# 133 Sizing the Global Interpreting Market, DeepL Hiring, Europe’s Audiovisual Hub

Slator Pod #133

Full Audio Transcript presented by GGLOT AI

Florian Faes (00 : 03)

They’re seeing a lot of interest from translators outside of the media lock space to become translators and linguists. In media content.

Esther Bond (00 : 15)

There is a potential that synthetic voices that can be used to then help free up Dubbing Voice Active to work on other kind of more priority content.

Florian Faes (00 : 28)

And welcome everyone, to Slaterpod. Hi, Esther.

Esther Bond (00 : 31)

Hey, Florian.

Florian Faes (00 : 32)

Bringing you a new show again, we had to reschedule with a guest, but we’re packing this new show quite densely here. So we’re starting with the interpreting report that we’ve just launched. Talk a bit about Microsoft and their new feature in interpreting. New co at Big Deepl, unpacking their kind of staff composition, like whatever staff set up. Spain Media Localization, then Zoo, blowing past expectations with the results, and then dub, Dub, Dub, dub. Yes, we just launched a new report. Esther.

Esther Bond (01 : 07)

Yeah. Very excited about the global interpreting market, services, technology. Everything about interpreting.

Florian Faes (01 : 18)

Everything about interpreting. So the challenge there was to try to capture everything without drowning in the detail. Well, detail nitty gritty. It’s just like it’s such a deep field, interpreting. There’s so many angles and so many ways you can look at it. So we called it like a 360 degree view on interpreting. So the real value is that I don’t think anybody has looked at the field as comprehensively as we have in this particular report. Of course, there’s, like, a lot of literature on various fields, and they go very deepl. But I think the value here is that we looked at this from all.

Esther Bond (02 : 02)

Angles, kind of drawing it all together.

Florian Faes (02 : 04)

Exactly. Drawing it all together and then giving people a starting point from them, like, okay, where do I actually want to kind of explore this further? Like, as a business, where do I want to get in? Which areas do I want to pursue more? And what’s going on in these fields? And so it’s incredibly diverse. It was that kind of wide. But now that we actually looked at it so we’re doing it by mode, being like si, consecutive relay, whispered, et cetera, by setting and type. We look at interpreting as a profession, and of course, the onsite in person versus remote. We look at geography and who’s buying it by service provider. We have a special chapter on healthcare, right? US. Healthcare.

Esther Bond (02 : 54)


Florian Faes (02 : 55)

And that’s because this one is quite unique. It’s also probably one of the largest kind of business opportunities still, because healthcare is just so large. We spoke about this before a bit.

Esther Bond (03 : 07)

But it’s only supplier ecosystem, isn’t it? I mean, there are companies that are just purely dedicated to US. Healthcare.

Florian Faes (03 : 13)

Interpreting 100%. And then we also added a bit of kind of technology, like, when you could basically consider interpreting as part of the video localization kind of ecosystem, and then added some frontier tech. So without rambling all of this down, it’s just an incredibly large we’re estimating it to be about $4.6 billion in 20 21 20 22 so a very large market that continues to grow. And of course, that’s what people are looking for right now. Increasingly uncertain times where you can expand your business. And for LSPs, if they don’t offer interpreting yet, I think they should pick out certain parts that they could potentially offer. I mean, there’s so many solutions out there that they can leverage to enter that business. So, yeah, it’s a good market and it’s a fantastic report written by Anna. Now, one quick news piece that we picked up this week is that Microsoft released the new interpreting feature. So moving there to staying rather with the interpreting, what does that mean? We tried it out before the podcast, but we’re able to actually spin it up in a reasonable amount of time, maybe because we’re on the Google stack, so we don’t use Microsoft that much. I do have a subscription, so we try to set up a teams meeting where you can add an interpreter, but it didn’t work anyway. So we’re going off basically their literature here. But it seems like you can spin up a Teams meeting and then you can add somebody as an interpreter or multiple people as interpreters, and then the participants can then select a particular channel that they can then follow in that language. Right?

Esther Bond (04 : 56)


Florian Faes (04 : 57)

Is this a threat for the many niche providers? Probably. Because it’s definitely not the most sophisticated interpreting technology. Right. It allows you to add, as far as I can understand this now, again, have not actually used it yet, but Microsoft has a billion users, 2 billion users, corporate users. So if they add it, then a lot of people will start using it. And then it’s going to get tough if you have a better but less distributed version of kind of the same feature if you want to launch that. So I think it is something that is probably a threat for these kind of RSI providers, but we should unpack that much more deeply in the future. Probably bring somebody on. I’d actually love to get somebody on from Microsoft and just walk us through this or maybe an interpreter who’s used it in the past. So I think it’s a classic kind of Microsoft play that they add a feature. It’s probably not as good as the niche version, the standalone version out there, but given their giant distribution, it just kind of flattens anybody in its path.

