Audiobooks in the International Sphere...

A Nottinghamshire man who made more than £50,000 selling pirated audiobooks faces deportation after top judges refused to cut his jail term, says the Nottingham Post in England.

The Japan Times reports that Otobank opened an audiobook downloading site, called Febe, in 2007 and the number of users has increased from about 2,000 to 180,000. The company now offers 19,000 books, ranging from business titles to literary works.

Standard Chartered (SC) Bank Korea CEO Park Jong-bok auditioned for an audiobook recording as part of the bank’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. The Korea Times reports that the audio content will be donated to schools and institutions for the blind across the country. Also, the content will be released via a mobile application.

The UK is one of the first countries to extend its library lending compensation scheme to remote e-lending, following amendments to the Digital Economy Bill. TheBookseller.com says that the government is expanding the Public Lending Right(PLR) to include e-books and e-audiobooks, meaning their authors will be eligible for payment in the same way as those whose physical books are borrowed from libraries.

The news website Emriates247 reports that an upcoming ten-year national reading policy adopted by the UAE, aims to incorporate reading into the business practices of public entities and reflects RTA’s efforts to keep pace with the UAE’s successful drive.

Audiobooks Aid Learning...

In  "Reading by Ear", published by NoShelfRequired.com, librarian and reviewer Francisca Goldsmith holds that audiobook listening expands, rather than derails, our access to literature.

Napa Valley in northern California selected OverDrive to help support their project-based learning structure on a limited budget because of its catalog of millions of eBooks and audiobooks, compatibility with all major devices, and offline access for those who don’t have internet access outside of school. EducationDive.com details how they use ebooks and audiobooks for the 21st century student.

At a time when career conscious youths in their mid-20s run after white collar jobs, this team of five engineering graduates is busy assembling audio clips to prepare audiobooks for visually challenged students. OdishaTV.com reports that the team, with a strong support base of nearly 300 volunteers comprised of housewives, college students and job holders across the state and 200 outside, records text books to facilitate the students with study materials.

By playing audiobooks and podcasts at 1.5x, 2x, or even 3x their recorded pace, listeners can zip through stories and reports with maximum efficiency, states audiblerange.com.

Audiobook Voices...

Most audiobooks feature one voice, maybe two. 166? That’s unprecedented.The result ended up being…well, it ended up being something that led Penguin Random House Audio to pursue a Guinness World Record for most individuals’ voices on an audiobook. Wired.com reports that author George Saunders' book, "Lincoln in the Bardo" feels more like a movie than an audiobook.

Using a "Star Trek" actor and a very poignant snippet from George Orwell's "1984," audiobook company Audible expresses itself clearly during the Oscars broadcast. Cnet.com describes the politically-infused unexpected moment delivered by actor Zachary Quinto.

Researchers looked at the effect of regular kennel sounds (the control), classical music, pop music, psychoacoustically designed canine music (tunes specifically designed to be pleasing to a dog), and an audiobook. Not surprisingly, they found that it was the audiobook that resulted in the dogs spending more time resting and less time displaying vigilant behaviors. In its Studies and Research section, theBark.com describes the methods used to arrive at this conclusion.

Technology/Industry Updates...

Publishers Weekly reports that HarperCollins Christian Publishing imprints Thomas Nelson and Zondervan are promoting their audiobook titles with extended samples known as First Listens as interest in podcasts and digital audiobooks continues to grow.The program launched in October and features 15-20 minute pre-publication excerpts from lead-title audiobooks. The excerpts are available for streaming from SoundCloud.

TORONTO, Feb. 16, 2017/PRNewswire/ -- Audiobooks.com is pleased to announce their full compatibility with both Apple and Android wearable technologies, making them the only premium audiobook service to provide the option to listen with Apple and Android watches.

The end of the exclusive contract means Audible has been freed to supply customers outside Apple with audiobooks. Apple is also free to source audiobooks from other suppliers. TheMarketRealist.com explains what this means to the audiobook industry.

TalkingNewMedia.com reports audiobook sales are trending consistently up. Print and audiobook sales revenue increase through first 3 quarters of 2016, but eBook sales by member publishers falls 18.7%. 

The House Revenue and Taxation Committee in Arkansas is going to end the tax exemption of audiobooks and e-books. Goodreader.com explains how this will drive up the costs for people who buy e-books from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo.