Let’s Go – Multimedia Localization in 2022

welocalize December 1, 2021

This post covers some of the key concepts discussed on the Let’s Go On Demand Summit session: “Entertain Us: Multimedia Localization in 2022,” featuring guests Chris Fetner, Executive Director at The Globalization Association and Esther Bond, Research Director at Slator.

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Key points include global multimedia production, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI), and how Gen Y and the direction toward increased inclusion and diversity will influence multimedia in 2022 and beyond.

Demand for Localized Multimedia Content

As the demand for instantly available multimedia content grows, so will the need for localized content in entertainment and the workplace.

As Slator Research Director Esther Bond says, “I think we’ll see more of a blurring of the lines between the two (work and rest or work and play), which we’re already starting to see, but you know Gen Y is characterized by people who have constant access to the internet, whether on their phones, iPads, or multiple different devices.”

In the workplace, Gen Y people prefer short-form, bite-sized content as a learning medium and technology-led solutions. They’re are used to accessing content (for the job and training) with automatically generated captions.

In entertainment, Gen Y people have access to more than one streaming service. This leads to a growing trend in premium streaming platforms that provide global content with localized, dubbed, or subbed versions.

Global content, including streaming, YouTube, and user-generated content, is also increasing English fluency in general.

According to Chris Fetner, Executive Director of Entertainment Globalization Association (EGA), “You’re also seeing a lot of people consuming stuff in the original versus just with subtitles, and so it really is an interesting time in terms of content.”

Evolving Content Platforms

Content platforms are evolving to meet the changing landscape and needs of consumers. Many platforms now streamline and speed up stimulating and capturing user attention quickly, whether through training or marketing videos. This engages general audiences and customers faster and more effectively.

Meeting the Needs of Today’s Learners

One of the biggest challenges of localizing your multimedia materials is quickly getting content into your target audiences’ hands.

However, this can be easier said than done.

As Fetner said, “There is a real capacity problem right now; the world is bursting at the seams for localization.”

The key is to ensure your multimedia localization approaches are geared toward the following:

Instant Access to Materials and Information

Gen Y people want to access ready content quickly. This leads to platforms offering live services, such as remote simultaneous interpreting.

For example, you might want to add remote simultaneous interpreting to your live broadcast corporate videos and communication. This can be live captioning via machine-generated or human services.

Seamless Dubbing/Subtitling and Partial Localization/Translation

One of the best ways to speed up content delivery is to streamline the dubbing, subtitling, and partial localization and translation process.

For instance, using AI for audio descriptions as a service for accessibility and synthesized voices can help make dubbing, localization, and translation processes more efficient.

However, there is still a long way to go before you can rely solely on AI for the entire process of translation, localization, dubbing, and subtitling.

As Fetner stated, “I do think the sort of next frontier is perhaps synthesized voices for relatively small roles, so imagine that it’s going to be a long time before we’re going to replace the voice of … Captain Kirk.”

He added:

“That might get replaced, you know, sooner, and that’s actually good for everybody and allows the localization companies to focus on the most valuable parts of the process for consumers. It allows content owners to get to market faster and also manage their costs more efficiently.”

Impact of Diversity and Inclusion

According to Michael Anderson, Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize, “There are currently nine billion devices, and in the next decade, we’re looking at 50 billion to a trillion on the internet, so it’s just going to grow massively in terms of content.”

This highlights how dubbing, translation, and localization are becoming growing areas within the language and localization industry.

Streaming platform shows in languages other than English, for example, have gained massive popularity across global audiences, including the US and UK.

As Fetner said, “It really shows that when great stories are coupled with great localization, they really can find massive audiences.”

Esther Bond added:

“If you’re thinking about content that’s been produced in non-English-speaking markets, maybe there’s content that exists that was put out three to five plus years ago that did really well in the local territory, but has never been introduced in any meaningful way to U.S. and U.K. English-speaking audiences.”

“It’s almost a great indication or proof of concept that if it’s done quite well in the home market, but it might also do very well in other markets. And so I think it is a very good strategy to source content from international markets and bring them to U.S. and U.K. audiences.”

The Role of AI in Multimedia Production

AI technology is revolutionizing critical aspects of the multimedia production and localization process.

For example, you can have a one or two hours-long training video, feed it to a text-to-speech machine, and you’re done.

However, applying AI requires balancing quality, output efficiency, costs, and even creativity.

For instance, Hollywood movies put a premium on artistic endeavor and nuance, which you don’t usually see much of with largely AI-based translations, dubbing, or subtitles alone.

AI technology, such as machine translation, does shine when localizing low-density and low-nuance content types since it can handle translations and localizations faster.

Are You Ready to Face the Future of Multimedia Localization?

Localization is critical to your company’s success because it allows you to take your content to global audiences.

Esther Bond drove this point home when she said, “Localization is really helping it [multimedia content] to travel more, whether that’s across borders or different devices. I think localization in this industry plays a fundamental role in content travel.”

The best way to streamline and ensure high-quality multimedia localization is to work with a reliable, end-to-end service provider. Contact Welocalize today for professional multimedia localization and translation services.