July 2016

Image: © adempercem/istockphoto.com

Language services and technology market to surpass US$40 billion in 2016

The global market for outsourced language services and technology will reach US$40.27 billion in 2016, according to a study by independent market research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research). In its 12th annual global industry report, "The Language Services Market: 2016," the firm details the findings of its comprehensive study.

CSA Research found that the demand for language services and supporting technologies continues and is growing at an annual rate of 5.52 percent. As part of the study, the firm surveyed providers from every continent to collect actual reported revenue for 2014, 2015, and expected revenue for 2016. The study confirms that the market continues to expand, however the current growth rate of 5.52 percent represents a slight decrease over last year’s rate of 6.46 percent.

"Because the language industry serves a wide variety of constituencies around the globe, it is exposed to a broad array of macroeconomic forces. One in particular directly affects the size of the market – currency. The US dollar continues a multi-year appreciation against most currencies," explains Don DePalma, CSA Research’s founder and Chief Strategy Officer. "However, language service providers in most regions of the world did report steady growth during 2015."

As organizations both large and small address more languages, the firm predicts that the language services industry will continue to grow and that the market will increase to US$45 billion by 2020. Factors driving this demand include continued growth in global mobile and ecommerce, the Internet of Things (IoT), and legislation requiring access to language services for immigrants, refugees, in the courts, and for public safety.

"Demand continues because the market for outsourced language services and supporting technology is immensely important to the businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and individuals that produce or consume information," adds DePalma.

Included in "Language Services Market: 2016" are the largest language providers globally, as well as by region. The five highest-ranked companies on the list of the largest 100 commercially-focused language services companies, listed according to 2015 revenues, are: Lionbridge Technologies (US), TransPerfect (US), Hewlett-Packard’s Application and Content Globalization group (FR), LanguageLine (US), and SDL (UK). Two of these are publicly traded companies: Lionbridge (LIOX on NASDAQ) and SDL (SDL.L on the London Stock Exchange). The Hewlett-Packard group is a division of Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ on the New York Stock Exchange).

The full report, which is available as part of the CSA’s research membership report also includes projected growth rates for the industry through 2020; rankings and revenues of the largest 100 language services companies; critical benchmarks for LSP financial performance, including average revenue per employee and average revenue per salesperson; reporting on the fastest-growing services in the industry, such as translation, software localization, and on-site interpreting; and much more.