The inability to dub content effectively closes distribution access to any market where dubbing is the preferred mode of entertainment localization, limiting the reach of that content which consequently limits the revenue that content is able to generate. In 2020, this posed a significant problem for studios who found themselves without access to their facilities and without a proper way for their teams to collaborate.
Viewer preference plays a vital role in determining whether subtitling or dubbing will be used as the mode of localization in a particular market. Because certain markets are used to dubbing and have a strong preference for it, the option of subtitling--which is considerably cheaper, less resource intensive, as well as more compatible with remote work--is DOA in those markets. This means that finding a solution that allows dubbing to happen remotely was a necessity for any studio hoping to meet their goals of distributing to their planned markets content that had already been created, but not yet localized.
As it became increasingly evident that neither subtitling nor in-person recording would be a viable option, studios set their sights on building a remote recording framework. However, as the need for remote recording became more apparent, so too did the challenges that implementing it would pose.
While security is a greater concern in some situations than others, nonetheless maintaining this security became exponentially more difficult across the board. When all parties involved are in a single space, it’s easier to control who has access to what information/content and what they do with that access. For example, when a studio is particularly concerned about something being leaked, they can ask individuals to leave their phones when entering a recording booth. However, this type of control over the process becomes almost impossible when information, content, documents, etc are being transmitted across insecure channels such as email to insecure locations such as someone’s personal computer at their residence.
Naturally, ensuring that voice recordings maintain a high level of quality is extremely important in making sure that content is ready for distribution. While consumers don’t know what constitutes a good recording or what it takes to get good recording quality, they can identify a bad recording and will subsequently be very turned off from continuing to watch.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) for localization have been a topic of endless debate for a long time. Localization teams the world over have not only struggled to create such metrics but to measure and track them consistently.
2020 was a big year for language technology. One lesser-known application for AI, dubbed the “digital shield,” is also set to become a more prominent part of the fight against misleading and manipulative content.
The solutions to address the impact of a global pandemic on recording studios requiring the presence of actors in recording booths were twofold: software and hardware.