NAB 2019: ZOO Digital to Launch Cloud Localization Innovations

ZOO Digital is bringing a number of new offerings to the 2019 NAB Show, including the launch of its ZOOstudio ecosystem, a service ecosystem that aims to simplify localization for content owners; increase vendor collaboration and reduce supply chain wastage.

Designed to address the challenges of OTT distribution, ZOOstudio provides content owners with a centralized system for ordering, tracking and managing all the services required to create localized content packages. ZOO’s collaborative approach sees services such as dubbing, subtitling, metadata localization and media processing delivered either by ZOO as the end-to-end vendor or in combination with clients’ other preferred global vendors.

The ZOOstudio ecosystem brings together ZOO’s existing, battle-tested platforms. It enables content owners to have all their vendors working together in one cloud system, with assets and reference materials shared between vendor workflows to increase efficiency and reduce duplication. With a single point of order and fulfillment, content owners are no longer required to track projects across multiple vendor-specific systems; ZOOstudio gives full visibility and live consolidated status reporting across all vendor production workflows.

“The time has come for service vendors to work together to support content owners to achieve their goals. In ZOOstudio, we have created the single ecosystem that clients need to centralize and manage their end-to-end services across all vendors,” said ZOO president Gordon Doran “Content owners will be able to share reference materials, assets and data across global workflows to simplify and speed up content distribution.”

“This is how localization would have always been done if cloud technology had always been around. Services are centralized, streamlined, collaborative and secure. Duplication of costs and processes is reduced, and content owners have the freedom to choose their preferred services and vendors while managing the entire process all in one place – ZOOstudio.”

Additionally, ZOO Digital will expand its cloud dubbing services through a global network of ZOO-enabled dubbing studios (ZEDS), with more than 50 in-territory ZEDS having joined the vendor’s cloud dubbing services network.

ZOO has created the ZEDS global network in direct response to the boom in demand for dubbing talent capacity from its content owner clients. ZEDS are highly reputable, independent dubbing studios located in key territories for distribution.

ZOO Digital has trained each dubbing studio to use ZOOdubs, its industry-first and award-winning cloud-dubbing platform, in order to record and manage the dubbing process. This unique partnership approach means that ZOO can work with any studio across the world with the right credentials. It enables coverage with a far wider talent pool than if the provider were to rely on owner-operated studios.

Being ZOO-Enabled means that each dubbing studio operates in the same way as they would with any localization services vendor, recording to the same quality, using the same equipment – but with one key difference – they are trained to use the cutting-edge ZOOdubs, cloud platform. Custom-built for the entertainment industry, it provides a secure way to capture audio and manage the dubbing process efficiently from order to delivery.

For content owners it provides much needed access to preferred studios and a wider pool of dubbing talent in key territories. At the same time, it means that the world’s most sought-after TV and movie content is managed using proven, secure and efficient ZOO systems. For ZOO-Enabled Dubbing Studios it offers the chance to work on dubbing projects for Hollywood studios, major OTT platforms and global broadcasters using world-class, cutting-edge cloud technology.

Lastly, ZOO Digital will unveil cloud-dubbing innovations for faster time to market, including lip sync dubbing, casting and audio creation.

This next phase of refinement for the localization vendor’s award-winning cloud-dubbing service is in direct response to the huge pressures its clients face in the entertainment industry.

This includes an industry-wide need for far more efficient ways to localize and prepare the most sought-after TV and movie content for expectant audiences around the world.

The first innovation assists with lip sync dubbing. The skill of matching the translated and dubbed audio with the actor’s lip movements on screen is notoriously labor-intensive. ZOO’s lip sync innovation cleverly analyses the script to identify where mouth movements could occur onscreen and shows them as a visual representation or viseme on the timeline.

This shows where they need to be matched in the adapted script, also using visemes, allowing both streams to be compared and greatly assisting the efficiency of adapting the audio into other languages. An additional accuracy score on the adaptation provides a clear indication of how well the mouth movements will match the original.

Another innovation automatically converts text to speech to speed up the creation of audio description streams. The efficient production of audio offers content owners choice and flexibility when it comes to services such as audio description, especially when a TV or movie title needs to be launched quickly in a new market.

The third innovation is auto casting. This uses cloud software to automate a first stage of the casting process by efficiently matching the voice of dubbing artists with the original actor’s voice. This assists with casting sound-alike characters from ZOO’s extensive database and ensuring the quality of dubbed voiceovers.