YouTube announced on Thursday that it would be rolling out support for multi-language audio tracks, enabling producers to add dubbing to both new and old videos, enabling them to be seen by viewers around the world.
By extending the reach of the videos on its platform, the function helps YouTube itself in addition to artists who may be able to reach a wider audience.
The business claims that while YouTube has built-in technology to handle multi-language audio tracks, producers would still need to work directly with outside dubbing companies to produce their audio tracks.
Viewers will be able to select a different audio track from the same page where they can currently change other options like subtitles or audio quality after the video has been published.
Which other languages to support is entirely up to the developer.
Yet, according to YouTube, the feature had been utilized in more than 3,500 videos uploaded in more than 40 languages during early tests of the feature conducted with a select number of producers.
As of last month, viewers who watched the dubbed videos in a language other than the original recording accounted for more than 15% of total viewing time.
According to YouTube, users watched more than 2 million hours of subtitled videos every day in January alone.
Although the firm tells us it is already testing the functionality on Shorts, the feature will initially only be supported on YouTube’s long-form content.
We understand that thousands of additional creators will now have access to the new capabilities following Thursday’s launch.
Meanwhile, YouTube will roll out the ability to change a video’s audio track globally, making it accessible on desktops, mobile, tablets, and TVs.
One of the initial test subjects was well-known creator Mr. Beast (Jimmy Donaldson), who has 130 million fans worldwide.
To increase the number of foreign viewers on his channel, he subtitled his 11 most popular videos in 11 different languages.
Donaldson gave an explanation of the feature’s advantages in an interview with YouTube’s Creator Insider, pointing out that it is simpler to submit multilingual audio files than to manage and maintain a number of different foreign-language channels.
“It’s much easier to just run one channel than 12….you have to make 12 different thumbnails. You have to reply to comments on 12, upload on 12. It’s so much easier to have it in one central place. And on top of that, it’s a lot simpler for the fans,” Mr. Beast said
A notification and invitation will be sent to eligible authors who will have access to the functionality, giving them the opportunity to take part.
Once they have access, they can use the new Maker Studio feature.
When asked how many creators will be invited for this initial expansion, YouTube declined to reveal, only indicating that the figure was in the “thousands.”
It also didn’t specify a timeframe for when the choice will be widely accessible to more creators, but it did say it was working in that direction.