How Synthetic Voice Simplifies Inclusive Content Production

Language barriers will soon be a thing of the past

With titles like “Squid Games” and “Cardo” coming out of non-native English-speaking countries and topping watchlists in 2021, it’s obvious the world is more connected now than ever through content. But despite these successes, content remains exclusive. Most content is created in English, even though only 16.5% of the world speaks the language.

However, productions of all sizes face considerable barriers to reaching non-English speaking audiences. From cost of production and limited talent options to scalability, synthetic voice can act as a tool to help creators widen the audience for their content.

Creating localized content

Creating content for a global audience is expensive and time-consuming. Everything adds up—from booking talent, hiring translators, finding multilingual voice actors to recording and post-production and much more.

Authenticity usually falls by the wayside as a result of cost. That’s because as brands expand their content to multilingual audiences, they usually don’t want to sacrifice the face of the brand. Whether that’s an influencer or a celebrity, they typically dub over another language, which does not always deliver the best experience to the target audience.

From a scale perspective, repurposing past content or producing new content for wider audiences is daunting. Especially for smaller productions that don’t have the budget to explore new audiences. That changes with synthetic voice technology, which can unlock many of these doors to reach untapped, content-hungry and even frustrated audiences.

Diversifying audience reach

Production costs eat away at all the other important things that make for a successful ad, commercial or other type of promotional content. And when you add in the cost of making it more accessible with language translation and high-quality dubbing, something usually has to give.

Synthetic voice minimizes those tough budget decisions by reducing production costs in two ways. It eliminates the need for multiple studio sessions to record or dub audio by recording a person’s voice once to create their authorized voice model. And it creates voice models for repeat use by leveraging pre-recorded audio, cutting out all the logistics required to book studio time.

For example, say you wanted to target a specific audience with a voice they would recognize, such as the announcer for the local professional sports team. During the season, it’s nearly impossible to work with them as they follow the team on the road. Working with a synthetic voice vendor, brands and voice talent can partner together to create a voice model to create content for use during the busiest part of the year.

Reaching new audiences at scale

Synthetic voice creates realistic and authentic audio in almost any language. So, even if your talent doesn’t speak the language fluently, your audience can still hear content from them in their prescribed language.

Podcasting stands as the immediate beneficiary of this capability. According to a recent Nielsen report, podcast audiences are becoming more diverse. With hosts often acting as the face of the brand, most would have to consider hiring a fluent speaker to act in a parallel role. But that’s only if they’ve validated that audience, which, from a budget perspective, puts it out of reach of smaller productions. 

Using synthetic voice technology, the host can make content more accessible to different communities and test out audiences for future content creation—all without speaking the language fluently.

Naturally, reaching more audiences presents a challenge of scale. Synthetic voice can accelerate content production to reach diverse audiences. For instance, you can transform existing content by repurposing past audio or video without compromising the original voice, and you can develop future content by testing out different markets as business strategies evolve.

Advertisers and ad agencies alike can benefit from synthetic voice technology by extending the reach of their content without breaking their budgets. From audio to video content, testing and then expanding into new locales or regions can become a cog in the everyday content process rather than a massive project unto itself.

The future of content production

With content becoming more accessible to a globally connected audience, AI will become a staple tool to help bridge those communication barriers more cost effectively. These lower barriers to entry truly level the playing field across the board.

Larger brands can create more engaging and inclusive content while presenting opportunities for smaller productions to grow their audience share. Content will only become more inclusive, reaching wider and deeper across regions, communities and cultures.

Sean King oversees the commercial services division at Veritone, including managed services for advertising, licensing and synthetic media. His marketing and operational insights have solidified Veritone subsidiary, Veritone One, as a leading AI-powered audio and influencer advertising agency, while expanding the organization’s AI-based content licensing capabilities within North America.