YouTube is making it much easier for creators to reach audiences in multiple languages.
Up till now, if a creator wanted a particular video to be accessible to viewers in another language, they would have to create a separate upload of that video, often on a separate channel, with a dubbed-over voice track. And if that sounds like a pain, remember this separate upload was just for one language. Imagine if a creator wanted their videos to be accessible in two, or three, or five, or ten different languages, to reach as many potential viewers as possible.
MrBeast doesn’t have to imagine: For years, he uploaded dubbed-over versions of his main channel’s English-language videos to nearly a dozen side channels targeted at international audiences. The whole process was, he said, “a lot more work.”
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YouTube hopes its new feature for creators will lessen that workload.
It’s now rolling out access to multi-language audio tracks—a tool that’ll let creators add multiple dub tracks in different languages to new and–crucially–existing videos.
“For viewers, multi-language audio means they can now watch videos dubbed in their primary language, introducing them to even more content that they otherwise may not have seen,” YouTube said in a blog post about the feature. “And for our creators, we hope this feature helps you expand your global reach and find a new audience for your channel!”
MrBeast was one of a small group of creators with whom YouTube tested this feature. It says that overall, creators who added multi-language tracks to their videos saw more than 15% of their watch time coming from views using one of those tracks.
It also says that during the test, dub tracks in 40+ languages were added to over 3,500 videos. In January 2023, those videos collectively generated more than 2 million hours of watch time per day.
For MrBeast, being able to add language tracks to videos on his main channel instead of uploading multiple copies of the same video in different languages to different channels “supercharge[d] the heck out of those videos” on his main channel, he said.
“It’s added a lot of views per video for us,” he told Rene Ritchie, YouTube’s creator liaison. “I think this is a giant win for YouTube.”
He said that to figure out which language tracks he should add to his videos, he looked at viewership data and at the most popular languages spoken in YouTube content. His MrBeast en Español channel, for example, was generating as many as 100 million views per video, and his Portuguese-language channel was bringing in between 5 and 10 million views per video.
“The beauty is YouTube just connects the dots,” he added. “Once I backed up my whole catalog and drove some Spanish speakers over to the channel, YouTube’s like, ‘Oh, people that speak Spanish like this video. Let’s give it to more people that speak Spanish.’ The next thing you know, every time you upload, the video gets served to 10 million people who speak Spanish.”
Not all creators have access to multi-language tracks yet. YouTube says that as of today, it’s “expand[ing] the availability of this feature to thousands more creators.” It didn’t specify which regions those creators are in, whether there are any other eligibility requirements, and what the timeline is for a wider rollout.
Creators who have access to multi-language tracks will see the option for it pop up in the subtitles editor tool for every video on their channel.