As the world of television and digital content becomes ever more globalised, we at K7 Media predict there will be a steady rolling back of the importance of English-language programming which has long dominated international media content.
Increasingly, countries around the world are focusing on original language content which reflects the issues and trends which are relevant to their own territories and are more personal to their viewers. The dominance of English-language content on giants such as Netflix and Amazon is diminishing; recently the first ever Spanish original series Las Chicas del Cable (Cable Girls) premiered on Netflix whilst subtitled programming has also aired on the platform from countries such as Mexico, Germany and Russia.
The rise of original language programming is not just something we are seeing in scripted television. Recently The Band aired on Belgian TV, placing a strong focus on Dutch-language music; competitors were only allowed to sing Dutch songs. It is safe to say that the world of media content is taking on a much more international identity, and gone are the days when we can (or would want to) rely solely on English-language content.
This international outlook is shared here at K7 Media, where an increasing demand from international clients and the imminent effect of Brexit led us to announce the opening of our Dutch office a few weeks ago. We have also responded to calls for internationalisation closer to home. In order to provide first class research to our international client base, it has become essential for us to have a multilingual workforce, and we are proud to have a range of foreign language speakers amongst our in-house employees.
This has certainly not always been the case, as little as one year ago we did not have nearly any of the language capabilities we have today, relying largely on our contacts and stringers around the globe to provide additional insight on foreign content. After a realisation that it was vital to become more outward looking and international in our mindset, we now boast staff who speak Spanish, French, German, Russian, Polish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Chinese. And we don’t plan to stop there! All K7 employees are now offered free language classes, with many of our employees learning new languages from scratch, or improving existing skills.
This wide language base has become an integral part of the work we do here at K7. It allows us an immediacy of research which was not possible a few years ago. We have a great opportunity to be able to research new shows and content trends in the original language, giving us access to a whole wealth of resources which would be otherwise out of our reach, enabling us to produce a range of monthly reports which take an in-depth look at some of the most interesting territories around the globe such as Latin America and CEE.
K7 now boasts staff who speak Spanish, French, German, Russian, Polish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Chinese.
The immediacy allowed by a wide language base also applies to the speed with which we can view new content and pass on information and opinions to our clients. Gone are the days when we had to wait for distribution companies to create and provide dubbed or subtitled material, an often lengthy process. Now we can watch shows as soon as they air, providing our clients with information and insight, and our own subtitles if required. We have a skilled team of editors and subtitlers in-house to give our clients access to what we believe are the hottest and most exciting new shows from around the world.
K7’s focus on multilingual services marks our move to distance ourselves from the antiquated viewpoint that “everybody speaks English”. Not only is this not, and should not be, the case, but it is also a notion which shuts down valuable relationships. The work we do, and our interactions with people around the globe can be so much more effective and valuable if we can communicate on a personal level, any by expanding our language-base we are positioning ourselves to be able to give the most useful and comprehensive service to our valued international client-base.
Ella Turner is K7 Media’s Translation Manager.