Deluxe Acquires Sfera: Adds Cloud Platform to Propel Deluxe Localization to Top of Fast-Growing Global Content Industry

10/31/2016 5:28:00 AM

-Sfera's innovative technology powering Deluxe's leading Creative and Delivery offerings forms underlying technology platform for seamlessly globalizing video content-

-New division to be led by Former Google Head of Global Language Services Derek McKellar-  --
 
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. (Deluxe), solving creative and technology challenges for content creators and distributors for 100+ years, has acquired Sfera (Sfera Studios and Sfera Labs), a global, cloud based localization platform and distributed services firm. Adding Sfera's proven technology to Deluxe's worldwide reach, relationships, and industry knowledge positions Deluxe Localization -- a newly-formed division of the company, as the leader in media services capable of helping providers meet the unprecedented worldwide demand for entertainment content in a market where localization capacity is limited and technology is largely unproven.

The sheer volume of entertainment content is increasing worldwide like never before. According to FX Networks Research, the number of original scripted series in the US alone has nearly doubled since 2009 with new digital providers setting the standard for international expansion. This explosive growth has created significant demand for fast, high-quality localization services. Deluxe is responding to clients' needs by investing in world class technology; initially integrating Sfera cloud technology into Deluxe Localization to provide the best localization platform in the industry, with plans to expand the platform to serve as a core element of the company's overall development of new automated, technology-based processes and services.
 
The combination of Deluxe and Sfera creates one of the largest capacities in the world, with thousands of translators covering 50+ languages across 75 countries. Activating that force on the Sfera platform creates the massive scalability and security required to meet the content localization needs of the global marketplace. 
 
Deluxe CEO John Wallace said, "We created Deluxe Localization together with Sfera to make sure our clients have the kind of capacity, capability, and state-of-the-art technology that just wasn't present in the industry, and is absolutely required to reach worldwide audiences. The Sfera cloud platform lets us harness our global workforce and the data generated across our businesses to build more efficient operations capable of serving the growing appetite for content around the world." 
 
Initially, Sfera's platform and tools will power Deluxe Localization to enable asset management, workflow and translation management, automated quality control (QC), and real-time analytics for services including:

  • Subtitling in 50+ languages -- English template creation, translation origination, conforming, QC and version control
  • Accessibility services -- Closed captioning, subtitles for the hearing impaired, and audio description
  • Material ingest -- Material creation, watermarking, automated synchronization with audio 
  • Audio -- Conforming, language identification, and quality control
  • Metadata -- Creation, conform, and quality control
  • Quality Control -- Localized assets, film/TV content packaging, validation, and audio 
Sfera Founder and CEO Morgan Fiumi said, "We're incredibly excited to join Deluxe. Sfera is a team of amazing individuals with a vision for developing industry-first technology. Deluxe will enable us to accelerate our technology and bring efficiencies to our clients on a much broader scale. I am thrilled to become part of this iconic brand and join John [Wallace] and his team to launch and drive this innovation." 
 
Fiumi will take on the newly-created role of Chief Innovation Officer of Deluxe, overseeing product and development across all divisions of the Company, along with the continued development of the Sfera platform, reporting to Deluxe CEO John Wallace. The new global Deluxe Localization Division will be led by former Google Head of Global Language Services, Derek McKellar, also reporting to Wallace, who joins the company in December. The Sfera team in Los Angeles will continue to work in its Santa Monica facility, and its team in India will continue to work in its Bangalore facility. 
 
Ron Horwitz, Deluxe SVP of Worldwide Localization, said, "Our clients have seen the demand for their content just explode worldwide. Combining Deluxe Localization with Sfera creates a solution for their need -- it gives them more capacity, more security, and more skilled resources to localize content than they've ever had access to before. Having been part of building this organization from its early days, I'm excited to work with Derek, Morgan, and the Sfera team to drive it forward with this technology-based approach."
 
About Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc.  
 
Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. is the global leader in digital services and technology solutions for content creation and delivery. Since 1915 Deluxe has been a trusted partner to Hollywood studios, independent filmmakers, TV networks, online content producers, brands, and anyone looking to bring stories and experiences to audiences. Deluxe Creative companies house the world's top talent, amplified through a unified technology and business infrastructure to streamline processes, move media seamlessly, and connect our teams globally. Deluxe Delivery Solutions offer everything clients need to transform and deliver content in any format and release or broadcast window, for any recipient, to any device and destination, with any workflow. With headquarters in Los Angeles and New York, and operations in 25 key media markets worldwide, the company relies on the talents of 7,000 of the industry's premier artists, experts, and innovators. bydeluxe.com
 
About Sfera 

Sfera studios was founded in 2011 to bring media servicing into the cloud age. The Sfera platform seamlessly connects work to the most qualified professionals worldwide. Removing friction, limited infrastructures, and geographical constraints, Sfera's cloud-based workforce has shifted the efficiency frontier of the workplace by making specialized labor scalable, measurable, and available on demand. www.sferastudios.com

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