Part of what makes watching movies and series on netflix so accessible is the ability to change the audio to different languages. This feature has always been a boon for those who want to enjoy shows in their native language and who don’t want struggling with reading subtitles. Now, similar technology will soon be applied to Youtube. Announced on February 23, this new feature will support multilingual audio tracks, allowing creators to dub their videos into multiple languages, meaning their content can be enjoyed by more audiences around the world.
Creators will be able to add voice acting to their new and existing videos, so even their library of past work can benefit. Although the technology to support this feature was developed in-house at YouTube, creators will need to use third-party dubbing providers create additional audio tracks before attaching them to their videos through the subtitle editor tool, for TechCrunch. It is entirely up to the creators to decide which languages they want to offer in their audio dubbing. Viewers can then open the menu, where we currently access settings like subtitles and playback speed, to choose different audio tracks.
YouTube conducted beta testing of the audio dubbing feature with a small group of creators, including popular YouTube MrBeast, and found that it had been used in over 3,500 uploaded videos in over 40 languages. Over 2 million hours of dubbed content were viewed in January alone. Before dubbing was available, creators who wanted to expand their reach had to rely on creating different channels, uploading their videos in different languages individually to multiple separate foreign language channels. But soon, keeping global subscribers happy will be a much easier task.
In an interview with YouTube Creator Insider, content creator MrBeast explained, “You can imagine if you take 12 channels like those and instead of separating them all, you combine them all into one, it supercharges the videos. For viewers, audio dubbing opens up a lot more YouTube content as we will be able to watch and understand videos from all over the world. If you’ve ever wanted to know what’s going on in Japan or India, the new dubbing service is here for you.
YouTube is currently rolling out the audio dubbing feature in phases, and eligible creators will be prompted to use the new option in the creative studio, by The Hollywood Reporter. They haven’t yet announced when it will be more widely available, but we’re excited nonetheless.