This is part 1 of a 2 part series. In this part, we present an overview of why content localization is important and why video dubbing is effective. In part 2 of this 2 part series, we cover how Artificial Intelligence-based dubbing is a powerful form of localization.
The pandemic has made an indelible impact on the movie industry. Audiences are hunkering down at home, binge-watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, Hulu, and Disney+. Consequently, movie studios, particularly those in Hollywood, are racing to release their films directly to streaming video-on-demand services. However, long before the coronavirus brought traditional theatrical releases to a halt, most of the studios were successfully going beyond traditional demographics and reaching new audiences by localization—either by dubbing their films or subtitling them.
Fueled by the cable networks and over-the-top providers of streaming content vying for eyeballs and the ongoing efforts of studios to find new audiences, the content localization industry is at a tipping point.
The importance of content localization for film production houses
Content localization involves preparing TV, film, and video titles for global distribution. The demand for content localization is poised for explosive growth. Content owners are rushing to capitalize on the opportunities to sell their new titles and back catalog feature films and TV series in new territories. According to the MESA Europe Content Localization Council, on the back of the ongoing expansion of OTT/VOD services, the localization will likely grow at 5-8% by 2021. Considering this estimate was made before the onset of the pandemic, it is not an exaggeration to say that there will be a significant surge in demand for content localization services for films, TV shows, and video titles.
As they look to broaden their global footprint, Hollywood studios are overcoming the challenge of localizing their content to suit non-native speakers by either offering captions or subtitles or dubbing the audio into native languages. Subtitles offer the movie and TV show production houses an economical and straightforward method of localizing their films. Subtitling is not without its challenges. It can be distracting for the audiences as they are more drawn to the subtitles than to the visuals on their screen. Subtitling long dialogues within limited screen space and rendering time, and conveying the emotions are also challenges.
The advantages of voice dubbing
Another cost-effective option is dubbing the films into the target audience’s native language. Netflix is offering dubbed version instead of the subtitled version as default has added further accentuated the need for voice dubbing.
Dubbing films, TV shows, and videos have its own set of challenges. Traditional dubbing involving voice actors, translators, and studios has a steep price tag. Also, the process is time-consuming. In the current scenario where production houses are looking to release their content in multiple languages simultaneously across the world, the turnaround time required by traditional dubbing methodologies acts as speed breakers. Add the constraints brought on by the pandemic, such as the lockdown limiting access to the studios and the lack of trained personnel to execute localization to the mix, and we have all the ingredients for creating bottlenecks for optimizing time to market.
So, how can content creators overcome the challenges of traditional voice dubbing methodologies? Today, there are automatic video dubbing solutions that can automatically dub your videos into multiple languages using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and computer-generated voices.
We will cover the other aspects of AI for dubbing in the second part, Stay Tuned!