How localization leader Iyuno Media Group opens entertainment to international audiences – TechCrunch

Video streaming platforms have signed up extra subscribers throughout Covid-19 lockdowns, and that growth is expected to continue after the pandemic, showcasing extra international content material. When subtitles are nicely carried out, they don’t take audiences out of the immersive expertise of a very good present or film. This means as content material suppliers sort out worldwide enlargement, demand for localization companies, together with translated subtitles, can be rising. Iyuno Media Group is among the largest media localization corporations, and works with shoppers together with Netflix, Apple iTunes, DreamWorks, HBO and Entertainment One.

Lots has modified since Iyuno was began in 2002 by government chairman David Lee whereas he was an undergraduate in Seoul. Back then it offered primarily English to Korean subtitles for tv networks. “I started the business in my last year of university and, of course, back then we didn’t have any video streaming services,” he mentioned. “Our client base was mostly local and some regional broadcasters.”

Now Iyuno, whose traders embody SoftBank Ventures Asia, gives localization companies for about 600,000 hours of content material on an annual foundation, together with translation, subtitling, dubbing, accessibility options and compliance with native content material rules, in additional than 80 languages. It operates 35 amenities throughout 30 international locations within the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Iyuno additionally announced in January that it has entered into an settlement with Imagica Group to purchase SDI Media, one other localization supplier.

In order to make the present scale of its companies doable, Iyuno constructed its personal cloud-based enterprise useful resource planning software program. The platform permits importing of recordsdata from content material suppliers, and consists of options for time coding, translation, content material and technical high quality management, and distribution again to Iyuno’s shoppers. It onboards, trains and assesses new freelancers, and provides groups engaged on the identical challenge a central base.

Iyuno additionally constructed its personal neural machine translation engines, that are skilled on knowledge from particular genres (for instance, drama, animation, comedies, horror and documentary), and assist its groups work extra precisely and rapidly.

Localizing entertainment in a extra related world

Being in a position to assure constant outcomes with quick turnaround occasions is particularly essential now that OTT companies are erasing international and cultural boundaries between audiences, and the reveals and flicks they watch.

“Good shows, even in non-English languages, perform well in other countries,” mentioned Lee. “Because of Covid, productions have been majorly affected. OTT providers need fresh content to keep subscribers and are licensing non-U.S. content in countries where it hadn’t been licensed a lot in the past.”

Parrot Analytics recently told Axios that non-American reveals accounted for practically 30% of demand within the United States throughout the third-quarter of 2020. That pattern started earlier than the pandemic, however manufacturing shutdowns meant many networks and streaming companies started displaying extra international content material to meet viewers calls for.


This means localization companies aren’t solely working with extra reveals and flicks that have been initially filmed in non-English languages, but additionally translating it right into a wider array of languages, which includes loads of teamwork.

“In a single language for a single hour of video running time, it usually takes around five or six different steps, and four or five different individuals,” together with translators and high quality management checkers, mentioned Lee.

For content material that’s translated right into a single different language, Iyuno hires individuals who can hear to the present and translate on the similar time, with out having to use a script. Files from Iyuno’s shoppers are uploaded onto its platform and proxy recordsdata are generated with watermarks and different safety measures. Then the translator will get a hyperlink to the video. After they’re carried out including their translation, the subtitled content material goes by means of a preset high quality management course of, after which is formatted and delivered again to the consumer.

The course of for translating content material into a number of totally different languages follows an identical process, besides the unique language is first transcribed right into a script, after which despatched to translators to allow them to work as a group. Then subtitled content material is distributed to a central high quality management group to be certain that it’s constant earlier than being delivered to the consumer.

For some content material, like stay broadcasts or episodes of tv dramas which are edited shortly earlier than airing, Iyuno can present very fast turnaround occasions, sometimes 24 hours, however generally as little as one or two hours. In these situations, Iyuno begins recording when the present begins airing. Then it divides the footage into 10-minute segments which are despatched to groups of three individuals: a time coder, translator and high quality management checker, who normally work at home and are logged into Iyuno’s ERP platform. It takes about an hour to translate every 10-minute part, so which means six groups are normally concerned on the similar time throughout an hour-long course of.

Preserving an immersive expertise

Quality management consists of making certain subtitles and different localization options for a present preserve constant high quality throughout languages, and in addition checking technical elements, since there are greater than 100 subtitle codecs. Iyuno’s high quality checkers be certain that subtitles are positioned unobtrusively on the display screen, don’t obscure essential particulars and keep away from overlapping between dialogue from totally different characters or scenes.

“We like to have buffers because reading speed is usually slower than hearing speed,” mentioned Lee. Iyuno’s platform has scene detection instruments, which analyzes video and mechanically organizes subtitles so that they don’t roll over into one other scene.

Creating accessibility options at the moment accounts for about 5% to 10% of Iyuno’s enterprise and is rising. That consists of audio descriptions for individuals with visible impairments, which suggests including narration that describes what is going on on display screen, and closed captions with descriptions of all of the sounds which are taking place in a present.

“It’s a growing demand and it’s very important for clients, who are keen to serve those audiences,” mentioned Lee.

One of the issues translators want to do when engaged on reveals is to hold the unique intent of the creator in languages with totally different colloquialisms or cultural nuances.

“I was a subtitler, and it’s usually not a very dry job of translating the foreign language into ours, or the other way around,” Lee mentioned. “It’s really immersing yourself into the content, so at times you forget to translate because you’re watching the show and understanding the feeling, laughs, sadness or character dynamics.”

Iyuno’s machine translation engines are in a position to assist with the method by performing the preliminary translation, so human translators can focus extra on a present’s artistic features.

“It’s more a subjective and qualitative thing. It’s hard to put into technical words, but we try to find efficiencies to reinforce that creativity,” Lee added. “At the same time, most of our translators had that learning and experience before they came to the company, so they’re aware that those are aspects they need to deal with and, in many cases, I think that’s where a machine can never substitute a human.”

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