Esther Bond (06 : 10)

All of this talk of interpreting. There was a fantastic presentation on interpreting yesterday at Slater Con Remote, which yeah, I mean, I won’t give too much away. We’ll obviously be writing about it, and I think it can be accessed by some of people who attended the event as well after the fact.

Florian Faes (06 : 29)

That’s right. You know, European Commission’s head of interpreting. So go check it out now. Big language solutions, they also aren’t interpreting. I’m segawing here. They did acquire an interpreting company. I don’t recall the name off the top of my head, but back about a year ago, and so big. Remember that’s. Jeff Brink. We had them at Slatercond. The last time I met him was at Slatercon, San Francisco. So now they brought on Dixon Dikowski as the new CEO and Jeff Brink will become chairman. So you know why he wants to become chairman? No, just kidding. He says his aggressive travel schedule was also beginning to take a toll. He’s turning 60 in two months. So he just wants to focus on.

Esther Bond (07 : 17)

He’s going to relax in the role as chairman.

Florian Faes (07 : 22)

I don’t think Jeff is going to relax a lot, but at least he doesn’t have to travel. I mean travel in the US. I think sometimes in Europe we underestimate that how much travel is involved if you want to do kind of intra US business. So he says he wants to focus on strategy, client relationships and deals. So more M amp a coming up from big language solutions. He said they’re expecting about $80 million in revenue this year. So that’s quite sizable. And then we also asked him on how current trading in 2022 going, and I’m quoting him here, he’s saying we’re seeing some general softness driven by inflation, market uncertainty and the war. It’s still early to form conclusions, but generally speaking, many clients are operating with caution and managing budgets more closely. So yeah, that’s in line with kind of general market sentiment. There are exceptions, of course, like tech enabled companies, or like Zoo, digital media, gaming, et cetera. We also spoke about that yesterday at the conference.

Esther Bond (08 : 28)

I mean, even keywords, we mentioned gaming keywords are saying something very similar in terms of the macroeconomic environment and kind of watching remaining mindful of what might happen.

Florian Faes (08 : 40)

Not that you have any other option, you have to keep observing, right? Even if you don’t want to. So moving over to a company that’s definitely growing at a super fast clip is deepl. What do we do with deepl?

Esther Bond (08 : 54)

Yeah, well, we basically looked at some of their hiring patterns according to data based on LinkedIn data. So obviously it provides somewhat of a picture, not the complete picture because not everybody’s on LinkedIn, etc or etc. But I think for a long time we’ve sort of known, I suppose, anecdotally that depot is kind of driving towards the enterprise. So we kind of wanted to look a bit more into this premise and explore the types of hires and the kind of the composition, as you said, of the organization by function. So we went through the LinkedIn profiles of people that are associated with detail. Currently there are more than 300, and then categorize those the profiles based on job titles by function. I mean, go and look at the charts in the article, you’ll see it a bit more clearly, but basically there’s still massive focus on product and software, as you would imagine. I think there’s just a little more than a third of the LinkedIn profiles were in software and product related roles. Also research and data. Kind of a big component, as you would expect from Depot, but as we were kind of expecting an increasing number of corporate roles. Also account management and customer support roles and recruiters talent managers to obviously support all of the hiring and the employees more generally. I think what’s actually interesting is when you start to look at the year that these people joined, so you can again on LinkedIn, look at the year people say that they have joined a company. So kind of broke that out by function and by joining year and you’ve got, I think, account managers, customer support, really nobody in that kind of role or that kind of function before 2020, with a real ramp up in 2021 and 2022 to date. Same is kind of true of business development and sales roles. Really pre 2020, no business development sales people, at least according to this LinkedIn data. But really even in the year to date, I think they brought on board what looks like ten or so roles in business development. Corporate also kind of ramping up in the most recent years. I think all of this is interesting to look at the data just for the data’s sake and for analyzing it. But I think the bigger picture here is that really a machine translation company. As we know. Really fast growing. But all of this kind of gears detail towards competing a bit more head on with language service providers. Particularly tech enabled language service providers. Precisely because they now have somebody that customers can call and people to shepherd and look after those enterprise accounts.

Florian Faes (11 : 46)

What I find interesting is also the recruitment talent management that he just mentioned as well. They hired seven. There’s 17 people within recruitment and talent management that started in 2022 and are in that bracket. Right.

