As 2019 comes hurtling to end, we’re reflecting on the incredible things the year has brought us. It’s been ambitious, bold and relentlessly busy, but we’ve loved every minute of it! As ever, we’re super-proud to be working with our amazing clients on some awesome content – during a year that’s transformed how we look at global entertainment.
It’s been another huge year for streaming, with an ongoing OTT boom that continues to shake things up around the world. Some of the biggest, most-hyped shows and movies of the year are those being streamed everywhere from Los Angeles to Sydney.
Meanwhile, we’ve reveled in playing our part to help make it happen. It’s been a real year to remember for Team ZOO – here are a few of our biggest milestones along the way.
1) Unleashing the ‘Localization Ecosystem’
This year has seen the grand culmination of our ‘Project Awesome’ vision – reimagining what it means to be a localization service provider in the OTT generation.
In a time of more content, more formats, more platforms and shorter turnaround times than ever before, our clients need more than just localized deliverables.
So, we’re supporting the biggest names in entertainment by taking what we know and what you know. Becoming more streamlined and strategic. Connecting everything and everyone, from start to finish. Rethinking localization.
The Localization Ecosystem consists of every platform, person and moving part involved in our services; every file, deliverable, morsel of metadata interconnected and flowing seamlessly. Built from the ground-up, with years of vision, hard work and dedication. Delivering the best, most efficient way of working.
What would localization services look like if they were built using today’s technology? This year, ZOO found your answer.
2) ZOOstudio – Your Localization Project Management Platform
Whether well-established or bursting onto the scene, OTT powerhouses needed an easier way to manage localization projects and operations across all of their service providers – so we listened and we built!
Our dedicated, in-house research and development team created a cloud-based, vendor-agnostic localization management platform to enable customers to manage all aspects of their localization operations – orders, projects and vendors – all from one centralized system.
By empowering clients to manage their localization centrally in one overarching system, ZOO is helping cut down admin overkill. Slashing the number of emails, spreadsheets and disconnected systems that teams previously relied on.
In April, Team ZOO launched ZOOstudio in Las Vegas, proudly picking up an NAB Show Product of the Year Award in the process.
After launching to critical success, the project management platform has since been adopted by a major OTT player – helping to deliver complete project visibility and control across global localization.
Gordon Doran, President at ZOO Digital said:
“ZOOstudio is the platform that connects everything seamlessly and supports a genuine end-to-end service for the biggest names in the TV and movie industry."
3) Backed by the Trusted Partner Network
Some of the most renowned names in the international TV and movie business have come together to form a new, global, industry-wide content protection initiative.
The Trusted Partner Network is a joint venture between two major entertainment industry giants – the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), the worldwide leaders in third-party entertainment industry assessments – creating a new, gold standard for content security.
At the start of the year, ZOO joined the TPN, following a rigorous series of security checks, which look at every aspect of our operations – from physical and digital security to company culture and employee controls.
In participating in the TPN, ZOO has joined an elite group of localization vendors who have chosen to undergo the strict assessment.
ZOO Digital’s Head of Content Security, Steven Franklin, who led the TPN assessment process said:
“At ZOO Digital we know how important security is to the motion picture and television business, especially for pre-release content.
“Our participation in this process is a credit to our team who constantly strive for new and better ways to improve our practises. From asset ingest through to delivery, we’ve demonstrated that there are robust controls throughout the production process – all reinforced by the latest cloud-security technology and protocols.”
4) Expanded UK and Europe operations
In September, we celebrated the opening of our new, London dubbing facility and post-production hub. Our new, Soho-based operation acts as the heart of ZOO's European subtitling, dubbing and post-production services.
The hub is a center for driving our ever-growing operations in UK and Europe – providing localization and digital distribution services for some of the most well-known TV and movie content owners, global OTT platforms and major media brands.
Team ZOO is already recruiting and casting dubbing talent from across Europe through the facility, as well as running media processing and artwork localization services in Soho.
A key feature of the facility is the newly-kitted out recording studio, supporting our cloud dubbing service. The technology and kit mirrors our Los Angeles production hub for recording and mixing – designed around the stringent standards required for Hollywood.
Julian Day, Director of Business Development, UK and Europe said:
“We’re very excited about the new facility. It’s a great space in a fantastic location and allows us to better support our European clients across all ZOO’s service lines in our growing operation on both sides of the Atlantic.”
5) 'Excellence in Localization for a Global TV Project'
To round off the year with a welcome bit of glamour, ZOO was commended for 'Excellence in Localization for a Global TV Project' at the Broadcast Tech Innovation Awards.
As ever, our team worked devotedly on an end-to-end localization and digital distribution project comprising 17 subtitling languages, three dubbing languages, five forced narrative languages, dub and subtitle conforms, audio description and digital packaging – all for the highest quality standards demanded from the Netflix Preferred Fulfillment Partner (NPFP) program.
By managing the project using our Localization Ecosystem of interconnected platforms, we were able to guarantee the exacting localization quality required by Netflix – as well as streamlining admin, avoiding duplication of work and accessing the required pool of translation talent.
Shaunna Walsh, Dubbing Manager said:
“The whole team at ZOO is really proud to receive this award. We're continuing to make big strides in how global localization works for our clients. As shows and movies are getting a second life in new territories around the world, everyone is excited to see how technology is opening things up.”
Looking ahead to 2020
As we power on through to 2020, we’re as proud as ever to be working in the exciting and fast-moving world of entertainment. We’ve forged some incredible relationships with some of the most creative, talented and inspiring people in the industry – and the next year shows no signs of slowing down!
Whether we’ve worked together on dubs, subs, digital distribution – or playing our part in something altogether grander – we’re excited to help keep everything running like clockwork in 2020.
To the awesome talent all around the world who are the backbone of what we do, we hope to onboard, train and work with even more awesome translators, voice artists and directors – readying vast amounts of content in an increasing number of languages.
In 2020, we’re here for you. Ready to support your plans and work strategically into the new year. Whether you need high-quality deliverables, the tools to localize super-efficiently or a helping hand launching into emerging territories. Talk to ZOO.