Audible.com, the world’s leading provider of digital spoken-word entertainment, is once again redefining the audiobook as popular entertainment by introducing an exclusive line of tour de force audio performances by some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Underscoring Audible’s global mission to establish the audiobook as a mainstream form of interpretive art on a par with theater or film, the new line will feature an unparalleled roster of the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star has helped select.
The first of these new productions is scheduled to be released by Audible.com early in 2012. Actors slated to perform include:
Kim Basinger (The Awakening by Kate Chopin)
Annette Bening (Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf)
Jennifer Connelly (The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles)
Colin Firth (The End of the Affair by Graham Greene)
Anne Hathaway (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum)
Dustin Hoffman (Being There by Jerzy Kosinski)
Samuel L. Jackson (A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes)
Nicole Kidman (To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf)
Meg Ryan (The Human Comedy by William Saroyan)
Susan Sarandon (The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers)
Naomi Watts (Summer by Edith Wharton)
Kate Winslet (Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola)
Audible plans to confirm additional productions through the remainder of 2011, and to announce and release more titles and star performers for distribution throughout 2012.
“As millions of Audible.com listeners already know, the performance of great books can be a captivating and deeply involving entertainment experience that often transcends print books or film,” said Audible.com founder and CEO, Donald Katz. “The audio interpretations by these profoundly talented stars will not only delight our current audience, but will also draw huge new audiences to this powerful art form.”
The actors starring in Audible’s new series actively participate in the process of choosing the books they record, embracing the chance to inhabit a character that has always fascinated them, show a different side of themselves from what audiences have seen on camera, or tell a personally beloved story.
“You use a different part of your brain and it keeps your creative juices flowing,” said Academy Award®-winning actress Kate Winslet, whose performance of Thérèse Raquin was the first audiobook in the new series to be recorded. “It is challenging, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun as well. As a listener, being able to tune out and be taken into another world, an atmosphere, an environment that is being created entirely for you by somebody else’s voice is really a wonderful, magical thing.”
Audible, which invented and commercialized the first digital audio player in 1997, has been at the forefront of the sustained explosion in downloadable audiobooks that has transformed the industry as mobile devices have become increasingly popular. This year, downloads by Audible members are up more than 40% year-over-year, with individual members downloading an average of more than 18 books over the course of a year. More than half of current Audible members are first-time audiobook buyers.
ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading provider of premium digital spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible’s mission is to establish literate listening as a core tool for anyone seeking to be more productive, better informed, or more thoughtfully entertained. Audible content, which includes more than 100,000 audio programs from more than 1,800 content providers that include leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers, is downloaded and played back on personal computers, CDs, or AudibleReady® computer-based and wireless mobile devices. Audible is also the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes® Store.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.
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