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Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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オーディオブックが今は熱い

 




ビックショートやマネーボールなどで有名なマイケル・ルイス。これまでVaniti Fairで記事を書いてきましたが、今後はAudibleで発表するとか。第一弾が先月末出ていました。

By Thu-Huong HaJuly 31, 2018
A battle is quietly being waged over the United States’ weather data—and its ability to predict its future.

In his first exclusively audio story, Michael Lewis dives into the wonk-filled world of weather forecasting: the researchers who collect and study the data; the citizens who benefit from, or actively ignore, forecasts; and the powers that threaten the entire flow of information. His conclusion: The US’s publicly funded weather forecasting agency, the national weather service, and the data it collects, are under threat from a pro-business, anti-open-data administration.

政府が行政サービスを民営化して金儲けに走る一例として気象データの役所を扱っています。トランプが指名したのは民営化を推し進める張本人で、あまりにも露骨なためか1年以上経った今も議会の指名を受けていないとか。

Lewis emphasizes the importance of this little-publicized agency: “[NOAA] had collected all the climate and weather data going back to the recordings made at Monticello by Thomas Jefferson. Without that data, and the weather service that made sense of it, no plane would fly, no bridge would be built, and no war would be fought—at least not well,” he says. The weather service’s data is free to the public,  and proprietary models used by private weather companies, including Accuweather, are powered by its raw data.

“By the 1990s, Barry Myers was arguing with a straight face that the national weather service should be, with one exception, entirely forbidden from delivering any weather-related knowledge to any American who might otherwise wind up a paying customer of Accuweather,” says Lewis. “The exception was when human life and property was at stake.”

著名作家が新作発表の場としてオーディオブックを選ぶ傾向があるようです。

By Alexandra Alter
June 2, 2018

When Michael Lewis had an idea for his next book, a contemporary political narrative, he decided he would test it out first as a 10,000-word magazine article, as he often does before committing to a yearslong project.

But this time he made a surprising pivot. Instead of publishing the story in Vanity Fair, where he has been a contributing writer for nearly a decade, he sold it to Audible, the audiobook publisher and retailer.

“You’re not going to be able to read it, you’re only going to be able to listen to it,” Mr. Lewis said. “I’ve become Audible’s first magazine writer.”

この背景にあるのはオーディオブック市場の成長。紙の書籍や電子書籍などが停滞する中、オーディオブックの売り上げはこの5年間で3倍に伸びたそうです。

Mr. Lewis is part of a growing group of A-list authors bypassing print and releasing audiobook originals, hoping to take advantage of the exploding audiobook market. It’s the latest sign that audiobooks are no longer an appendage of print, but a creative medium in their own right. But the rise of stand-alone audio has also made some traditional publishers nervous, as Audible strikes deals directly with writers, including best-selling authors like the historian Robert Caro and the novelist Jeffery Deaver.

After years of stagnation in the industry, audiobooks have become a rare bright spot for publishers. While e-book sales have fallen and print has remained anemic, publishers’ revenue for downloaded audio has nearly tripled in the last five years, industry data from the Association of American Publishers shows. This has set off a new turf war over audio rights, pitting Audible, owned by Amazon, against traditional publishers, who are increasingly insisting on producing their own audiobooks, wary of ceding more territory and revenue to the online retailer. The battle over who will dominate the industry’s fastest growing format is reshaping the publishing landscape, much as e-books did a decade ago, driving up advances for audio rights and leading some authors to sign straight-to-audio deals.

オーディオブックだけの発表だと英語学習者レベルだと厳しいかもしれませんが、「内容を分かりたい!」と思うことが上達のきっかけになるかもしれません。リスニングはどうも苦手という方も落ち込む必要はありません。10月に新作が出るようですから。

By Alexandra Alter
July 26, 2018


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