The European Commission is launching a EUR 1 million hunt to find out the ways in which crowdsourcing or other innovative services can reduce the costs of obtaining subtitles and increase the exposure of European films in video on demand (VOD) services available in the EU. Applications are open until 25 September for projects to run in 2016. Giving EU audiences greater choice and creating wider audiences across borders for creators and their works are among the aims of the Commission's strategy for the Digital Single Market. With this move, the EC tries to find new cost effective ways of translating movies to a larger number of languages as the high costs related to subtitling a film or creative work, namely between EUR 600 and EUR 1,000 on average, do not motivate creators or distributors from releasing films with subtitles in languages which are only spoken by a small number of people.


Producers don't risk translating their work into a large number of language as the relatively limited audience and small demand would not compensate for the subtitling costs. This may also deter rights holders from releasing films in the language of countries with a low production capacity (for example Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden) unless this language is shared with another EU country with a high production capacity. The Commission hopes to test out innovative services, which could reduce subtitling costs or bring them more into relation with the expected revenues from VOD in each territory.