In the age of globalization, YouTube has emerged as a popular platform for content creators and audiences worldwide.
With over 2 billion logged-in monthly users, it’s no wonder that people from all corners of the globe are turning to YouTube for entertainment, information, and inspiration.
However, does location play a significant role in the success of a YouTube channel? Short Answer – Location impacts YouTube’s algorithm and audience engagement, but success isn’t limited by geography. By creating globally appealing content, collaborating with international creators, and using social media for promotion, YouTubers can reach audiences worldwide and overcome location barriers.
This blog post delves into the impact of geographic location on YouTube, providing interesting statistics, insights, and examples.
The Influence of Location on YouTube’s Algorithm
YouTube’s algorithm is designed to personalize content recommendations based on user preferences, watch history, and location.
This means that users are more likely to be shown videos in their native language and videos that are popular within their region.
YouTube’s localization features
YouTube has 100+ localized versions of the platform, making it easier for users to discover content that’s relevant to their region. These localized versions feature trending videos and recommendations tailored to the specific country or region.
Example: Regional differences in trending videos
Trending videos in the United States may differ from those in Japan or India, reflecting the diverse interests of audiences in each country. This localization helps users connect with content that resonates with their culture and interests.
Search preferences based on region
YouTube’s search algorithm also takes location into account, prioritizing videos that are more relevant to users’ regions. This can impact visibility for creators targeting a global audience, as their content may not appear as prominently in search results for users in other countries.
Case study: Local vs. international search results
For example, a user searching for cooking tutorials in India may be shown more videos from Indian creators, while a user in the United States may see more videos from American creators. This can create challenges for creators looking to reach a broader, international audience.
Creators from smaller markets or countries with lower YouTube usage may face challenges in gaining traction, as they have a smaller potential audience to begin with.
This can make it difficult to achieve the same level of success as creators from larger markets.
Limited local sponsorship opportunities
Additionally, creators in smaller markets may have fewer opportunities for local sponsorships and brand deals, as companies may be more likely to invest in creators with a larger audience reach. This can limit the potential revenue streams for these creators.
Success Stories: YouTubers Who Defied Geographic Boundaries
Its not all doom and gloom, here is some examples of international success from creators all over the globe.
PewDiePie: A Swedish content creator dominating the global stage
PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, hails from Sweden but has managed to become one of the most successful YouTubers worldwide.
Superwoman (Lilly Singh): A Canadian-Indian YouTuber breaking barriers
Lilly Singh, known as Superwoman on YouTube, is a Canadian-Indian creator who has gained international fame through her comedic skits and insightful commentary. With more than 14 million subscribers, Lilly has successfully transcended geographic boundaries and built a loyal fan base around the world.
JuegaGerman: A Chilean YouTuber conquering the Spanish-speaking world
Germán Garmendia, known as JuegaGerman, is a Chilean YouTuber who has amassed over 42 million subscribers with his engaging gaming videos and humorous content. Despite coming from a smaller market, JuegaGerman has managed to make a significant impact on the Spanish-speaking YouTube community and beyond.
Tips for Overcoming Location Barriers
There is some foundation work you can do to broaden your appeal internationally if you are looking to expand beyond your inital location.
To reach a broader audience, consider creating content in English or other widely-spoken languages. Including subtitles or translations can also help make your content more accessible to international viewers.
Universal themes and formats
Focus on themes and formats that have universal appeal, such as comedy, storytelling, or how-to tutorials. This can help your content resonate with viewers from different cultures and backgrounds.
Collaborations with international creators
If you are looking to grow faster in diferent locations, consider tapping into other peoples audiences with collabs.
Benefits of cross-promotion
Collaborating with creators from other countries can help you tap into new audiences and increase your visibility. Cross-promotion through collaborations can introduce your content to viewers who may not have discovered it otherwise.
Example: Collab between American YouTuber Rhett & Link and Australian YouTuber HowToBasic
In a collaboration between American creators Rhett & Link and Australian creator HowToBasic, the YouTubers combined their unique styles of comedy and entertainment, attracting viewers from both their established audiences.
Utilizing social media for broader reach
The internet is a huge web of social media accounts and potential audiences. Try and meet your audience where they are, spread your content all over the social media bubble.
