The passing of a calendar year can feel like a wild ride, rushing toward the finish line like a runaway unicorn. As we approach the end of 2023, we find ourselves engulfed in the dust of anticipation and New Year’s resolutions. While many people vow to learn new skills or improve their health, have you ever considered making resolutions for your business?
2024 is just around the corner, and it’s a perfect opportunity to revamp your strategy to ensure you stay competitive and profitable throughout. So, you can stride confidently into 2024 with optimism and a sense of security.
Let’s raise a toast to the future of bold business choices and multimedia localization tactics that can help your brand thrive in the competitive global landscape.
This guide is all about sharing the top trends to help you align your New Year’s resolutions as a media service provider that they need to stay on top of the competition, given the evolving technological revolution.
But before we dive deeper and share the top five trends looming over the multimedia localization industry, first take a look at the market insights!
A Look Into the Global Multimedia Content Market
Binge-watching is fueled by rapid digitization, globalization, and the introduction of Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms. Billions devour online videos, millions tune into podcasts, and the thirst for knowledge fuels a booming e-learning market.
Nearly 92% of internet users, which is approximately 3.5 billion people, watch online videos for an average of 17 hours every week. The popularity of podcasts has surged, with over 464.7 million listeners tuning in to more than 5 million podcasts globally. Moreover, the e-learning industry is expected to triple its revenue by 2025.
But as audiences across the globe widen, so does the need for content that speaks their languages. That’s where multimedia localization comes in!
Traditional translation takes a backseat in this complex arena. With an intricate blend of text, visuals, and audio, videos demand a more agile approach.
This is where generative AI (GenAI) can help. It is offering a solution for effortless multilingual content creation and translation. Gartner predicts that generative AI will contribute to 10% of all data generated by 2025, which is less than 1% at present, due to its rapid growth.
Resolution #1 – Know Your Audience
Keeping customers at the center of everything you do is the best way to align your brand goals for the new year. Think to yourself, or scribble on the paper, why do clients come to you for media localization services?
If you do so, you will understand that localization needs to be culturally appropriate. What is acceptable for some people is not considered graceful in another community.
Language is not just a medium to exchange information but an effective tool to express feelings and emotions. So, all the localization projects you sign up for need to be contextually and culturally appropriate.
This can only be achieved if you know your target audience inside out. Thus, knowing your audience should be on top of your New Year’s resolution list.
Resolution #2 – Use Cultural Tailoring
Your next resolution in the list should be to adapt all the content you develop, whether they are translation, subtitles, dubbing, or dub cards. Everything must align with your target local audience’s cultural norms and values to prevent misunderstanding and offensive translations.
We have listed down a few things to help you rise above the challenge:
- Identify, analyze, and integrate the local traditions, customs, and norms into your localization projects to show cultural awareness and respect.
- Use culturally appropriate language, colloquialisms, and idioms to leverage the power of transcreation into your localization techniques and make the content relatable for the target audience.
- Be mindful of the references, symbols, and content that may be considered insensitive or offensive by a target segment audience.
- Show consideration and incorporate references to local events and holidays relevant to the audience.
- Take a tailoring approach to visuals, including design, images, and colors in alignment with cultural sensitivities and local preferences.
Resolution #3 – Use Technology to Your Advantage
Generative AI is greatly benefiting the advancements in translations with improved natural language processing and understanding capabilities. The technology has matured with time and can produce more nuanced and accurate translations. However, the question still lingers, ‘will AI replace human translators and transcribers?’
A practical answer to this dilemma is to not rely on AI fully. However, look for ways to work collaboratively with it. Without question, AI can handle large volumes and work as a quick fix, but it cannot be considered a full-fledged solution or a replacement.
Thus, in 2024, generative AI is considered an invaluable tool for augmenting human expertise.
Jennifer Best, VP of Marketing at AAE Speakers Bureau said that Spotify's AI voice translation service is a fascinating intersection of audio and artificial intelligence. Besides, it can expand reach to a wider multilingual audience. Forbes
The industry may also witness noticeable improvements in speech-to-text and speech-to-speech translation technologies. It will lead the way for real-time and error-free translations by supporting a wide range of accents and dialects, providing increased inclusivity in multimedia localization.
Some of the known benefits of GenAI are as under:
- Deepfakes – Leverage it to alter the lip movements of an actor to match the dubbed audio content to make the entire experience for the audience more worthwhile.
- AI Dubbing – You generate dubs using it in multiple languages, streamlining the overall dubbing process from translation to voice-over.
- Cost Cutting – By reducing the need for dubbing and recording sessions with the voice actors and the tedious editing process, AI is helping production houses save costs and time.
- Market Expansion – AI enables businesses to penetrate new markets, previously not economically viable, facilitating quick translations to low-resource languages.
Resolution #4 – Remember! The Human Factor Still Matters
There is no doubt that AI has revolutionized the translation and localization industry with advancements and benefits that were previously thought to be wishful thinking. However, there remains an irreplaceable critical element that no media localization industry should ignore, i.e., “THE HUMAN FACTOR”.
Thus, it’s integral that businesses understand that AI can generate content, but it cannot bring in the emotions, nuances, and essence that humans can.
A quick ‘fix’ – Use AI to generate content, let human experts review it and bring in the magical human touch that makes everything sparkle.
Marija Zivanovic-Smith, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at IEX said that AI will continue to dominate 2024 trends as people try to identify ways to leverage it and determine when to work without it. Forbes
Here’s a quick look into the issues you can face while dealing with AI to avoid alienating large audiences:
- Lack of Emotion and Nuance – AI-generated dub does sound human, but only to some extent because it struggles with the required emotional expression and subtleties, leading to detachment.
- Limited Vocal Tones – Some AI dubbing services offer limited vocal options. As a result, several characters or people end up sounding like each other, thus creating a monotonous experience for the audience.
- Contextual Ambiguity – AI can easily misinterpret the context, leading to contradicting interpretations of the original performance.
- Dialect Barriers – There are still some dialects and languages that AI does not support fully, ultimately increasing the intensity of other limitations.
Resolution #5 – Don’t Take QA For Granted
Despite the remarkable development of generative AI and the superior capabilities of automated dubbing services, one thing is certain, ‘TECH CAN MAKE MISTAKES’. Therefore, you must involve a human at every step of the dubbing and subtitling process.
Yes, AI can do the heavy lifting and save you time and money, but having a professional overseeing the output and controlling the quality will help you ensure that everything is ‘just’ right; language, emotions, dialect, and other cultural nuances.
According to a CSA Research Article, human oversight and quality assurance are optimal to ensure the translations are accurate, contextually relevant, and culturally appropriate. CSA Research
As new developments in AI are introduced, media service providers will be able to leverage it to do more work with better accuracy. But right now, it is recommended to keep a check and balance to avoid embarrassing situations and losing your clients.
Whenever an industry is exposed to a changing or transformative situation, it is normal to feel on the edge. Questions keep popping into the mind, like what the future holds for your business or whether it will survive the shift.
But remember that luck favors the prepared, and making new resolutions for your media localization business in alignment with the changing business dynamics is the best preparation you can do right now.
The suggestions we made in this article will serve as a guiding principle for your business’ success and scalability.
Understanding your target audience and their cultural preferences will always remain the first step, regardless of how many projects you take on. The application of technology should be an ongoing process that will mature over time, given the new AI developments. On the other hand, the human touch will serve as a binding force to put everything together, ensuring quality output for your clients.