Esther Bond (12 : 04)

I was going to keep that recruitment with corporate because I was like, oh, you know, it’s a corporate role, corporate function like legal, marketing, blah, blah, blah. But then I saw that actually it had its own kind of patterns. I thought it would be interesting to keep those roles separate.

Florian Faes (12 : 18)

That’s a lot of recruiters and telemention people. 17. Right. So just in 2022 to have joined the company. So they’re gearing up for a massive hiring drive.

Esther Bond (12 : 27)

That’s like two a month or something, isn’t it, basically bringing on board two people a month in those kind of roles?

Florian Faes (12 : 33)

Yeah. And two people that are expected to hire more people. Yes, there’s a lot of hiring going on. Let’s switch gear a little bit and go to Spain. That is gearing up to P, a hub for audio visual production, which of course then will drive demand for localization services.

Esther Bond (12 : 54)

Yeah, I think it’s been about a year or so now that we first covered this and that the Spanish government announced its plan to make the country an audio visual hub. So the plan is called Spain AVF Hub and in the article we published this week, it’s looking into changes that have happened basically around this plan in the past year. So they’ve done quite a lot. It seems to have been quite active. There was a law brought in to simplify the process for talent, foreign talent come into Spain to work in audiovisual capacity. Actually, when I started reading up on this, I remembered that I had a friend who’s an associate producer and she was working in Spain last year for a month or so. I think this is definitely happening, even anecdotally and then things like launching a new information portal going around and kind of telling people about the incentives and benefits of doing AV projects in Spain. So I think, for example, they’re highlighting some of the tax incentives, like 30% tax incentive for companies that will produce content in Spain. So they were talking at the Toronto Film Festival. It’s kind of been touring a little bit to promote Spain as an audio visual hub. There’s things like bringing together international investors with Spanish entrepreneurs in the audiovisual profession, things like also planning to simplify some of the red tape or remove some of the red tape about investment, about production, strengthen property IP rights and also attract talent. But I think, as we’ve observed already, there’s a lot of major names that are already producing content there. So, Netflix, I think they’re shooting another season of The Crown in Spain. And then you’ve got people like HBO, Disney Plus, apple TV Plus. They’ve all produced content in Spain. And I think a lot of it is kind of not based on, but a lot of it’s happening in Madrid content city. So this kind of like dedicated hub or campus, I suppose, for audio visual production. It’s 140 0 m², so massive. And Netflix has their studios there and it’s going to soon have a university that is dedicated exclusively to courses relating to AV production and media. So that’s a lot of activity and kind of coming at it from all angles. Training, investment, all of the kind of legal bureaucracy as well around it.

Florian Faes (15 : 40)

You know where else there is an academy for media production in Sheffield?

Esther Bond (15 : 46)

Oh, yes. Lovely. Sunny sheffield.

Florian Faes (15 : 50)

Almost Madrid. No, I mean it’s more for localization, right? So just taking a turn here to Zoo Digital, who’s probably also doing some work in Spain, and they have an academy, a training academy for media localizers or for linguists right, in Sheffield because they had the staff crunch about a couple of years ago or still generally it’s just not super easy to find the right people. And we had the CEO, Stewart Green on at Slightly Con yesterday and so he spoke about that. Right. But just to close on the Spain story. So is there any, do you see any kind of signs that major localization companies are settling there, or do we see anything around Barcelona? Right? Because Barcelona is kind of a localization hub generally.

Esther Bond (16 : 46)

Yeah, I mean, settling in Spain, I’m not too sure, but I mean, definitely having kind of significant presence in terms of offices or studios. And like you said, Barcelona, there’s already a really big language service providerlocalization community there, which I think obviously will benefit from some of these initiatives that the Spanish government, if there’s more content being produced in Spain, you know, it will need to be produced, translated, localized into other languages. I guess in the most simplest of.

Florian Faes (17 : 19)

Terms, I think TransPerfect got to be one of the bigger employers now in Barcelona. They got like 10 people, maybe even more.

Esther Bond (17 : 27)

Yeah, they’ve got big, I think, Madrid hub.

Florian Faes (17 : 30)

Back to Zoo. We talk about Zoo a lot because the public now had a fantastic half year revenues to reach $51 million. So they’re on track to hit their 100 million dollar revenue target early in terms of EBIT. They’re saying that EBIT again, profit before tax, etc. So is up. And I guess I’m estimating this to be about ten to 50 million EBITDA this year, which massive turnaround. They used to be lost generating, and now they’re highly profitable. So they’re going to invest in all kinds of initiatives, including that academy that they have in Sheffield and then other growth plans. Stuart mentioned, I think Korea, specifically India.