Connecting with global audiences
Use social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to engage with your audience and promote your content. This can help you connect with viewers from around the world and build a loyal fan base.
Promoting content through multiple channels
Share your videos on various platforms to increase their visibility and reach a more diverse audience. Encourage your followers to share your content with their networks, further expanding your reach.
Looking to grow your brand outside your location?…
While location does have an impact on YouTube’s algorithm and audience engagement, content creators can still achieve success regardless of their geographic location.
By creating content with global appeal, collaborating with international creators, and utilizing social media for promotion, YouTubers can defy geographic boundaries and reach audiences around the world.
Success on YouTube is not solely determined by location, but rather by the quality and relatability of the content you create.
YouTube is a truly global platform. With the exception of a few countries where, for mostly political reasons, the service is banned (and even in those countries people find a way to watch YouTube) it is used in just about every developed nation in the world.
It makes sense then that the languages used on the platform would be diverse and far-ranging.
It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone to learn that English is the most-used language on YouTube, but there can be potential growth for your channel in the details of YouTube languages.
Specifically, knowing why certain languages are popular and how you can use those languages to increase your potential audience. In this post, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the top languages on YouTube, including where those languages are being spoken and, as a result, watched.
Top Languages on YouTube in Numbers
When discussing the languages used on YouTube, the natural place to start is regions. Though it is not a hard rule, you can generally tie the most used languages on YouTube to the countries that use the platform the most. Let’s take a look at the top five countries by YouTube views.
Now, on the face of it, it might seem pretty obvious why English is the most used language. After all, English is the primary language of the United States, and the US is responsible for almost twice as many views as India—the next country on the list. There is more to it, however.
Firstly, you will notice that the United Kingdom is third on that list, and their native language is also English.
The data provided below is based on the information available up to September 2021. Also, it’s important to note that YouTube does not provide official statistics for language usage, so the data is gathered from various sources and may not be fully accurate. However, this table should give you a good idea of the top languages and countries on YouTube.
So, with all of this information in mind, let’s take another look at our table, but this time we’re going to re-allocate the English-speaking percentages of the non-English nations.
Of course, we realise that just because 10% of Indians speak English doesn’t mean that the 10% are responsible for a proportional share of Indian YouTube views, or that them being able to speak English means they would watch English videos. These are not intended to be hard statistics; we are merely illustrating the potential views for these languages. For example, the quarter of Thailand that can speak English may prefer to watch videos in Thai, but they can watch videos in English. In contrast, only a statistically insignificant percentage of the United States would be able to watch a video in Thai.
You will no doubt have noticed now that the top languages have become even more lopsided. At 1,428 billion, English speakers are almost double the combined total of the other three languages (863 billion).
Of course, the reality of these numbers is much messier than our tables suggest. For example, only 78% of the United States list English as their primary language. And the “primary” part is important, especially in cases like the 27% of Thailand that speak English—the fact that they speak English does not mean they don’t speak Thai. But even with these reality checks, it’s hard to ignore that the overwhelming majority of YouTube viewers can speak English, even if it’s not their first language, which makes English the go-to choice for videos. The fact that the majority of YouTube users reside in English speaking countries only serves to reinforce this bias, since most people only upload videos in their primary language.
Should I Make Videos in a Language Other Than my Own?
The ultimate gatekeeper to YouTube success is the quality of your content. If you are not a native English speaker you are, unfortunately, missing out on a significant demographic in your potential audience, but if you can’t make videos in English, you will not gain anything by trying, and you may even harm your channel in the process.
YouTube’s recommendation algorithm pays attention to things like watch time and whether people hang around when they land on one of your videos. If you attempt to make a video in a language you are not comfortable with, and it is hard to understand and puts people off, YouTube may take that as a sign that your videos are not recommendable, which would have a negative impact on your native language videos.
If, on the other hand, you are comfortable in a language (or languages) other than your primary one, it can’t hurt to make videos for that language. However, there is a different problem to deal with, namely one of a cost-benefit nature.
Any given niche will only attract a small percentage of a demographic, whether that demographic is by age, gender, region, or language. Once you factor this in with the percentage of YouTube users that speak a given language and the percentage of those people that might be interested in your video, you could be looking at a very small potential audience gain.
