SVOX Looks to Brazil for Ripe, Untapped Revenue Streams
European embedded speech provider SVOX will now be offering Brazilian Portuguese text-to-speech (TTS) across its range of products for immediate use, including its mobile and automotive products.
The new Brazilian female voice font increases SVOX’s stable of offerings to 35 voices across 24 separate languages. Its release comes three months after SVOX added Finnish and Greek fonts. The Brazilian release, however, represents an important step in the company’s attempt to capitalize on Brazil’s growing wealth and sizable population.
“As markets become more important you try to cover them,” says Alexander Davydov, marketing manager for SVOX in its Zurich base. “Consumers are getting richer there and demand better products, so we would like to be present there.”
Davydov adds that ease of development also played a role in SVOX’s selection of Brazilian Portuguese. SVOX had already developed a European Portuguese language pack.
“The effort to do it isn’t that big compared to some other more exotic languages,” he says.
He adds that unlike other markets, where there are as many as ten major languages, Brazil can be covered with just one language pack. Davydov stresses that SVOX’s language expansion strategy is essentially pragmatic at heart.
“You could have a very big country that’s very poor and there’s no demand for speech products there. Or you could have a country that is relatively small, like Norway, where the wealth and penetration of speech is high, so it’s prioritized higher,” he says. “[Our decisions are] based on these two factors: how many consumers there are, and how wealthy they are.”
Some commentators have speculated that those considerations likely include the recession, which has forced companies to expand into smaller, previously untapped markets. Brazil, Norway, Finland, and Greece all seem to fit this description. This explanation, further, might help to explain the parallel behavior of SVOX’s Italian-based, TTS competitor Loquendo, which has seen its share of releases in Northern Europe and Brazil this year.
Datamonitor analyst Daniel Hong suggests that the TTS market has reached a certain point of maturation. He stresses, however, that “there continue to be opportunities as smoother and refined TTS technologies come to market to replace antiquated TTS technologies.”
SVOX continues to seek expansion into other languages and is currently developing a product for Arabic speaking markets.