Careful followers of the media location space may have noticed that various dubbing providers sport a red Netflix badge on their websites. The badge indicates that the studio is an official Netflix partner, a member of the Netflix Post Partner Program (NP3).
NP3 is the list of approved audio localization partners: dubbing and audio description service providers who have successfully passed the Netflix verification and input process.
The guidelines state that new audio localization partners “are invited to the NP3 program by Netflix based on business needs.” As of September 2022, 194 dubbing studios in 51 countries are members of the program. Training includes major media localization players such as Iyuno-SDI, VSI, and Dubbing Brothers.
Localization is key to Netflix’s long-term growth plan. The streaming platform continues to strengthen its “local-for-global” strategy, producing original films and TV shows in more than 50 countries with the aim of securing a wider global audience.
Korea, home to the success of Netflix Originals Squid Game, continues to be the center of attention; as well as India, where the platform aims to win over viewers with original local language content and a reduced subscription price.
In April 2022, the platform shared its plan to “develop skills such as creative development, personalization and presentation / language localization”. The company is also enhancing its accessibility features, including audio descriptions for the visually impaired.
The key to this strategy: dubbing studios and audio description providers who are familiar with Netflix’s best practices and requirements. The NP3 program is Netflix’s way of keeping approved providers and formats close at hand.
What Netflix Needs From Location Providers
Once invited to the NP3 program, localization providers must pass an assessment of linguistic, technical, creative and mixing skills.
The provider must share details on the study structure and align Netflix Content Security Best Practices. These include, for example, regular risk assessments, using a VPN for remote access to the Netflix network, and implementing a response plan for security incidents involving Netflix content.
(Incidentally, the NP3 program is different from Netflix’s preferred fulfillment partner program. The first is for audio localization providers; the latter takes care of the project management and onboarding of the content partners.)
A couple more boxes need to be checked. Aspiring NP3 audio localization providers must undergo a regulatory compliance review and sign a Netflix master service agreement.
Only then can the provider be allowed to provide voice acting or audio descriptions for Netflix movies and series and add that red Netflix badge to their website.
Netflix dubbing providers by region
Netflix’s guide to becoming a partner points out that joining the program requires an invitation and depends on the business needs of each region. Those needs are likely to evolve with the OTT provider’s regional expansion strategy and new content offerings.
In September 2022, the NP3 directory shows Netflix has the largest number of NP3 dubbing studio partners in the European region; 87 in total, of which 12 in France, 10 in Germany and more than 5 each in Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Poland.
The Asia-Pacific region has 47 dubbing studios under NP3, including 10 in India and 9 in Japan. Three NP3 studies are registered in Korea. Netflix’s North American (“United States and Canada”) and Latin American regions have 16 NP3 dubbing studios each.
Meanwhile, nine Middle East dubbing studios have been approved for the NP3 program and four in Africa.
Iyuno-SDI has the largest number of NP3 dubbing studios of any localization provider, with 21 spread across Europe, Latin America and North America. Other vendors with a multi-regional footprint include Dubbing Brothers, VSI, and Hiventy.
Game specialist Keywords Studios, which recently revealed plans to expand further in media localization, has an NP3 dubbing studio for the US and Canada.