Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Speaking In Tongues

The media world is made up of global and local brands; the global brands tend to come from an internet (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo) and content (Universal, Disney, Fox) background. Notice that all the examples I used are American. There's a simple reason - economy of scale. The US is the world's largest English speaking country (let's leave India out of the equation for now). So, Australia and the UK are inevitably poor cousins, but they add mass which gives the US the most valuable large scale market in the world.

US ideas, if not ideals, travel well within the English speaking world and beyond - and India adds considerable weight.

But there are two further languages which the global players need to lasso if they are to be successful - Mandarin and Spanish. The question is - are they worth investing in right now ?

Video is highly parochial and translating services into multiple languages is very expensive. Since the majority of world sports and entertainment is English dominated it's difficult to see even the ascendent languages challenging the hegemony.

If in doubt, build your internet TV channel in English only - just for now.

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