meditating in real time. So-called active audiobooks, which supplement or do away with the usual verbatim reading of book texts, arrive as audiobooks more broadly become ever more popular.

Source: As Audiobooks Boom, Publishers Get Inventive With Sound-Only Recipes, Puzzles, How-Tos

UK’s Music Streaming Economics Inquiry Publishes Public Comments

Amongst the proposals, there are documents from trade orgs representing major labels, indie labels, music publishers, songwriters, artist managers, streaming services, and others. There are also direct submissions from artists, including British pop-ska legends Madness, as well as the #brokenrecord campaign that’s caught momentum on social media these past few months.

Source: BMG, Beggars Group and Hipgnosis each have strong opinions on streaming. Here are those opinions.

Judge denies Parler’s bid to make Amazon restore service

A federal judge has denied an attempt by conservative social network Parler to force Amazon to host it on AWS. As expected by most who read Parler’s ramshackle legal arguments, the court found nothing in the lawsuit that could justify intervention, only “faint and factually inaccurate speculation.”

Source: Judge denies Parler’s bid to make Amazon restore service

An Australia With No Google? The Bitter Fight Behind a Drastic Threat

Australia’s assertive challenge to the online giants has placed it in the vanguard of a movement to bolster a traditional news media ecosystem that America’s trillion-dollar tech companies threaten with extinction. For Google and Facebook, their intense pushback has become a focal point of their global efforts to limit regulation, as governments around the world look to rein them in.

Source: An Australia With No Google? The Bitter Fight Behind a Drastic Threat

Google Threatens to Stop Search in Australia Over Paid-News Legislation

Under the current draft of the law, the tech firms must negotiate with the publishers to settle a price for news. But if they cannot agree the government will appoint an arbitrator. The U.S. tech giants and the U.S. government want the mandatory arbitration requirement to be dropped.

Source: Google Threatens to Stop Search in Australia Over Paid-News Legislation

Podchaser raises $4M to build a comprehensive podcast database

Podchaser, a startup building what it calls “IMDB for podcasts,” recently announced that it has raised $4 million in a funding round led by Greycroft. In other words, it’s a site where — similar to the Amazon-owned Internet Movie Database — users can look up who’s appeared in which podcasts, rate and review those podcasts and add them to lists.

Source: Podchaser raises $4M to build a comprehensive podcast database

EU fines video game firms for blocking cross-border sales

The EU’s executive Commission said Wednesday that it fined Valve Corp., which owns the Steam online PC game distribution platform, and the game makers a total of 7.8 million euros ($9.5 million) because they restricted cross-border sales in violation of the bloc’s antitrust rules. The companies used so-called geo-blocking practices to prevent players from activating and playing games sold either on DVD or by download, the commission said.

Source: EU fines video game firms for blocking cross-border sales

Global TV Players Poised for COVID Rebound as Streaming Boom Revs Content Marketplace

As the industry regroups for 2021 and gathers this week for the annual NATPE conference, held in virtual form this year, the largest U.S.-based media giants are squarely focused on international markets as the primary engine of growth for vertically integrated streaming behemoths.

Source: Global TV Players Poised for COVID Rebound as Streaming Boom Revs Content Marketplace

Major Labels Scrutinized in UK Streaming Probe

The U.K.’s three biggest record label heads put on a united front at a Parliamentary probe into the streaming business on Tuesday (Jan. 19), denying artist claims that music streaming payouts are unfairly weighted in labels’ favor. The label executives stressed the importance of protecting artists’ interests and maximizing revenue for all parties.

Source: Major Labels Scrutinized in UK Streaming Probe: ‘You’re Living in Cloud Cuckoo Land’

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