EXCLUSIVE: Fremantle is taking its biggest entertainment shows to the Arab world.

The producer has struck a two-year partnership with UK artificial intelligence start-up Papercup that will see the UK and U.S. versions of IdolsGot Talent and The X Factor offered to Arabic audiences through YouTube channel Talent World (known locally as عالم المواهب.)

Papercup will localize hundreds of hours of Fremantle content into Arabic using its AI technology. This will automatically translate and dub the shows with “expressive synthetic voices.”

Fremantle sees the deal as providing potentially millions of new viewers for the content “without the costs and barriers associated with traditional studio dubbing.”

Fremantle and Papercut already partner on a Spanish YouTube channel in collaboration with Papercup. This localized hours of content of Got Talent from around the world as Los Mejores Talentos En Español (The Best of Got Talent Spain). A few months after its launch, the channel has nearly 19M views.

Papercup was founded in 2017. Its dubbed content has reached over 350 million people in the last 12 months in non-English speaking territories. The company claims that its bespoke systems create “expressive synthetic voices specifically suited for video,” generates “engaging translated content that outperforms subtitled offerings and can be delivered at a speed and price that traditional dubbing struggles to match.”

“Our talent shows are loved by audiences all over the world, and we are delighted that this partnership with Papercup will allow us to bring our content to even more fans,” said Robert Cocker, Fremantle’s Head of Social and Digital Platforms. “With over 216M YouTube subscribers and 182BN views, Fremantle has an incredible track record in building engaged audiences, and we are excited to see how Talent World will grow.”

Jesse Shemen, CEO of Papercup, added: “At Papercup, our mission is to make all the world’s videos watchable in any language. We empower global companies to reach an international audience eager to watch videos in their native language which they couldn’t access before. With the proliferation of entertainment content out there, competition for viewers’ attention is ever-increasing. By partnering with Fremantle to localize content with high viewership in existing markets, we enable them to sustainably scale that success in new markets.”


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