For example, if we go back to the list of nations by most YouTube views that we cited above, you will find Japan down in the twentieth spot with 215 million views. The native primary language of Japan is, as you would expect, Japanese. However, the number of Japanese speakers across the world is relatively small. In fact, the total number of people around the world who speak Japanese is roughly the same as the percentage of Indians who speak English at around 125 million.
If you are Japanese and you can speak fluent English, it would be a no brainer to make videos in English, as it would open you up to a potential audience that is an order of magnitude larger than the audience you would have had with your native tongue. If, on the other hand, English is your primary language and you can also speak Japanese, the potential gains from making videos in Japanese may not be worth the extra effort you would have to put in.
All of this would come secondary to the content, of course. If you are making content that is designed for Japanese people, specifically, the size of the audience is irrelevant.
Making Your Videos Accessible in Languages You Don’t Speak
Learning a language is no small task, and learning it to the degree where you can speak it clearly enough to make YouTube videos is an even bigger feat. Fortunately, you have options.
Pay For Translations
The most expensive option is also the option that provides the best experience for your viewers. There are several services online that will translate a script for as little as a few cents a word, Rev for example, though you will then have to find a voice-over artist who speaks the language you are translating to.
For this option, it is crucial to go to a translation service that specialises in voice-over translation. Having your script translated by a standard translation service will almost certainly result in stilted, awkward speech, so if you are going to take this path, do it right.
There is presently no option for dubbing videos with alternative audio tracks, so you will have to create whole new videos for your alternative languages. You shouldn’t worry too much, though; you’re not likely to be cannibalising your own audience by splitting your views as the people who watch your alternative language videos will have been far less likely to watch the primary language video in the first place.
Subtitles are a great way to make your videos accessible to foreign languages and, depending on how much you are willing to invest in your channel, can even be free thanks to YouTube’s automated captioning and translation services. These will need turning on in your upload settings, but once they are, you can leave the subtitles for all languages to YouTube.
As anyone who has used Google Translate (or any other automated translator) will be able to attest, translation tools aren’t always the most accurate option. Language is complicated, and though AI has provided a path to far more accurate translation, it’s not quite there yet. So, if you are prepared to spend a little money, you can get your subtitles translated professionally.
There are plenty of services online that will do this for you, and they will mostly be cheaper than the voice-over translations we mentioned above. It’s worth noting that if you choose to use this method or the translated voice-over mentioned above, you will need a script that can be translated.
If you script your videos, then you should be able to use your already-written script for this purpose.
However, if you are more of a free spirit when you record, coming up with your dialogue on the spot, there is always the option to pay for transcription services.
How Important is it be Accessible in Other Languages
As with many things on YouTube, the benefits of having your videos accessible to people who speak a different language to you will vary depending on what you are making and who you are making it for.
For the vast majority of YouTubers, there is not a particularly large benefit to having your videos translated or releasing alternate-language versions of them.
It is not that there isn’t potential in those extra views, it is that the effort of producing these extra videos, or the cost of having them translated, is not justified by the benefits. And, while far from perfect, YouTube’s automated translation does do a passable job that would be enough for some people who are especially interested in your content.
For YouTubers who are making videos in a particularly small niche, it may be worth it, however. It is undoubtedly easier to get traction in a smaller niche, but you are, ultimately, working with a much smaller potential audience, which can make the effort of expanding that audience worth the hassle.
What’s more, expanding your audience by making your content accessible in other languages is a win-win situation, since it makes your potential audience larger without increasing your competition, such as would be the case if you increased your potential audience by broadening your niche. There may be YouTubers making videos in your additional language that compete with you, but they will only be competing in that language.
For extremely successful YouTubers, having your videos accessible to other languages becomes worth it again, not because of any significant increase in views as a result, but because the cost of making those videos accessible becomes less significant. For someone making videos for fun in the evening after their day job, paying $150 to have a video translated or transcribed and a voice-over made is not a particularly attractive prospect. But if your YouTube channel is regularly making you thousands of dollars a month, it can’t hurt to reinvest some of that money back into your channel.
Of course, not everything has to be a cost-benefit analysis. If you just want to make your content available to more people, regardless of whether the benefit is worth the effort, the tools are there for you to do so.
