Keen-eyed followers of the media localization space may have noted various dubbing providers sporting a red Netflix badge on their websites. The badge indicates that the studio is an official Netflix partner, a member of the Netflix Post Partner Program (NP3).
NP3 is the roster of approved audio localization partners: dubbing and audio description service providers that have successfully passed through Netflix’s vetting and onboarding process.
The guidelines state that new audio localization partners “are invited to the NP3 program by Netflix based upon business need.” As at September 2022, 194 dubbing studios across 51 countries are members of the program. The lineup includes leading media localization players such as Iyuno-SDI, VSI, and Dubbing Brothers.
Localization is central to Netflix’s long-term growth plan. The streaming platform is continuing to ramp up its “local-for-global” strategy, producing original films and TV shows in more than 50 countries with a view to securing a wider global audience.
Korea, home of the Netflix Originals hit Squid Game, continues to be a focus; as does India, where the platform is aiming to win viewers over with original, local-language content and a lowered subscription price.
In April 2022, the platform shared its plan to “build out capabilities like creative development, personalization and language presentation / localization.” The company is also ramping up its accessibility features, including audio descriptions for the visually impaired.
Key to this strategy: dubbing studios and audio description providers that are well-versed in Netflix’s best practices and requirements. The NP3 program is how Netflix keeps approved and trained suppliers at its fingertips.
What Netflix Needs from Localization Suppliers
Once invited into the NP3 program, localization providers must pass an evaluation of linguistic, technical, creative, and mixing capabilities.
The supplier needs to share details around their studio facility and align with Netflix’s Content Security Best Practices. These include, for instance, regular risk assessments, using a VPN for remote access to the Netflix network, and implementing a response plan in case of any security incidents involving Netflix content.
(As an aside, the NP3 program is different from Netflix’s Preferred Fulfillment Partner program. The former is for audio localization providers; the latter deals with project management and content-partner onboarding.)
A couple more boxes need to be checked. Aspiring NP3 audio localization suppliers must undergo a regulatory compliance review and sign a Netflix Master Service Agreement.
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Only then can the supplier be allowed to provide dubbing or audio descriptions for Netflix’s movies and series — and add that red Netflix badge to their website.
Netflix Dubbing Suppliers per Region
Netflix’s guidance for becoming a partner stresses that entrance into the program requires an invitation and is dependent on the business needs of each region. Such needs will likely evolve with the OTT provider’s regional expansion strategy and new content offerings.
As at September 2022, the NP3 directory shows that Netflix has the most NP3 dubbing studio partners in the European region; 87 in total including 12 in France, 10 in Germany, and more than 5 each in Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, and Poland.
The Asia-Pacific region has 47 dubbing studios under NP3, including 10 in India and 9 in Japan. Three NP3 studios are registered in Korea. Netflix’s North American (“US & Canada”) and Latin American regions have 16 NP3 dubbing studios each.
Meanwhile, nine dubbing studios in the Middle East were approved for the NP3 program and four in Africa.
Iyuno-SDI has the most NP3 dubbing studios of any localization provider, with 21 spread across Europe, Latin America, and North America. Other providers with a multiregional footprint include Dubbing Brothers, VSI, and Hiventy.