Netflix is prioritising the dubbing of content in its major markets as part of its localisation strategy.
According to new research by Ampere Analysis, Netflix is dubbing content in smaller markets. In most non-English speaking territories, Netflix’s catalogue comprises 90% foreign-language content, making localisation, either through audio dubbing or subtitles, extremely important.
Although Netflix continues to grow the number local commissions, locally-produced titles still represent the minority of its catalogue in all its markets. It means that Netflix has to rely on dubbing and subtitles in order to reach its audiences.
Unlike other broadcasters Netflix is relying on subtitles with dubbing representing less than 30% of its catalogue of foreign titles.
Netflix’s dubbing priority is currently focused on the four largest EU markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain. The languages have been carefully chosen as they are also spoken in other territories.
“For Netflix, the level of localisation of foreign language titles largely depends on the markets,” explains Tingting Li, Analyst at Ampere Analysis. “In English-speaking countries, Netflix’s strategy is to localise foreign titles via English subtitles, while in other key markets, such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Japan, the streaming giant makes certain that most foreign titles are either subtitled or dubbed – catering to local content preferences.”
Maxdome (now Joyn) in Germany and Mediaset Infinity in Italy both have near 100% dubbed content coverage. Netflix’s catalogue is typically larger than peers, however, and its subtitling coverage is often superior.
In Scandinava, Netflix has low levels of dubbing coverage, reflected too by local player Viaplay. However, that market has traditionally favoured subtitles to dubbing.