TVT, the managed media services provider, has released a report outlining the key video content localisation challenges that broadcasters, on-demand service providers and other TV operators need to overcome to successfully expand into rapidly growing international markets.
“There are huge opportunities in the growing international TV marketplace for content owners, video streaming services and others prepared to invest in new frontiers for their business,” says Ian Brotherston, Chief Executive of TVT. “But there are also inherent risks and big potential costs for operators that take a wrong step – especially for those going into new markets without detailed knowledge of cultural nuances, accepted TV norms and local broadcast regulations. There is a real art to versioning content for new territories.”
The TVT report, entitled The Art of the International Content Journey, touches on the forces driving opportunities in new markets, citing published figures from Digital TV Research that show OTT and video revenue surging globally. The TV business intelligence firm projects revenue growth of 35 per cent in the developed North American market between 2016 and 2021, 88 per cent in Europe, 129 per cent in Latin America, 137 per cent in Asia Pacific, and 292 per cent in the Middle East and North Africa.
The paper, which gathered insight and examples from TVT’s work for clients such as Netflix, Hulu, A+E Networks, Discovery Communications and BBC across the world, explores the specific issues operators must tackle in preparing foreign video content for linear broadcast, OTT, catch-up TV and VoD. The whitepaper looks at the ‘art’ of dealing with not just local broadcast regulations, but the taboos and finer cultural distinctions that impact audience perceptions and reactions.
Critical challenges in compliance and local audience versioning highlighted in the whitepaper include:
Brotherston notes that the pitfalls of local versioning can often be very subtle: “It’s easy to fall afoul of local rules or cultural sensitivities if you don’t know them inside out – showing a tattoo on-screen in South Korea, for instance, or use of the word ‘God’ as an exclamation in Poland, or preparation of a pork dish in a cookery show broadcast in the Middle East, or allowing US-style product placement in the more restrictive European market, or depicting prominent drug use in in Japan.”