YouTube adds multi-language audio feature to help creators reach diverse audience

Feb 23, 2023, 7:38 PM UTC
2 mins read
YouTube adds multi-language audio feature to help creators reach diverse audience
(Image Credit: Google)

YouTube is taking another step towards international expansion with the launch of its multi-language audio feature, which allows creators to add dubbing to their videos to reach a broader audience. The feature, which was previously tested with a small group of creators, including popular YouTuber MrBeast, has now been rolled out to thousands more eligible creators.

With the new feature, creators can partner with third-party dubbing providers to create audio tracks in different languages, and viewers can select their preferred language from the same menu where they adjust other settings like subtitles or audio quality. The feature is initially supported only on YouTube’s long-form content, but the company is testing it on Shorts as well.

The move comes after the success of the Korean-language Netflix series “Squid Game,” which became one of the streaming service’s most popular shows of all time thanks to the ability to subtitle or dub episodes in viewers’ own language. YouTube’s new feature not only benefits creators who can connect with a broader audience, but also helps YouTube itself to expand the reach of the videos on its platform.

YouTube says the technology to support multi-language audio tracks was built in-house, but creators will need to partner with third-party dubbing providers to create their audio tracks. In early tests, the feature was used across more than 3,500 videos uploaded in over 40 languages, and over 15% of the dubbed videos’ watch time came from viewers who were watching the video in a different language from the original recording.

Creators who are eligible for the new feature will be notified with an invite offering them the chance to participate. Once they have access, they can use the new option in Creator Studio. The option to adjust a video’s audio track will be rolled out globally to all of YouTube, available across desktop, mobile, tablets, and TVs.

MrBeast, who dubbed his 11 most popular videos in 11 languages during the early tests, said the feature was beneficial because it’s easier to upload multi-language audio tracks than to manage several separate foreign-language channels. “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,” he said.

YouTube declined to share how it was determining which creators were eligible or how many would be invited in this initial expansion but said it’s working towards the goal of making the feature broadly available to more creators.

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