What Should You Know About Media Localization Strategies?

Posted by Gummy Tran on September 20, 2022.

New films and television shows can now be premiered and seen simultaneously in many different countries thanks to the explosion of streaming content platforms and their media localization strategies in recent years. For instance, there are more than 190 million Netflix customers across 190 nations. Language and national boundaries are no longer significant problems. According to a 2019 Netflix research, popular titles in non-English speaking nations like India, Japan, Sweden, and Turkey contain about 90% English-language material. Although it was written in English, this information has been translated for a worldwide audience.

So how did Netflix become a worldwide phenomenon? They localize the content. In other words, they redesigned and localized their material for new markets. Localization in movies extends beyond verbatim translations. Making your material relevant to regional consumers is also an important element of the process. To make your content accessible and applicable in a different environment, you might need to adjust dialogue, narrative, plots, visual references, and even post-production work.

The following 8 media localization tactics can help you localize streaming content successfully.

#1. Choose your markets 

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The contrary is also true; American (and European) productions are regularly localized for other markets. For the American market, you might choose to adapt popular content from regions like South Korea, the Middle East, or India. Netflix’s biggest success of 2021 was the South Korean production Squid Game, which amassed an astounding 1.65 billion streaming hours in the 28 days following its premiere. To engage audiences and avoid legal issues for your media localization, you must research and understand your target markets. This first step is vital and may alert you to local markets you hadn’t previously investigated.


#2. Start small for your media localization

The temptation to take on more than you can handle exists because it is possible to localize content quickly. As you go, test your localizations carefully and gradually. After that, expand in the markets where you’re having success. For instance, before localizing all of your video material, if you’re producing educational content, you could just want to localize a few brief films with subtitles or voice-overs to test the waters.

Take a cue from Netflix: although it took longer than seven years to launch in 190 countries, the wait was worthwhile. They gradually released content in additional regions, allowing personnel to concentrate on a small number of localizations at once and gain knowledge from them.


#3. Pick the right localization service for your media localization

Choose a translation service like GTE Media to assist you once you’ve decided the material you want to localize and which markets you’re targeting. Although they have their uses, high-budget movies and episodic material are not among them. An expert localization crew sensitive to the tastes of different, international viewing audiences is a must for long-form, creative works.

With all-in-one language adaptations that include any combination of text/script localization, voice recording (narration or performative dubbing), and post-production implementation, GTE Media assists production companies, studios, and streaming platforms in maximizing the global reach of their content. The result is a locally authentic viewing experience for any market.


#4. Captions or subtitling services 

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Subtitles and captions differ slightly from one another. Captions provide more details, enhancing the viewer’s understanding of both the audio and the visual components of your presentation. Good captioning incorporates non-speech sounds and music to aid in the comprehension of a production (usually shown in brackets). Contrarily, subtitles are mostly employed to translate audio and speech into the viewer’s native tongue. Although more expensive than subtitles, captions are ideal for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. The cost of subtitling is quite low, and it may be swiftly produced in various languages through automation or semi-automation. The ideal choice, though, for an even better user experience, is dubbing.


#5. Voiceovers and dubbing services


Professional dubbing enables audiences all over the world to understand content with ease. In fact, subtitles are used for 60% of Netflix’s international programming in France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. It is less expensive to dub over an existing film than to remake it in multiple languages using bilingual casts or other methods. In addition to being more user-friendly and accessible to a wider audience than subtitles, it also tends to make for better viewing. The motion on the screen and the words below do not need the spectator to divide their attention.

Dubbing in various languages can be used as a stand-alone solution for a single piece of material or as a component of a more comprehensive, protracted localization process. The distinction between dubbing and voice-overs is not very obvious. While dubbing is more exact and better captures the mood and tone of the source audio, voice-over is similar to a narration procedure. Whether you decide to use voice-overs or dubbing, having the correct artist is essential for a high-quality final product. Dubbing and voice-overs performed by native speakers are expensive and time-consuming, and they are typically saved for high-quality content (and large budgets). A more economical method of localizing your production content is using synthetic AI voice-overs or a combination of the two.


#6. Localizing for different cultures 

When localizing your content for a media localization project, there are other factors to take into account than word translation and the choice of captions, subtitles, dubbing, or voice-overs. It’s also crucial to understand and be sensitive to other cultures. In some cases, if the content cannot be localized, what succeeds in one market fails in another. When this occurs, a show’s or movie’s plot must be completely scrapped and rebuilt from scratch. New screenplays, sets, cast members, and scenarios might be involved. 


#7. Transcription services

One strategy for dealing with this cultural localization is to transform a script. The tone, style, nuances, and meaning of the original language are preserved when it is translated into the language of another region or country. Transcreation might begin with an original audio or video script, but it can simply begin with merely a creative brief. This frequently works better because brand-new elements can be developed to convey your voice and message in a completely different language. This kind of localization is most successful when used for strategic material, like advertising and marketing campaigns. 


#8. Be device friendly 

You should find out how your target customers access the internet through your local market research. While streaming entertainment on PCs and laptops is more popular in some countries, it is nearly exclusively done on smartphones and tablets in other cultures. Make sure streaming functions on all devices to maintain audience loyalty.


#9. Regulations rule for your media localization

Even a streaming juggernaut like Netflix has run afoul of laws in its new markets. For instance, in France, films cannot be made available on streaming services until three years have passed since their theatrical debut. Additionally, laws governing rights, age restrictions, violence, sex, and nudity differ from one nation to the next. Missing out on regulations can result in content being prohibited and perhaps expensive fines.


Work with a professional media localization company

You must tell a story that is both all-encompassing and specific if you want to provide a fantastic viewing experience. You also require top-notch localized content, whether it be done through subtitles or overdubbing. With the aid of GTE Media, get this right and see your media localization thrive on a grand scale.

As a professional media localization company, GTE Media will assist you in achieving your target fast, on time, and on budget. We provide businesses with various services such as subtitling services, transcription services, etc. across many industries such as Marketing, Legal, IT, Software, education, etc.

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To get a free quote and a free test, get in touch with our team today.

For more translation and localization needs, you can see more on the GTE Localize’s page.

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