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《经济学人》:网络媒体分销,愤怒的公牛

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Online media distribution网络媒体分销Raging bulls(注)愤怒的“公牛”
Music and television firms fret about their distributors’ new business models
音乐影视分销商创建了新商业模式,制造商却烦恼不已

New ways to enjoy songs and shows音乐影视欣赏新招迭出

RELATIONS between the companies that create media products and those that distribute them have long been poor. But perennial arguments about the price that ought to be paid for content are turning uglier as digital distribution transforms the media landscape. Like ageing boxers, big media firms have twice climbed into the ring to slug it out with high-tech outfits that seem to be building new business models with their property. In both cases the media firms are morally right. Yet both encounters have left them bruised.

媒体产品制造商与分销商一向不睦,双方围绕媒体内容售价,常年争执不休,而随着数字分发改变媒体格局,吵得更是不亦乐乎。媒体巨头就像老拳击手,一把年纪了还要两次爬进拳击场,与高科技公司一决雌雄,后者貌似正在构建具有自身特质的新商业模式。这两场对决,媒体公司均占理,却都被打得遍体鳞伤。

Time Warner Cable (TWC) was, until a couple of years ago, a part of big-media veteran Time Warner; now it is in the other corner of the ring, keen to prove its tech chops. On March 15th TWC launched a feisty little iPad application that lets its customers watch some of the television channels they subscribe to on their tablet computers. Customers were so enthusiastic that the system promptly crashed. Many media firms were not. They say TWC has no right to redistribute their content without permission, even within a subscriber’s home, and complain that iPad viewings do not count towards a programme’s ratings. Cease-and-desist letters have been sent.

时代华纳有线(TWC)数年前,还是老牌传媒巨头时代华纳的一部分,而今却站到拳击场另一角,急于表现自个的技术实力。3月15日,TWC推出了一款相当火爆的iPad小应用,可让其用户在平板电脑上观看自己订购的某些电视频道。用户趋之若鹜,致使系统旋即崩溃。但许多媒体公司却不以为然,称TWC未经许可,无权重新分发它们的内容,哪怕在订户家中分发也不行,还抱怨用iPad看电视未计入节目收视率,纷纷发出勒令停止通知函。

The second challenger is a heavyweight. On March 29th Amazon launched a digital-locker service for media. This will let the e-retailer’s American customers upload music from CDs or digital tracks (not just ones bought from Amazon’s store) to remote servers. They can then play their collections through a variety of devices—with the notable exception of some sold by Apple, the firm that dominates the music-download market. As with digital books, Amazon is trying to create a “buy once, consume anywhere” service.

第二位挑战者,是一名重量级选手。3月29日,电子零售商亚马逊推出了一项媒体“数字寄存柜”服务,可让其美国用户上载CD音乐或数字歌曲(非仅限亚马逊商店所售)到远程服务器。随后,用户即可用多种设备播放收藏曲目,但有一明显例外,那便是,称霸音乐下载市场的苹果所售装置不在此列。借助电子书,亚马逊正试图打造“一次购买,处处使用”的服务。

Sony Music complains that Amazon does not have the right to stream music. Like TWC, the e-retailer is pushing ahead without the content owners’ permission in the hope that the public will come to regard its service as an inalienable right. For music firms that have been quietly negotiating with Apple and Google, which want to build locker services of their own, Amazon’s tactics are below the belt.

索尼音乐公司抱怨亚马逊无权让音乐任意流动。亚马逊跟TWC一样,未获内容所有者许可,就在推进内容分发业务,它希望公众会慢慢将之当作一种不可剥夺的权利。苹果与谷歌也企图打造自己的“寄存柜”服务,音乐公司一直在默默与之谈判,故对其而言,亚马逊的手段有欠正当。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
fret [fret]

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v. (使)烦恼,(使)焦急,(使)磨损,侵蚀 n. 烦

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foundation [faun'deiʃən]

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n. 基础,根据,建立
n. 粉底霜,基

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stream [stri:m]

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n. (人,车,气)流,水流,组
v. 流动,

 
notable ['nəutəbl]

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adj. 显著的,著名的
n. 名人

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competition [kɔmpi'tiʃən]

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n. 比赛,竞争,竞赛

 
permission [pə'miʃən]

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n. 同意,许可,允许

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solve [sɔlv]

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v. 解决,解答

 
application [.æpli'keiʃən]

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n. 应用; 申请; 专心
n. 应用软件程序

 
consume [kən'sju:m]

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v. 消耗,花费,挥霍

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property ['prɔpəti]

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n. 财产,所有物,性质,地产,道具

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