Top 5 Tools To Get You Started on YouTube
Very quickly before you go here are 5 amazing tools I have used every day to grow my YouTube channel from 0 to 30K subscribers in the last 12 months that I could not live without.
1. VidIQ helps boost my views and get found in search
I almost exclusively switched to VidIQ from a rival in 2020.
Within 12 months I tripled the size of my channel and very quickly learnt the power of thumbnails, click through rate and proper search optimization. Best of all, they are FREE!
2. Adobe Creative Suite helps me craft amazing looking thumbnails and eye-catching videos
I have been making youtube videos on and off since 2013.
When I first started I threw things together in Window Movie Maker, cringed at how it looked but thought “that’s the best I can do so it’ll have to do”.
I soon realized the move time you put into your editing and the more engaging your thumbnails are the more views you will get and the more people will trust you enough to subscribe.
That is why I took the plunge and invested in my editing and design process with Adobe Creative Suite. They offer a WIDE range of tools to help make amazing videos, simple to use tools for overlays, graphics, one click tools to fix your audio and the very powerful Photoshop graphics program to make eye-catching thumbnails.
Best of all you can get a free trial for 30 days on their website, a discount if you are a student and if you are a regular human being it starts from as little as £9 per month if you want to commit to a plan.
3. Rev.com helps people read my videos
You can’t always listen to a video.
Maybe you’re on a bus, a train or sat in a living room with a 5 year old singing baby shark on loop… for HOURS. Or, you are trying to make as little noise as possible while your new born is FINALLY sleeping.
This is where Rev can help you or your audience consume your content on the go, in silence or in a language not native to the video.
5. Shutterstock helps me add amazing video b-roll cutaways
I mainly make tutorials and talking head videos.
And in this modern world this can be a little boring if you don’t see something funky every once in a while.
I try with overlays, jump cuts and being funny but my secret weapon is b-roll overlay content.
I can talk about skydiving, food, money, kids, cats – ANYTHING I WANT – with a quick search on the Shutterstock website I can find a great looking clip to overlay on my videos, keeping them entertained and watching for longer.
Translate Add Foreign Language Subtitles to YouTube Videos (EASY WAY) – Adding subtitles to videos can help people understand you better, what your videos for longer, increase engagement and boost video rankings. Today I am going to show you how I add foreign subtitles to my videos using REV – 🔊 SUBTITLES – $10 FREE + QUICK, EASY CAPTIONING FROM REV – https://www.alanspicer.com/rev
Captioning your videos can have a big effect on how successful they are. This is true for movies, TV shows, social media videos, training content, and any other kind of video you might record and share.
1. Not Everyone Can Hear Your Audio
Over 28 million American adults are deaf or hard of hearing—and if you don’t have subtitles on your videos, that’s a huge audience you won’t reach.
No matter what your content is, you don’t want to exclude millions of people from watching it. Your target market includes people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and not subtitling your videos excludes them.
That’s just bad business. Think inclusively and add subtitles to your videos.
As you’ll see, though, it’s not just people with hearing difficulties that appreciate subtitles.
2. Many People Don’t or Can’t Turn on Audio
You’ve probably heard that 85% of Facebook videos are watched on mute. Of course, that’s just for a single social network. Snapchat, for example, says that two-thirds of its videos are played with sound.
No matter what the statistics say, many people silence audio on their phones or computers because they don’t want or need to. Maybe they’re listening to their favorite song and don’t want to pause it. Or they’re in a public place and can’t be disruptive.
Even if your videos target an audience that’s likely to turn video sound on, there are going to be some people who won’t. And those people will miss out on your video if it’s not subtitled.
3. Subtitles Improve Comprehension
People learn in different ways. Some learn best through doing. Others through watching. Still others through listening. And if your viewers aren’t visual learners, they’re not going to get as much out of your video.
That’s where subtitles come in. People who learn best via reading will get more out of your videos if they have captions. The combination of video and text is strong, and appeals to more people than just video.
In fact, many people prefer watching videos with subtitles even if they don’t have to. A quick search reveals many people turn captions on when they’re watching TV shows or movies, even if they’re native speakers of the original language. They just understand it better.
Even if those people could watch without subtitles, they’ll appreciate that you made your video better for them.
