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Netflix Partners with NMG to Localize Streaming Services

Localization

Addressing issues related to content, user interface, and payment options, the partnership will grant greater access to the Netflix streaming service for Russian viewership.

Partnering with Russia’s National Media Group (NMG), Netflix will now localize its services to Russian viewership in the effort to expand access to the streaming service. Though the international version has been available in Russia since 2015, the partnership will bring significant updates to both the content and services starting from Mid-October.

One important change will be in the payment options. Available only to payments in Euros previously, Netflix will now allow viewers to pay in local currency, including payment options in rubles. With the collaboration, the company also has plans to increase the number of local Russian films, as well as to make updates to the user interface to better serve Russian viewership, including offering full access to Russian subtitles and dubbing. The films and services will be available to subscribers globally, as well.

“NMG confirms partnership with Netflix. According to the agreement between the two parties, NMG will act as the Netflix services operator in Russia,” said NMG CEO Olga Paskina. “We are currently working on full localization of the streaming service, which will enable us to provide Netflix’s services and content in Russian. This deal is in line with NMG’s strategy to achieve leading positions in digital and content media segments in Russia.”

Accounting for around 25% of Russia’s TV market, NMG will become the primary operator of the streaming service in Russia. The partnership is expected to comply with the Russian media legislation, which stipulates that foreign entities can only hold 20% of a company. Although the partnership will open new avenues for content, NMG will not be responsible for creating any additional content.

“Netflix is available in over 30 languages around the world,” said a Netflix spokesperson in a statement to Broadband TV News. “Almost five years after launching our English language service in Russia, we’re excited to provide a fully Russian service for our members in partnership with NMG.”

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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How movies impact our societies

Multimedia Translation

Audiovisual input and output devices are used in abundance these days. Now more than ever, everyone is watching videos. Because of this, the film industry is arguably one of the most influential sectors of modern society. Sitcoms and comedy shows make us laugh, psychological thrillers help us see the world from new perspectives, and historical films help us understand where we’ve come from as a people. Every video and every film can reflect society and transform opinions.

The undisputed raw power of movies

The power of audiovisuals has been manifested and exploited politically, socially, and economically throughout history. Leaders such as Adolf Hitler, for example, successfully used films as propaganda tools during World War II. Unfortunate facts like these show the raw power of film — an immense power that has even caused revolutions.

As technology keeps growing, political and economic leaders have utilized cinema in changing and shaping people’s outlooks either for their own benefit or for the benefit of the people. Quality translations are also readily available and extremely affordable for everyone these days, which makes it easy for filmmakers to reach their target audiences from all corners of the world in their mother tongue.

A good movie can entertain, educate, and inspire the viewer in many ways. Think of the impact that songs have on people, for example. They can make us think. They can make us compassionate. They can inspire us to help others and to do good to and for humanity.

Romantic movies, on the other hand, can remind us why love is important and why it is worth fighting for. They make us cry and laugh at our own romantic flaws. Crime and action TV shows also warn us about the dangers of criminal activities, terrorism, and war.

In some cases, movies can even awaken a sense of empathy in people who have never experienced war firsthand. They may help us feel responsible for our brothers and sisters living in war-torn countries even as much as we’ve never been there ourselves.

Of particular note for the localization industry, movies mirror culture.

Every movie is set and developed in a particular culture. Movies are an integral part of us; they mirror what we believe and how we coexist as people. It is easier to see our concerns, attitudes, flaws and strengths in films than it is to decipher them from our daily interactions. When our prevalent beliefs and ideologies are challenged in films, we are sometimes able to interrogate ourselves and embrace change.

And thanks to audiovisual translations, people from all over the world are able to watch movies and understand the cultures of faraway communities. Take Netflix, for example. Netflix is an online streaming provider that hosts a multitude of movies and programs for viewers from all around the world. Netflix streams movies in different languages, portraying different cultures and traditions that enable viewers from any place in the world to get acquainted with other nations’ cultures. In fact, according to Netflix viewing data, nine out of every ten people who watched the German TV series Dark lived outside of Germany. Also, further studies reveal that the top shows watched by people in India include Narcos, Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why, Riverdale, Black Mirror and Chef’s Table, among others. Because of the effective localization strategies implemented by Netflix, audiences from different parts of the world are able to stream any movie they like with subtitles in a language of their choice or they can choose a dubbed version of the show or movie.

Given the recent events with the spread of the novel coronavirus and various governmental policies for national lockdown across the world, Netflix has experienced a spike in user demand for streaming. In fact, Netflix and other major streaming channels, have cut their bandwidth usage to prevent network congestion.

Besides mirroring our diverse cultures, the film has for a long time been shaping our beliefs and values. A good example is when people copy fashion trends from movie stars and musicians. It is also common these days to find societies using figures of speech that are inspired by the film industry. At the very least, film solidifies selected cultural beliefs and renders some redundant.

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Sarah Morris is a business advisor for several companies in the Arkansas region, and also works for US Translation Company. She has experience working in a range of industries and providing technical support in topics such as business growth, market expansion and product development.

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