Localization for SVOD Platforms such as Netflix or Amazon

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are streaming platforms with international footprints and huge volumes. So it’s not surprising that they have had to institutionalize certain processes, and that includes localization, i.e. the process of adapting the video content to foreign audiences. The result is that content producers working with these platforms are often given a preferred list of localization vendors.

While it may make sense to utilize a preferred vendor, there are some additional factors to consider:  

  • If your video and film content is already subtitled or dubbed in advance at high standards of quality, it should meet the SVOD platform requirements. Don’t assume the work needs to be redone.
  • If you do choose a preferred vendor, bear in mind that many of them subcontract to other good ones who are not on the preferred vendor list. It’s not surprising; it’s a natural effect of having a relatively small number of gatekeepers responsible for the volume of work coming through the pipeline. But the result to the client is that the video producers end up paying a premium, rather than working directly with the company actually subtitling or dubbing the content. A hidden risk here, is that the subcontractor is not known, which could compromise quality.
  • If you have a contract with an SVOD platform, check the language. You may not be required to work with their approved or “preferred” vendors and you’re able to choose from a wider network of less expensive/equally high-quality vendors.
  • SVOD requirements tend to be standard; high-quality localization providers who do not happen to be on the preferred list will be able to meet those specifications easily.

Trusted, Quality Localization

If you partner with an experienced, exacting provider, you will be able to meet the SVOD platform requirements for subtitling and dubbing easily — and also be able to sidestep a higher cost structure further down the line. There’s also the chance that the busy preferred-list vendor you choose doesn’t really have the bandwidth to understand your objectives and intent. For example, a script with subtle humor—whether or not it’s considered a comedy—requires some careful compressing of dialogue. Without care, compressed subtitles can run the risk of giving away your pacing or punchline.            

A strong partnership with a trusted localization vendor who can take the time to know your content and goals will ensure that your creative message will not be lost—and might well be cared for above and beyond the common baseline of industry standards.

CMI routinely localizes for SVOD platforms, and not only meets the required standards, but works with content providers to exceed them.  Learn more about our services and how we can help make your content perform in any market.
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