Deluxe Media Makes Strategic Investment in AppTek, Boosts AI-Enabled Services

Deluxe Strategic Partnership with AppTek

US-based media localization provider, Deluxe Media, one of the world’s largest media localizers, has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with US-based applications technology firm, AppTek.

The strategic partnership, which sees Deluxe Media acquiring a non-controlling interest in the technology firm, allows the media localization agency to become the exclusive reseller of AppTek products and services to the global media and entertainment industry.

AppTek, which demoed its technology at SlatorCon Remote in 2023, has numerous patents in audio keyword and speech recognition, and specializes in automatic speech recognition (ASR), neural machine translation (MT), machine learning (ML), natural language understanding (NLU) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Chris Reynolds, Executive Vice President and GM of Worldwide Localization and Fulfillment at Deluxe, told Slator, “Deluxe has been using AppTek as a service provider for several years. We wanted to strengthen our AI capabilities to provide innovative solutions to cater for the evolving needs of the media and entertainment (M&E) industry.”

Through the strategic partnership, Deluxe will leverage AppTek’s internal science team, and offer its clients custom AI professional services that can be integrated into its clients’ technical environment, or accessed through Deluxe’s existing platforms.

In a joint press release, Reynolds said that the partnership allows both companies to “develop solutions for practical challenges that our customers face in a way that respects the role of creative localization professionals.”

Access New Content Segments

“These technologies can provide access to content that hasn’t previously been localized, while also addressing workflow challenges for translators and other localization and creative professionals to scale more efficiently”, he added.

When asked about what type of content will now open up for localization, Reynolds told Slator, “with the upcoming EU Accessibility Act as an example, there is a pressing need to offer cost-effective access services like Audio Description and Closed Captions in different languages across European territories. New workflows enabled by AI technology can enable content providers to cope with this challenge in a fast, scalable way to enable wider content accessibility in more languages.”

Reynolds added that AI-enabled media localization services might also provide an opportunity for content owners and distributors to consider localizing in more languages. “Consider Mexican Spanish and Argentinian Spanish versus the neutral Latin American Spanish that is commonly used, but not actually spoken in the real world”, he added.