Taking place in Berlin's stunning Radisson Blu Hotel, Languages & The Media 2018 was all about the innovations and changes that are shaping the future of the media and language industries.
Team ZOO has put together a lightning round-up of the key insights we picked up during our time at the show.
1. Content owners are (still) tackling tighter turnarounds
Shrinking release windows are become tighter and tighter with the demands of digital distribution and this brings challenge from every direction for the media and language industries.
Feature-length movies and full series of TV content need to be localized, packaged and ready to deliver for worldwide launches, so content owners and localization service providers are facing faster turnarounds than ever.
Retaining the quality of translation and adaptation when pressed for time on delivery remains a crucial issue, as is effective communication to all vendors in the supply chain with new video cuts being worked on so close to final delivery dates.
So, how is the language industry coping with this demand?
Innovative localization service providers are working intelligently on non-final materials and dealing with the complexity that comes with this through automation and technology. Bringing us swiftly to our next point...
2. Technology is complementing creatives
Throughout the show, several speakers talked about the need to embrace the adoption of localization technology.
Technology that is being utilized not to replace the crucial job of translators and adaptors, but to work alongside them. Letting the creatives do what they do best by removing the heavy-lifting admin and freeing up time and costs.
Based on our time at the show, it's becoming more and more evident that the slicker solutions provided by LSPs are being embraced wholeheartedly by translators to let them do their job more efficiently. Cloud-based services are connecting freelance talent to work on a world of content – while streamlining processes, cutting down on travel costs and improving work-life balance.
However, 'respeaking', speech-to-text and machine translation are still not widely trusted as a solution to replace traditional translation storytelling – and it's still a struggle to demystify artificial intelligence without a few rolling eyes.
Only time will tell, as leaps and bounds are being made with technology companies exploring these areas, but based on the LATM 2018 conference, the localization industry isn't quite there yet.
3. Training and collaboration encouraged
Training programmes for new entrants to the localization industry was widely encouraged – backed by LSPs engaging with educational bodies.
ZOO's Scot Evans (2nd), Tony Ferkranus (4th), and Mark Hawksworth (6th) welcomed at CasAzul
Those with cloud-based platforms and training tools were singled out as having the greatest potential in this area. Take a look at ZOO's work with Mexican performing arts school CasAzul to see how this can work for fresh dubbing talent.
4. Localized content continues to grow
The vast workload required of the localization industry is expected to further increase year-on-year.
ZOO's Mazin Al-Jumaili highlighted an 8% average increase in US original content production YOY. Extrapolated on a worldwide level of ‘local’ content creation, this puts pressure on the localization community to find and train more translation and VO talent to accommodate this expanding demand.
5. Bridging the gap between industries is key
Above all else, LATM 2018 presented a rare chance to bridge the gap between content owners, LSPs and freelancers in one place.
"It's a unique and intimate place where content owners, distributors, language service providers, educational bodies and freelance localization experts can mix, educate each other and come away with more insight on every aspect of innovation in this field.
"LATM should be firmly embedded in everyone’s ‘localization event’ calendar – it's just a pity it's every two years! Thanks to the LATM organizers for hosting a great event.”
Creative director, Mapi Lucchesi added:
"Berlin was a fantastic opportunity to collaborate and have face-to-face discussions with our localization partners – illustrating each others' pain points with the challenges that growing SVOD markets bring to the table."
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