Captions and subtitles enable deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals to access media content. They also benefit non-native speakers of a language and people who watch videos in noisy environments.

While creating and delivering captions/subtitles can be time-consuming, it is essential for anyone who makes videos. Here are just a few reasons why:

Boosts Viewing Statistics

Subtitles translate the audio on-screen into a written form and are designed for viewers who do not understand the language of the video. The subtitles are displayed below the video and can either be opened or closed (the difference is that open subtitles cannot be turned off by the viewer, while closed captions can).

Auto subtitle generator online captioning is widely used for accessibility purposes, especially by deaf audiences and those with hearing disabilities. However, they also increase the reach of your video content and make it more usable no matter where you are or what environment you’re in.

A recent study by Verizon Media and Publicis Media found that 81% of American consumers are likelier to watch videos to the end if subtitles are available. This is particularly true for younger viewers, with Gen Z being the most frequent users of subtitles. In addition, the same study found that people who watch video on a mobile device often tend with the sound off in public or private spaces, making subtitles essential for accessibility.

Furthermore, many movie theaters include open captioning during their movies, in addition to the traditional closed captioning required by federal law. This allows all viewers to enjoy the film regardless of their hearing or sight abilities and helps them retain more information during long movies or TV shows.

Increases Revenue

Despite their apparent advantages, subtitles remain a lesser-known video content accessibility tool. They aren’t as well-known as closed captioning or transcripts, which have a much larger reach among the disabled community. Yet captions provide a powerful marketing opportunity for businesses, schools, and organizations.

Captions are transcriptions of audio-only video content in text form that viewers with limited vision, hearing loss, or mobility limitations can read. They are available in multiple languages and can be synchronized with video to ensure they follow the screen action. Captions are also used for various reasons, such as reducing noise in the background or improving comprehension.

While they are typically seen in foreign films, subtitles can also be used to translate English-language content for a local audience. This is particularly common in countries with a large population of non-native English speakers, such as Ireland, Wales, and Finland. Providing subtitles in multiple languages increases the potential viewership of your video content to a global audience.

Aside from increasing viewership, closed captioning quality is essential for accessibility and inclusivity. If captions are not correctly synchronized with the audio, they can distract and confuse viewers. This is why captions must be written and placed with care, as they should not block important visuals or overlap one another, run off the edge of the screen, or be obscured by dark or conflicting visuals.

Boosts Customer Satisfaction

Many individuals with hearing loss find it easier to understand video content when subtitles are present. This is because they can read the text alongside the spoken word, allowing them to follow better the plot and characters in movies and television shows. As such, businesses that refrain from including captions on their videos will miss out on a large segment of the population.

Closed captions and subtitles are often used interchangeably but are different formats with distinct uses and benefits. While both provide text alternatives to the audio in videos, closed captions also explain non-speech elements (e.g., door slams, background noise, and sound effects). Subtitles, conversely, only translate the dialogue on screen into a different language and can be turned off or on by the viewer.

While social media platforms allow users to add text overlays to their videos, companies must use professional services like Amberscript to create captions for their video content. These services use a mix of automated and human transcription, editing, and quality assurance processes to ensure that the final transcripts are accurate and error-free.

Captions and subtitles can help businesses increase the reach of their video content by making it available to a much larger audience. Studies have shown that if individuals with hearing disabilities cannot access your content, they will be less likely to watch it. As such, providing your video content with subtitles or closed captions will ensure you reach a maximum number of potential customers.

Increases Market Reach

Captions, subtitles, and transcripts can all be an accessibility tool for your video content. However, it’s essential to understand the differences between these three formats to make sure a wide range of users can fully access your video.

Captioning is a video audio transcription, ideally placed within the same frame and displayed as text. This can be helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, as they can read the text and completely understand what is being said in the video. Captions are also used in films as a form of comedy or satire, for example, in Annie Hall, where the captions show Woody Allen’s characters’ honest thoughts rather than what they say in the audio.

Subtitles, conversely, translate the speech on-screen into text and are generally designed for viewers who can hear but don’t speak the language in a video, like foreign films. They can also be helpful for audiences who prefer to read instead of listen or who want to follow commentary at sporting events, in museums, and on tours.

The translation is a compelling way to make your videos accessible. It can transform a piece of tape into multiple languages, allowing businesses to reach an international audience more efficiently. Traditionally, unless individual team members are multilingual or companies have native speakers in the workforce, it has been difficult and time-consuming to localize videos for different markets.

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