SPi Global

14 July 2020


Live voice actor quality with pure technology speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Customer Experience – Dubbing is Queen

Dubbing isn’t working. Dubbing as a localization tool is key to success in the new battlegrounds of customer experience and personalized digital content, but today’s solutions are typically too slow, too expensive, not sufficiently scalable, or produce poor, artificial sounding results.

Across the entertainment, corporate and eLearning industries, though, localization, and dubbing, at scale, are key to success.

At the end of 2019, 80% of all web content was video, a figure that continues to grow . The language services market was estimated at USD 53.5 billion (with USD 70 billion predicted for 2023) and the over-the-top (OTT) market at 81.6 billion (USD 156.9 billion expected by 2024).

Meanwhile research by Netflix has confirmed what most viewers could have guessed – dubbed versions of hit shows are more popular than subtitled. Dubbing is a key localization tool for customer acquisition and retention, and market share expansion. Across industries, diverse businesses need a solution that delivers in terms of quality, time to market, scalability and costs.

Dubbing Challenges

While key to success, dubbing is challenging. Traditional dubbing, using voice actors and professional sound studios, offers high quality, natural-sounding results, but presents four principal challenges.

High Costs

Traditional dubbing costs up to USD 1,500 per hour of content, plus translation expenses.

Capacity Limitations

Reliance on experienced voice artists and studio time restricts capacity and scalability.

Slow Turnaround

Foreign language dubbing of English original content typically takes 12-15 days per hour of content.

Errors and Delays

Omissions and errors necessitate re-recording, driving additional delays and costs.

Meanwhile, fully automated dubbing, using pure technology solutions, while cost effective, fast and efficient, delivers results lacking natural intonation and emotion, resulting in poor consumer experience.

What’s Needed?

Both pure technology solutions and those relying primarily on the skill of human voice actors have their advantages and their disadvantages. What is needed is a solution that brings together the strengths of both, without the weaknesses.

Key among industry needs are the following:

An End-to-end Solution

Original content must pass through multiple processes to be localized to a consumer-ready standard. Automated solutions have traditionally covered specific localization steps, lacking end-to-end capability. Those claiming end-to-end service generally prove weak in terms of cost and time to market.


Localization requirements vary by project and region, so automated solutions must be flexible and customizable to client needs. Many products claim such customizability, but prove inflexible in practice.


A specific example of limited flexibility is the inability of today’s automated solutions to modulate synthetic voices for a more natural feel, essential to the entertainment industry, among others.


Solutions must be able to transcribe with precision, even from audio featuring accented voices or with ambient sounds mixed in with the dialogue.


High quality foreign language dubbing demands translation to a higher standard than today’s digital solutions can deliver, so human assistance is essential.

Text to Speech

Localization projects place diverse, stringent demands on synthetic voices, including precise, natural pronunciation and modulation, in multiple languages.

A solution addressing these needs as well as offering the speed, scalability and cost effectiveness of existing pure technology solutions has so far been lacking. SPi Global has therefore developed SmartDub, a unique service addressing all these pain points.


SmartDub represents a new approach to the localization challenge. Instead of taking either a pure technology approach, or a traditional, human skill approach SmartDub brings together the best of both in an end-to-end, human-managed dubbing service delivered through an AI-automated, cloud-based platform.

Key SmartDub Benefits

Voice Modulation

Improved voice modulation drives enhanced customer experience with voices better resembling human tone and emotion, without voice overlap or pronunciation issues.

Voice Morphing

Up to three morphed voices can be created from each stem voice, in several languages, with the option to cover as many languages as required.

Integrated End-to-end Managed Service

A complete, end-to-end localization solution covering transcription and localization in a managed service model, with 79 voices in over 29 languages.


SmartDub uses a cloud-based automated platform with a global delivery model. Operating around the clock, the service can process up to 120 hours of content per day.

Reduced Costs

SmartDub’s dubbing costs are 20-30% lower than other automated dubbing solutions, with total dubbing costs starting at USD 3.50 per minute.

Accelerated Time to Market

Five times faster than studio based dubbing SmartDub suffers from none of the time consuming hassles associated with studio production and voice artists.

SmartDub Use Cases


SmartDub helps make educational content accessible across geographies and cultures, improving comprehension and retention by presenting material in students’ preferred languages.


SmartDub enhances the impact and influence of your findings, reports and events, by delivering content in consumers’ languages of choice.

Corporate Messaging

SmartDub accelerates and enhances the delivery of key information to geographically dispersed staff, improving and accelerating decision-making and outcomes.

Workforce Training

SmartDub facilitates the adaption of training materials to address diverse workforce learning preferences, maximizing training efficiency.

Gaming and Entertainment

SmartDub enables and drives penetration of new and under-developed markets, driving increased global footprint and revenue share.

Learn More

Choose SPi Global SmartDub to accelerate and enhance your localization program, secure competitive advantage for your content, and penetrate and develop new markets.

See the solution in action and get a sample of your own media dubbed in our Experience Center.

Visit our Localization Experience Center

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