Esther Bond (18 : 10)

Korea and Turkey is where they’ve already done sort of strategic partnerships or investments or M and A. Yeah.

Florian Faes (18 : 18)

And so now they’re going to ramp that up, probably more M and A, and compete very heads on with like a Uni SDI. Of course, they’re still very cloud centric, Zoo is right. So they don’t need kind of the same, like, heart infrastructure office set up as some of their competitors. Yeah. And so, interesting side note from Stewart’s presentation yesterday, so he said that they’re seeing a lot of interest from translators outside of the media lock space to become translators and linguists in media content right. For their academy. So people that are doing other types of translation or transitioning to media content, which is very interesting. In the Q and A, there was somebody who asked a question about synthetic voices, and he basically says that he doesn’t see like a massive kind of in real life adoption yet for prime content, and probably won’t happen for a long, long time, if ever. But as usual, yes, there are certain use cases where this can be deployed, but just generally for prime time content, probably not yet.

Esther Bond (19 : 30)

I think also, if talent remains quite difficult to source, you got to think about prioritizing voice actors. So I think Steve was saying there is a potential that synthetic voices can be used to then help free up dubbing voice actors to work on other kind of more priority content.

Florian Faes (19 : 50)

Yeah, correct. It’s just so hard. I spoke to Tim about this from XLA a couple of weeks ago, right? Putting emotions invoices and stuff, that’s so tough, very tricky. But shareholders who shareholders are happy, best performing LSP this year, they’re actually up since the beginning of the year, which tell me an asset that’s up since the beginning of the year. Like literally everything from stocks to bonds to gold to nothing’s up except zoo. So congrats to them.

Esther Bond (20 : 22)

They are like 6% or something. Maybe it’s gone up since I last looked at it.

Florian Faes (20 : 26)

Almost everything completely hammered and they’re doing quite well. So good for them. And then let’s go over to India for Dub dub. What happened there?

Esther Bond (20 : 38)

Yeah, it’s got to be like the most satisfying company name to say, Dubdub. So it’s an Indian machine dubbing company, a startup called Dub Dub. They’ve raised $1 million. This is announced 14 September, so last week, I think the round closed in August. It’s a fairly early stage startup still. So it was founded in 2021 by some alumni from IIT Kampur, which is a research university based in Utah Pradesh in India and currently still enclosed beta like say, early stage. We spoke to Anira Singh, who is one of the co founders, and he was talking a little bit about the mission, the vision of the company. They said they’re aiming to bridge the language gap with state of the art AI in speech synthesis and generative modeling. Yes, and I mean, India, he said, was really good ground. It’s a good place to generate this kind of startup. You’d expect it because it’s got all of these diverse cultures, religions, languages, and their focus for the moment is definitely on into Indian dubbing. I think he was talking about wanting to democratize content and bring obviously content to the people of India. So in terms of their solution, they have automated, in his words, every step of the process with accuracy ranging from 80% to 85%. And the rest is done through human in the loop. So still a fair amount of automation and obviously human centric also. And they’re talking about wanting to automate customer onboarding as well. So I think at the moment there’s some kind of hand holding going on with client onboarding. But they’re looking to automate completely the onboarding process. Just getting into more of the Nittygritty, the Dub Dub technology, I mean, they have tech that’s developed inhouse things like AI Assistant that helps to identify errors in machine translation. And what he said was to help redirect users to specific areas, presumably to then correct sort of issues potentially in empty output. But also that they have a number of third party AIS from big tech like Azure, AWS, GCP. So it kind of combines and is built on top of some of those technologies.

Florian Faes (23 : 09)

Also, I guess by GCP they mean what? Google Cloud? Probably. Yeah, that’s probably Google cloud. Google Cloud platform in terms of the customer base.

Esther Bond (23 : 22)

It’s currently targeting production houses and OTTs. It’s sort of streaming customers as well as enterprise customers and marketing creative agencies. And Annie Bob said that at the moment, they’re seeing a lot of good traction from marketing and creative agencies, but he said there’s a strong pull from production houses and OTT. So, as I mentioned here, currently focused on Indian or any language into Indian languages. So they’re currently hoping to bring more operational efficiency to Indian Dubbing, but then I guess we’ll expand sort of further into other languages. Also.

Florian Faes (24 : 00)

This is an incredibly interesting space and I think we’ll see a lot more. Right. We had dubbers on. We should probably bring dubbed up on as well, and then excellent. I think we’re going to see a lot in that area in the next couple of years. Very interesting. All right, so we’ll take a break next week and we’ll back in a couple of weeks from now, so stay tuned. Thanks for checking in.

(24 : 26)

Transcribed by Gglot.com