RSI Platforms are Direct Competitors, Interpreting Providers Say

Remote Simultaneous Interpreting Providers

Remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI) platforms have, in recent years, transformed the way simultaneous interpreting services are delivered. The 2023 ALC Industry Survey, produced in collaboration with Slator, probed the extent to which RSI is currently reshaping the traditional interpreting landscape.

The survey found that more than three-quarters of simultaneous interpreting providers broadly agree that RSI platforms should be seen as direct competitors to interpreting service providers, with close to 40% strongly agreeing.

Moreover, RSI appears to remain a high-growth niche, with 57% of respondents — primarily US-based language service providers — agreeing that RSI demand is steadily increasing. 

Over the last few years, the boundary between interpreting technology and interpreting service delivery has become blurred. Many leading RSI platforms facilitate access to interpreters via crowdsourcing models or via partnerships with interpreting service providers.

The direct integration of such RSI platforms with online meeting tools (e.g., Zoom) and other client platforms has also put RSI platforms in a strong position to deliver interpreting solutions to the enterprise.

A number of RSI companies, such as KUDO and Interprefy, have also moved quickly to broaden their offering beyond interpreting; instead, such companies provide a diverse range of options for enabling multilingual events and meetings, including live automated captions and AI-enabled speech-to-speech translation.

On the potential impact of AI-enabled speech-to-speech translation, ALC survey respondents were split. Half agreed that AI speech translation will disrupt conference interpreting demand within the next few years, while the remaining half said they do not foresee disruption in this timeframe.

Slator ran the 2023 ALC Industry Survey from August to September 2023, surveying LSPs in the US and globally to produce an in-depth 130-page report analyzing key language industry topics  —  from growth and business strategies, technology, and supply chains, to pricing, salaries, and recruitment.

For more key industry data points and insights, contact ALC to obtain a copy of the ALC Industry Survey Report

Slator’s language industry intelligence enables owners, operators, investors, and buyers to make better business decisions and execute their strategy. Schedule a discovery call with Slator’s Research and Advisory service today.

2023 ALC Industry Report

Table of Contents

Executive Summary3
Key Takeaways4
Summary of Findings5
Profile of Survey Respondents7
Business Model12
Services12
Buyer Sectors14
Domestic vs. International Spending19
International Expansion20
Business Strategy22
Business Priorities22
Services Strategy24
Competitive Landscape28
M&A and Funding29
Language Services36
Translation Services36
Interpreting Services40
Sign Language Interpreting51
Language Testing52
Language Training53
Growth and Profitability54
EBITDA57
Profit Margins58
Pricing61
Rates for Translation Services61
Rates for Interpreting Services69
Rates for Sign Language Interpreting73
Rates for Language Training73
Rates for Language Testing74
Technology75
TMS and CAT Tools75
Interpreting Platforms76
Language Testing Platforms77
Language Training Platforms78
Machine Translation78
Integrations and Connectors80
Buy vs. Build83
Supply Chain and Personnel85
Workforce Demand and Supply86
Salaries92
Managing Independent Contractors96
The Future of Jobs99
Sales and Marketing101
Standards and Accreditations104
KPIs and Metrics108
Global Events and Macroeconomic Factors11
Regulations and Legislation117
Data Privacy and Cybersecurity121
AI and Large Language Models124