Slator 2020 Language Industry Market Report

Slator 2020 Language Industry Market Report on Translation and Localization Market and Technology

The Slator 2020 Language Industry Market Report provides a comprehensive view of the global language services and technology industry, which, according to Slator, grew to a USD 24.2bn market in 2019.

In light of the current situation, Slator makes an early estimate that the coronavirus outbreak could lead to an 8% decline in the overall market over the course of 2020, before rebounding in 2021, with some industries and sub-industries affected worse than others.

First, the report segments the entire language industry into 10 verticals by end-customer industry, and lists the top growing verticals by percentage and US-dollar growth in 2019. A one-page matrix features key vertical-level information, and is supplemented by buyer case studies across each buyer industry.

As a key tool for sales and business development professionals, the report features more than 400 unique buyer job titles by function, providing actionable insights for lead generation. The report also synthesizes this data into top 20 lists of buyer web search terms and common buyer job titles, enabling marketing teams to better target localization and language services buyer segments.

Next, the report analyzes the market from a services perspective, listing more than 200 core and adjacent services provided by leading language service providers (LSPs), enabling company leadership to explore potential areas for expansion. It also presents the top services by search engine keyword value – a valuable resource for creating impactful digital marketing campaigns.

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Analyzing data from the Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI), which features more than 130 LSPs, the report examines the competitive landscape of LSPs by segment — Super Agencies, Leaders, Challengers, and Boutiques — and includes a segment-by-segment analysis of their growth and market share in 2019.

Drawing on data from Slator’s survey of 50 LSPs, the report breaks down the complex ecosystem of LSP-owned and pure-play translation management systems (TMSs) into core business models. The report presents analysis of survey data on both TMS and machine translation (MT) technology, from the most-used, third-party translation tools to the progress of LSPs in implementing and scaling machine translation.

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Furthermore, the machine translation ecosystem is examined from the perspective of self-serve and custom neural MT solutions as well as emerging business models. The report also contains an impact assessment of MT on the wider language industry, and breaks down some of the most important and fastest emerging  areas of focus in MT research, while highlighting their commercial potential.

Additionally, the report features analyses of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and venture capital funding, and examines factors that limit the industry’s secular trend toward consolidation. 

The report also presents a market outlook, which includes revised projections based on Slator’s 2020 coronavirus impact assessment. Projected market growth to 2022 is USD 25.3bn.

Lastly, the report outlines the segments of the industry that are best positioned to win in the mid-term as the industry grapples with transformational technology and global economic disruption.

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Scope of Report5

The 10 Translation and Localization Market Verticals

Market Size 2019 (top growing verticals in 2019 by USD and % growth)5
Market Matrix (in-depth analysis of the 10 Translation and Localization market verticals)6
Buyer Case Studies (12 case studies from finance, gaming, media, legal, etc. buyers)8
Buyer Job Titles (400 unique buyer job titles, top 20 buyer job title components)13

Competitive Landscape: Services

Language Services: Core and Adjacent (list of 200 services, top 20 services by keyword value)18
Language Service Providers (incl. segment-specific growth)21
Slator LSPI Companies: Market Share by Segment (2018 and 2019)22
Interpreting Services and Technology Providers23
Europe vs US 23
Public vs Private Sector23
Interpreting Modes and the Rise of VRI and RSI (incl. recent funding / M&A)24
Interpreting Technology25

Competitive Landscape: Technology

Including survey insights e.g., most used CAT tools

Translation and Localization Management and Productivity (TMS)26
TMS Products: LSPs vs Pure-play TMS Providers (incl. comparison of business models)26
Connectors and Machine Translation Integration28
Pure-Play Machine Translation29
Pure-play Machine Translation and Market Size29
Accelerating MT Adoption (incl. hype cycle, survey insights on MT integration in workflow)30
Machine Translation Ecosystem (Self-Serve MT APIs, Custom MT, emerging business models)31
MT Impact Assessment (survey insights on external threats, unit-rate trends and pricing models)33
MT Research Areas MT Research Areas (incl. business relevance and 9 suggestions for further reading)37

M&A and Funding

Transaction profile 2019, 3-year comparison of Q1

Key Drivers of Language Industry M&A  (incl. trade sale types)41
M&A by Vertical (seller verticals in 2019)42
M&A by Segment (trade sales by buyer and seller segment)42
The Limits of Consolidation (geography-specific market opportunities)43
Venture Capital Funding (14 top areas of startup funding from 2019 and 2018)45

Coronavirus Impact Assessment and Market Output

Market Size 2019 and 2020 Outlook by Vertical46
Projected Market Growth to 202247


Appendix 1: Market Sizing Approach48
Appendix 2: Top 76 Language Service Providers (2020 Index)49
Appendix 3: Survey Methodology54

How To Use This Report

Slator’s easy-to-digest research offers the very latest industry and data analysis, providing language service providers, end-clients, and investors the confidence to make informed and time critical decisions.