Here Are the Three Fastest Growing Language Industry Sectors

The fastest growing translation industry sectors

Growth in the language industry takes on different guises. Most obviously, there is high percentage growth — the fastest growing LSPs in the Slator 2023 LSPI doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled their revenues in 2022

Looking at the companies with the highest percentage growth is one indicator of the areas in which growth is occurring. Another lens through which to view and analyze growth is in dollar terms. A dozen or so Super Agencies and Leaders added USD 30m or more to their revenues in 2022 — that’s equivalent to the revenues of the (mean) average LSPI 2023 company. 

The two perspectives skew differently. The top 20 LSPs by US dollar growth grew by more than USD 0.8bn in total — accounting for the vast majority of overall growth across the +300 LSPs. By contrast, the top 20 LSPs by percentage growth contributed just USD 0.2bn to the overall growth of LSPI companies in 2022.

Observing US dollar growth also has its drawbacks — particularly in a year where a number of currencies, including the British Pound and the Euro — fell vs. the dollar. TransPerfect highlighted the effect of this “anomaly” on some of its global divisions, explaining how some divisions grew in local currency terms but shrank when their revenues were converted into US dollars for accounting purposes.

Despite these complexities, we’ve crunched the numbers and done the analysis to bring you an overview of some of the fastest growing verticals for language service providers (LSPs) in the Slator 2023 LSPI. 

Game Localization

Game localization is dominated by market leader Keywords Studios, which has a significant market share and grew 32% to revenues of more than USD 0.7bn in 2022. 

Around 40-45% of Keywords’ revenues come from localization-related activities — housed in the company’s Globalize division — with the remainder derived from other outsourced video games services such as development and marketing. 

Beside Keywords, Super Agency Lionbridge — which has a dedicated Gaming service line and acquired in the space in 2022 — and a few other examples, the key players in the growth market for game localization are typically Boutiques or smaller Challengers. Many game specialist LSPs, including Alconost, Allcorrect, Graffiti Studio, and Locpick, grew well above market average in 2022.

For an in-depth analysis of the game localization vertical, purchase Slator’s Game Localization Report — the definitive guide for vendors and publishers to the fast-growing game localization market, covering the entire development cycle.

Media Localization

LSPs operating in the game-adjacent vertical of media localization also outperformed among 2023 LSPI companies. dubbing brothers, VSI, Visual Data, ZOO Digital, Plint, EVA, LinQ Media Group, Masreya Media, and Firstlight Media all grew well above market rate (between ca. 20% and ca. 300%) in 2022. These nine companies added a collective total of ca. USD 140m to their toplines vs. 2021. 

The world’s largest media localizer, Iyuno, also put in a very strong performance in 2022. With growth of 11%, Iyuno added USD 50m to its topline, to reach revenues of USD 500.5m in 2022.

TransPerfect, which has a sizable media localization business, grew total company revenues by USD 50m in 2022, in part through its acquisition of France-based subtitling and dubbing provider, Hiventy

Video games specialist and fellow Super Agency, Keywords, another growth leader, also scaled its media localization revenues to more than USD 15m in 2022, identifying opportunities for growth through this high-growth vertical. 

US Healthcare Interpreting

US healthcare interpreting providers were another cohort that outperformed peers in the 2023 LSPI. Propio Language Services led the list of US-based healthcare interpreting providers in terms of percentage growth, nearly tripling in revenues in 2022, to USD 96m. 

Meanwhile, the incumbent giants of healthcare interpreting, LanguageLine Solutions and AMN Language Services, both grew above market average, by 11.5% and 19.3%, respectively. 

These three companies had combined revenues of USD 1.1bn in 2022, and added a collective total of ca. USD 184m to their toplines vs. 2021.