MrBeast has become one of the most popular—and richest (making $54 million in 2021)—YouTubers in the world thanks to his videos that mix outrageous stunts, pranks, and eye-popping cash giveaways. The videos are compulsive viewing, particularly for young audiences who like to watch him be buried alive for 50 hours or challenge people to sit in a pit of snakes for a chance to win their mothers $10,000.
In his most popular video, he gives 456 contestants the chance to play Squid Game in real life (without dying, of course) for a $456,000 grand prize after successfully completing a series of challenges that mimic the hit South Korean show. So far, it has racked up an impressive 259 million views on YouTube.
Building a Global Audience
The viewing figures for his English language YouTube channel alone are impressive. However, MrBeast also has a Spanish language channel, where his videos are dubbed, which has helped his Squid Game challenge rack up another 57 million views. Some 16 million more Squid Game views come from the MrBeast Brazil channel, where his content is dubbed into Portuguese, and seven million each from his French and Hindi-language channels.
MrBeast is just one of many YouTubers who are now embracing localization in a professional way. Other top YouTubers who have also embraced localization include sports and comedy group Dude Perfect and kids’ entertainers Ryan’s World and Like Nastya.
So why would someone localize videos? And how can someone make money translating YouTube videos? The reason is simple: the more content they localize, the more international views they are likely to gain—and the more ad revenues they will earn from the platform.
English may seem ubiquitous, but only 5% of the world’s population speak it as a native language. That’s 373 million out of the world’s 7.8 billion people. By contrast, 12% speak Mandarin Chinese and 6% have Spanish as their first language.
All the research shows that people largely spend time on websites that are in their own language. So, it follows that YouTubers who translate their YouTube videos and other content into several languages will only grow their audience.
That’s especially true for a global platform like YouTube. Four out of every five videos uploaded to the site are in a language other than English.
Ways to Localize
Of course, many content creators already caption their videos and add translated metadata in multiple languages—and YouTube has the tools to help them do it. This a great first step to try and reach more international viewers, but the quality can vary and lead to inaccuracies that will turn off audiences.
Professional subtitling is a step up. Not only will it be more accurate, but it will take into account cultural references and nuances.
Dubbing is typically more expensive but is very popular with many international viewers because it makes it easier for them to follow the content so they can multi-task without having to read off the screen.
Scaling Up Internationally
As YouTubers create increasingly impressive (and expensive) content, it’s little wonder that they are emulating major streamers like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video who have scaled internationally by offering high-quality dubbing and subtitling for their videos.
It might seem expensive and time-consuming to translate a YouTube video, but it’s often a more cost-effective and efficient way to gain new viewers than creating brand new content.
It’s not just high-profile YouTubers who can benefit from localization. YouTube is home to a vast array of videos—from product videos, tutorials, and interviews to demos and presentations. No matter the format, figures show that 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language.
Although employing professionals to subtitle or dub your YouTube videos may seem like a significant investment, offering your content in new languages will attract a wider audience—and it could ultimately help you monetize your channel more effectively.
When developing YouTube video content, make sure it’s culturally accurate to the audience you want to reach. MediaNEXT offers various solutions to communicate your message around the world. Learn more about our services and solutions and contact us today.