4. Not Everyone Speaks Your Language
Great content transcends language boundaries . . . but only if it’s translated. You might want people from all over the world to watch your videos, but if they can’t understand them, it’s going to be hard.
English is the most commonly used language on the wider internet, but Mandarin Chinese isn’t far behind. Some parts of the world use the internet mostly in Arabic. Or Spanish. Take your target audience’s language into account when you’re making your videos.
And when you can, offer subtitles in multiple languages.
Of course, these are correlations, and the cause is open to interpretation. But 80% is a figure you can’t ignore. If there’s a chance that subtitle help videos get more views, you should invest the time and money it takes to caption it.
Keep that in mind as you read this next fact.
6. Subtitles Increase Video Social Reach
Instapage found that captioned videos on Facebook had 16% higher reach than those without. They had 15% more shares, 17% better reactions, and 26% more call-to-action clickthroughs.
In short, they performed better on every measure that matters. Combine that with the fact that more videos get watched if they have subtitles, and the take-away becomes clear.
Subtitles make a big difference in how people see, react to, and engage with your videos.
7. Captions improve SEO
While the quality of your content should be your main concern, we know you’re thinking about SEO, too. And video subtitles can give you a boost in the search rankings.
Many of the benefits above also have an effect on SEO. If people spend more time watching your videos, you’ll have increased dwell time, which has a positive effect on your rankings. Social shares can play a role, too. And appealing to more people helps boost visits and reduce bounce rates.
But the subtitles themselves can also help, because Google indexes captions that you’ve added to videos (they don’t index automatically generated captions, like those YouTube can add for you).
That can make a big difference in how many people find your website, watch your video, and engage with your content.
Is It Hard to Add Subtitles?
While it does take some time, it’s actually quite simple. And you can do it for free.
When you get started, adding subtitles to videos can take a while. 3Play Media suggests budgeting five to ten times the length of the video for subtitling. Of course, this depends on your experience level with the software, the type of dialogue you’re adding, and a number of other factors.
If you’re subtitling a short video to share on Facebook or YouTube, that’s not very long. But if you’re doing an entire TV show or movie, you could be looking at a lot of time. And it’s easy to wonder if it’s worth the effort. Just remember all the benefits above.
How to Add Subtitles to Your Videos
Now that you’ve seen why it’s crucial to subtitle your videos, it’s time to start. The premise behind adding subtitles to your videos is simple. All you need to do is identify the times you’d like a particular subtitle displayed, then add the text.
Fortunately, subtitling apps will help you out with this. Rev.com will help write them for you and import them to YouTube.
Once you’ve created your subtitles, you can either store them in a separate file (so your video can be played with or without them) or encode them directly into the video (so they’re always displayed). In general, it’s better to give viewers the option to view them or not.
Captioning Your Videos Is Worth Your Time
Adding subtitles to your video isn’t especially hard—it just takes time and practice. And it might not seem like it’s worth it when you just want to share your videos.
But we’ve seen that adding subtitles increases accessibility, encourages better engagement, and even improves your search engine optimization.
There’s really nothing you have to lose (except the potential for more viewers). It’s time to start subtitling!
How To Add Subtitles Youtube Videos // How To Add Subtitles to YouTube Videos and Closed Captions? Adding Subtitles can you get more views and grow your youtube channel on other countries. You can get more views with subtitles and get more subscribers with subtitles.
Alan Spicer YouTube Tips Channel — YouTube Tricks, YouTube Tips & YouTube Hacks to Help Grow Your YouTube Channel. I make YouTube Training Tutorials based on my personal experience on How To Increase YouTube Views, How To Gain YouTube Subscribers and How To Grow A YouTube Brand Online.
I have been on YouTube since 2013 growing an Entertainment and News Channel, MrHairyBrit. Within that time I have made many mistakes but have also learnt many YouTube Hacks that I want to share with you to help you Rank Your YouTube Videos On YouTube, Grow Your YouTube Channel and Get Your Brand Noticed On YouTube.
I also have a background in Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation, and Web Design & Development.
We can grow together, We can learn together… Start Creating!
Note — Some of my links will be affiliate marketing links. These links do not affect the price of the products or services referred to but may offer commissions that are used to help me to fund the free YouTube video tutorials on this channel — thank you for your support.