The world’s most popular YouTuber, MrBeast, has launched a dubbing services company called Creator Global that targets the creator economy.
In a February 23, 2023 interview with YouTube about its multi-language audio track feature, MrBeast (aka Jimmy Donaldson) said that Creator Global will help creators “get dubs in whatever language they want on their content in an effective and quick way.”
MrBeast’s move into providing (as opposed to buying) dubbing services comes as YouTube confirmed it will roll out its multi-track audio to thousands more users, paving the way for content creators to greatly expand their global reach by releasing videos in multiple languages.
MrBeast, along with a handful of other creators, has been testing YouTube’s multi-track audio since late 2021. It was this trial — which involved dubbing his most popular videos into more than 12 languages — that sparked the idea to provide dubbing services to other creators.
“Building out our process to do dubs in a dozen plus languages wasn’t easy,” the YouTuber said. “It was a huge process but we’ve built a great system, and then after years of building the system we thought — why don’t we use this to help other creators?”
As thousands more creators gain access to YouTube’s new multi-track audio feature and pivot to multilingual content creation, they will encounter new challenges. Which languages to dub into? How to select voice actors? Should dubs be added just to new videos, or is it also worthwhile to dub a back-catalog?
Creator Global now wants to compete with media localizers to capture this emerging market. “We’re helping creators who are just getting access to this creator program,” MrBeast said.
Scant information is currently available on Creator Global. However, a job ad for a CEO, published in October 2022, described the company as “providing dubbing services for creators around the world whose videos are distributed internationally.” Additionally, it said, “MrBeast is interested in growing this business rapidly with the ultimate goal of expanding into a range of other creator services.”
Two Million Hours
YouTube’s test phase explored both the functionality and impact of its new multi-track audio feature. While in the past, creators needed to upload each localized version of a video individually, now all languages are centralized in a single video. Viewers see the video in their preferred language by default, and have the option to switch between languages. (See a video from MrBeast here as an example).
YouTube found that — of the creators involved in the feature’s test phase — more than 15% of the creator’s watch time came from “views in the video’s non-primary language.”
Furthermore, in January 2023 alone, viewers watched more than two million hours of dubbed YouTube videos daily.
MrBeast — who previously ran multiple language channels such as Mr Beast en Español, Mr Beast Francais, Mr Beast Brasil etc. — used the feature to streamline production into a single channel with multilingual videos. “You can imagine if you take twelve channels […] and instead of doing them all separate you combine them in one, it supercharges the heck out of the video,” he said, observing, “It’s added a lot of views per video for us.”
It is not made clear in the interview whether any language tools (e.g., workflow automation, machine translation for scripts, titles, and video descriptions, or AI dubbing) are employed by MrBeast (or by Creator Global) at any point during production.
However, most of the channel’s videos appear to use human dubbing, even utilizing high-end voice talent such as the artist behind the anime character Naruto Uzumaki for MrBeast’s own voice in Japanese dubs.
The expansion of YouTube’s multi-track audio feature to more creators may be a transformative moment for the dubbing landscape. YouTube has not yet confirmed how extensive this next stage of the multi-track audio roll-out will be, saying only that the feature will be available to “thousands more creators.”
However, it appears likely that in the near future, YouTube’s more than 56 million active creators (of whom around 30,000 have more than a million subscribers) will soon be able to localize videos more easily, reach more viewers in more languages, and benefit from YouTube’s recommendation algorithm in new markets.
This may well represent a second “Netflix moment” for the media localization industry in terms of demand for additional volumes.
It remains to be seen how the arrival of a new dubbing provider — in the form of Creator Global — may reshape the existing dubbing competitive landscape for media localization leaders such as Iyuno, VSI, VDMS, and Zoo Digital, as well as established content creator specialists like UniLingo.