All Eyes on Audiovisual Translation


In 2020, all eyes will again be on audiovisual translation. The competition in the AV market’s entertainment segment continues to grow, as even more platforms, such as Apple and Disney+, introduce their OTT (over-the-top) streaming services.


More than ever before, audiovisual translation is not just about motion pictures. It’s about acquiring paying viewers—and therefore about big bucks: Disney+ reported an impressive 10 million sign-ups within 24 hours of the launch of their service.


People everywhere are becoming accustomed to hearing English while being entertained. Audiences are more tolerant of watching films in a foreign language—as long as they are supported with subtitles. Audiences need to decide which streaming service provider best meets their needs, and whether they want to be entertained with subtitled or dubbed versions.


While the market for media translation is growing and becoming more diverse in many aspects, one thing remains the same:

Entertainment localization is getting more and more tech-driven. The likelihood of future growth for media localization companies is still volatile in spite of current strong trends. And, surprisingly or not, it is not adding manpower that drives the needed increase in capacity, but rather a smart way of using technology, including external or proprietary tools, and human operators in AV tech, project management, and translation.


But the AV market doesn’t stop with entertainment. The predominance of images in content is growing in all areas. Videos are also consistently supplementing or even replacing text in training and marketing content, websites, and trade shows, to name a few. Subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing, audio descriptions, and other accessibility support features are also increasingly more visible in the media landscape, offering greater inclusion for people with disabilities.

The Trend for 2020: More and More Technology.

"In a more standardized market, technical applications like the use of translation technology are paramount in order to be productive and keep up with the industry"
Angela Starkmann - AV translator and consultant
Angela Starkmann
AV translator and consultant

Lack of talent can be a serious disruptive factor in this market that works with numerous languages and even more language combinations (with English, of course, usually in the pivot position). Many linguists and talented newcomers entered the subtitling market from a variety of areas of expertise  during the audiovisual ‘gold rush.’ These people now need training to better understand the highly structured, process-oriented, tools-driven approach of this industry, and not only embrace the glamorous part of their new profession, but also to demonstrate that they are able to perform in a fast-paced, sophisticated technical environment.


Productivity and collaboration tools like memoQ help companies and translators alike meet an ever-growing localization volume. As companies and linguists become more productive, they can meet the demands for even more translation, as more films, more series, more languages, and more locales in more language combinations are brought to international markets.

Are you having trouble keeping up with the increasing demands for audiovisual translation?

Download our new eBook and learn about creating the best possible work environment for the best possible audiovisual translation work—and how memoQ can be a partner as you deal with the challenges of AV translation.