Tracking the distribution of non-professional subtitles to study new audiences

David Orrego Carmona, Simon Richter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper analyzes the consumers in the context of non-professional subtitling (NPS). Using web scraping techniques to collect data about the downloading rate of non-professional subtitles we explore the behavior of consumers. Drawing on the case of the subtitles for House of Cards in, a popular multilingual non-professional subtitle distribution website, we describe the consumption of non-professional subtitles and the users’ response. After outlining the situation of the international audiences for audiovisual products and the relevance of consumers as the driving force behind NPS communities, we analyze the collected data in terms of their interest in the originality of the content and their wish to access the content immediately after it is available. Our findings indicate that the users of non-professional subtitles are highly engaged consumers, eager to access the content as soon as possible and interested in watching it in its original language (English), even with intralingual (same-language) subtitles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-86
Number of pages22
JournalObservatorio (OBS*)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018 (David Orrego Carmona, Simon Richter). Licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial
Generic (cc by-nc). Available at


  • subtitling
  • audience
  • translation studies
  • media flows


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