M&E Daily

M&E Journal: Localization Services Critical to D2C Strategies

By Chris Carey, Chief Revenue Officer, Managing Director for the Americas, BTI Studios

Major OTT platforms are proliferating at a record rate, with many distributors already beginning to release their own respective offerings or poised to do so soon. Success for these platforms will require a seamless rollout of both original and library content to consumers globally in as many as 36 different versions.

Localization firms can help advance content creators’ and distributors’ D2C strategies to expand distribution of content to as many consumers as possible on a global scale.

Quality localization services are almost as essential as the content itself. Internationally, the popularity of the content will depend on many factors, including localization. Content that is localized poorly — with low-quality dubbing, for example — will show a dramatic decline in viewership. That’s why it’s essential to treat the dubbing process as part of the production. Key activities will include:

* A pre-production process that will handle elements such as casting, in an aim to find the same profile of the original actor to make the end result a seamless experience.

* Trained translators and adaptors with the ability to mimic the emotional sentiment of the source material rather than a direct translation, which can feel flat. The translation needs to also preserve the overall feeling of the script. Jokes that only work in the local language may need a correct adaptation or replacement, for example.

* Directors who help with phrasing, elocution and inflection and ultimately are able to go over the smallest detail to produce a seamless local product that allows the consumer to never lose focus on the content itself.

Quality, authenticity key to localization

Globally recognized studios will drive global demand from dozens of regions, making it equally essential for localization companies to have the scale and capacity to deliver local product available day and date with the U.S. launch. This will come from having a quality workforce in place locally, and with it the relationships and network of creative talent, including adaptors, directors and voice actors. Together they ensure the end result feels authentic and doesn’t take away from the original vision of the source material.

Producing a quality version localized by the company or its local partner means building a standardized global practice that ensures the same quality, security and creativity standards are delivered consistently to audiences worldwide.

With the coming avalanche of OTT providers and SVOD platforms, consumers around the world will have more decisions to make and more power than ever to have a voice on the content they consume. To safeguard their investments in D2C, content owners will need localization services to ensure their content will be loved far beyond their markets of origin, and around the world.

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