With over 2 billion monthly logged-in users from around the world, its almost surprising to realize that this feature didn’t already exist. But, now it’s here.
YouTube is officially rolling out(Opens in a new tab) its new multi-language audio tracks feature to its global creator user base. This feature, which was previously in its testing phase and only available to select creators, allows YouTubers to upload multiple different audio tracks to a single video. This provides content creators with the ability to offer dubbed video content, with the uploaded audio tracks providing their viewers’ with the option to watch in their primary language.
According to YouTube, among the small test group of creators that the company has been working with, the results have been very positive. YouTube says that creators saw that more than 15 percent of their views came from dubbed videos being watched in a language other than the channel’s primary one just last month. An average of two million hours of dubbed video was watched daily on the platform in January. And this is among the just over 3,500 dubbed videos that were uploaded to the platform in that month. As of now, around 40 different languages have been featured throughout YouTube dubbed videos.
To really emphasize what a big feature this is, YouTube has also released(Opens in a new tab) a video sitting down with with its most popular creator, Mr. Beast, to detail his experience working with dubbed videos as part of the initial test group.
Creators have uploaded dubbed video content before this feature was available. But, previously, these YouTubers would have needed to upload a new, separate video for each language option. Now, though, these language options can be offered on the original video upload.
If you’re a viewer, you can check if your favorite video has multi-language offerings by just clicking on a video’s settings (the gear icon) in the YouTube player. This is where you’d normally choose options regarding video playback quality, but you’ll also see a new audio track feature on dubbed videos too. In parentheses, YouTube lets viewers know how many language options are offered and users can select one from the dropdown menu.
Creators can upload multi-language audio tracks from within the Subtitles Editor tool for the specific video. YouTubers will also be able to go back through their library and upload multi-language audio tracks for all their existing content too.
YouTube first launched its subtitles and closed captioning feature for videos way back(Opens in a new tab) in 2008. Nearly 15 years later, users can now listen to content in their primary language too. While creators do need to produce those alternative multi-language tracks themselves right now, it does seem like only a matter of time before there’s an automated way to create them too.