Background and Challenge

The U.S. has long been a leading market for the development of film, TV and, more recently, over the top TV (OTT) content that is distributed to consumers globally. As a result, the U.S. is the largest market for localization services such as dubbing and subtitling. The U.S. is also a highly competitive localization market with large, global production service companies competing alongside smaller localization specialists.

Our client saw the tremendous opportunity to grow its business in the U.S. localization market, but needed a detailed playbook to arm its sales force to navigate the tough competitive landscape. With its internal resources stretched, our client asked L.E.K. Consulting to work closely with its commercial team to create a playbook for growing its localization business in the U.S.

Approach and Recommendations

There were many challenges to developing a go-to-market playbook for the client in the U.S. content market:

  • Major film and TV studios already have long tenured and established relationships with preferred localization vendors
  • Within major studios, there are many buying and influencing points for film, TV and OTT content spanning functions such as studio/tech operations, postproduction, distribution, procurement and others
  • While OTT leaders such as Netflix and Amazon may not have all the same complexities as major studios do, they do have distinct buying processes that need to be navigated
  • Beyond the major studios and OTT providers, there is a long tail of film, TV and OTT players with their own distinct localization needs and buying decisions

We tackled the challenge in several steps, knowing the key would be to understand buyer perspectives firsthand. To streamline and focus our efforts, we leveraged our prior work in the production services space and augmented it with in-depth secondary research to identify key localization stakeholders at the major studios and OTT providers and develop a targeted list of high-potential smaller film studios and TV networks. We then worked with the client to prioritize a set of these companies for deep dives.

For this priority set of targets, we leveraged our extensive network of contacts in the film, TV and OTT ecosystem to interview buyers and influencers at each of the prioritized target companies. We were able to use this primary research to identify all the key internal players including their position, role, and degree of influence in the localization decision as well as details around current localization volume, procurement process and potential points of entry for our client. A key end product was a “Facebook” of key target company contacts that could arm the client’s sales force to begin developing the necessary relationships to gain traction in the U.S. market.


The final result was a valuable tool for the client to accelerate its growth in the U.S. market. The client is actively working to expand its footprint in the U.S. market with the benefit of this knowledge.

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