Unlocking Global Markets: The Power of Localization for Content Owners


With the widespread adoption of streaming platforms, the challenge of localization goes beyond mere translation to sell into global markets. It involves adapting content to reflect the cultural nuances and preferences specific to each region, ensuring relevance on a more personal level. For content owners, mastering the art of localization is not just an option but a necessity to monetize collections and tap into new markets effectively.

The Digital Landscape: A New Realm of Opportunities and Challenges

The digital revolution has significantly altered the way audiences consume media. Streaming and FAST channels have become the norm, ushering in fierce competition among rights holders. Despite the opportunities presented by these platforms, a significant number of distributors struggle to monetize content. This backdrop makes it essential to leverage strategic localization to survive and thrive in this new ecosystem.

Strategic Localization

Localization goes beyond translating content into different languages. It's also about culturally adapting your content where possible to resonate with the audience in each market. Successful localization can forge deep connections with diverse audiences, unlocking new income streams. This strategy involves translating subtitles, dubbing audio, and, for producers and content creators, even reconfiguring content to align with the cultural contexts and humor of the target audience, enhancing its market acceptance and profitability.

The rise of a well-known streaming service to international prominence is a testament to the effectiveness of a well-orchestrated localization strategy. By offering content in multiple languages and producing originals that reflect local preferences, this platform has managed to captivate a global audience, showcasing the power of localization in achieving international success.

Expanding Reach Through Licensing and Syndication

An often overlooked yet powerful aspect of localization involves leveraging licensing and syndication in a global market. This enables content owners to distribute localized content more broadly, forming strategic partnerships with international broadcasters, streaming platforms, and distributors. These partnerships extend content reach and open up lucrative royalty and licensing opportunities, contributing to a more diversified and stable revenue stream.

Localizing content allows content owners to negotiate better deals with international partners, ensuring their content's visibility across various platforms worldwide.  

How Fast Channels Are Reshaping Licensing Revenue Management

A Phased Strategy for Localization

Content owners should adopt a phased approach to international expansion. Focusing on markets with cultural or linguistic similarities to the existing audience base initially allows for a smoother entry. It provides valuable insights that can refine the localization strategy for subsequent markets. This step-by-step expansion is crucial for navigating the complexities of diverse markets, ensuring content is appropriately adapted to meet each audience's unique tastes and cultural preferences.

The Complexity of Localization

The intricacies involved in localization cannot be understated. Accurately conveying dialects, humor, and cultural references requires an in-depth understanding of the target market, necessitating a blend of technological solutions and human expertise. Technologies like optical character recognition (OCR) subtitling and machine translation offer efficiency in adapting content for multiple languages. However, human oversight must fine-tune these tools for specific markets, ensuring authenticity and cultural resonance.

6 Localization Strategies to Implement

For content owners looking to harness the full potential of their titles in the global market, the following strategies offer a roadmap to success:

  1. Leverage Licensing and Syndication: Explore partnerships with international platforms to broaden the reach of your localized content. These collaborations can significantly enhance visibility and revenue potential.

  2. Start Small, Think Big: Begin your expansion with geographically or culturally close markets to your existing audience. This strategy allows you to refine your localization approach in a less challenging environment before moving to more diverse territories.

  3. Quality Localization is Key: High-quality localization can significantly affect how your content is received globally. Investing in professional services for subtitles, dubbing, and transcreation ensures that your content maintains its authenticity and appeals to local audiences.

  4. The Human Touch in Technology: While technological solutions offer efficiency in translation and subtitling, they cannot fully replace the nuanced understanding of a human translator. Ensuring accuracy and cultural relevance requires a blend of technology and human insight.

  5. Beyond Language: Effective localization extends beyond language, considering local trends, preferences, and even design elements to ensure a seamless user experience for the target audience.

  6. Adapt and Learn: Localization is an ongoing process. Monitoring performance, gathering feedback, and being willing to adapt your strategy based on audience response is essential for success in international markets.

The Global Stage Awaits

To gain deeper insights into how localization, licensing, and syndication are critical to digital content, explore our expert-crafted guide, Exploiting Content Libraries for Streaming and FAST Channels.

Our guide outlines:  

  • Strategies for licensing and syndication to increase your reach
  • Tips for managing metadata to make your content easy to find
  • How to adapt your artwork for the digital stage
  • Navigating the digital rights management maze
  • And much more!
Grab your copy now and start getting more from your titles! 

FilmTrack is an RBC Company and subsidiary of City National Bank Member FDIC. City National Bank is a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada.
This article is for general information and education only. It is provided as a courtesy to the clients and  friends of FilmTrack. FilmTrack does not warrant that it is accurate or complete. Opinions expressed and estimates or projections given are those of the authors or persons quoted as of the date of the article with no obligation to update or notify of inaccuracy  or change. This article may not be reproduced, distributed or further published by any person without the written consent of FilmTrack. Please cite source when quoting.
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