60% of viewers on YouTube pick a language other than English. (Source: GigaOM)
That means that 1.8billion views per day are by people whose primary language is not English.
This news comes on the heels of YouTube announcing that it’s adding two new African languages to the mix—IsiZulu and Afrikaans—bringing YouTube’s total languages to 51.
YouTube already offers country-specific recommendations and content in 34 different countries. (You can change your location by scrolling down to the bottom of the page onYouTube.com and clicking the ‘Location’ link. Select one of 34 countries or ‘Worldwide.’
You can change your language in the same area by clicking on the ‘Lanugage’ link.)
What’s particularly interesting is that we’re not talking about 60% of YouTube views coming from an international audience.
We’re talking about 60% of views coming from an audience that has changed the language of their interface to something other than English (whether they are in an English-speaking country or not).
This means that people whose primary language is English in countries like the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia account for less than half of all YouTube views.
So what does that mean for you?
If your audience is specifically English speakers then the answer is; not a huge amount.
But even if your product or service is restricted to the UK or US, for example, these stats should make you think for a moment about the customers you may be missing.
By catering to non-English speakers you could be widening your reach and your appeal.
Of course it’s possible to add sub-titles to a video or dub a foreign language voice over the top. This will certainly work – to an extent. But do you really want to say to viewers (who may be potential customers) that their language is an after thought?
This is particularly important for walk on video presenters. These are a great way of increasing customer engagement on your site – so don’t waste the opportunity by only having English language presenters.
Also, be sure to use a native speaker. It’s usually easy to spot a non-native speaker and however good they may be, we all prefer someone who speaks our language the way we speak it. So make sure your video company offers you a professional video presenter that is a native speaker. For some examples see our choice of international web presenters.
Of course doubling up in order to offer your website and video in another language will add to the cost. So it has to be a decision you make based on your company resources and requirements. But before you say “no” – check out how many customers you may be missing out on. And then decide.