Random House, Audible.com Form Audio Book Venture

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Random House, New York, and Audible.com yesterday formed a venture, called Random House Audible, to produce digital versions of audio books for distribution over the Internet.


Random House also will make an investment in the Internet-based company.


The new imprint will offer Random House books; historical material, such as speeches; and business books.


Customers will be able to download the files and listen to them through their computers or onto an MP3 player. The books will be encrypted so that the files cannot be listened to on a tape player.


The companies expect the digital versions will cost about 20 percent less than audio books on tape or compact disc.


The venture plans to release its first books this summer.
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