The use of captions in video has been a growing trend for the last few years. This is partially due to the 21st Century Communications Act that the U.S. Congress passed in 2009, requiring captioning for certain types of online videos in accordance with equal rights laws for the disabled (there are over 275 million people with hearing loss as of 2004). However, it can mostly be attributed to the many ways firms can use captions to expand their businesses. At Kaltura, we recently added captions and translations to many of our videos on our video hub and thought it would be a good idea to explain why more and more businesses are doing the same.
Check out an example:
There are a great number of general benefits of captioning, such as allowing the viewers to receive the author’s exact message, scroll back if they missed something, remain focused and absorb the content easier, etc. But today, we are going to focus on some specific industries that really reap rewards by adding captions to their online video content.
Globally Expanding Firms
We Kalturians are adopting the concept of a “global community” quite literally, having recently opened our London office giving us an EMEA presence. This was one contributing factor to why we adopted captions to our videos; we can reach a multi-lingual audience with ease. Adding captions transcends the language barrier as you can easily translate your video into numerous languages. Furthermore, compared to “dubbing,” captions are easier to create, provide a smoother video experience, and are cheaper. Additionally, within the same language, they help viewers understand unfamiliar accents and resolve difficulties for partially- fluent viewers. This ties in as well with the next industry…
If you are a language teacher then you will definitely want to use captioned videos in your lectures and as a learning resource. Check out this research that shows that students who watched videos with captions scored significantly higher on verbal, written, and comprehensions tests than students who watched the same videos without captions. Furthermore, additional research suggests that viewers are more engaged by captioned videos with increases of 38% in view time (66% vs. 91%) and 80% in users who watched the video in its entirety (47% vs. 84%)! Although increased viewer engagement benefits any business, it can be especially useful for distracted students who struggle to learn their professor’s material.
Although many firms target other businesses with their video content, there are many office workers of these businesses who cannot play the video with external volume or wear headphones. This creates the issue of viewers and potential customers receiving what can barely be considered video content and not fully absorbing the video’s message. Captioned videos, unsurprisingly, have been found to lead to a 20-fold expansion in video viewership in muted settings compared to uncaptioned videos. Furthermore, captioned videos substantially drives organic SEO growth because of the video transcriptions, no longer relying just on tags, titles, and descriptions. This is extremely beneficial to all video publishers but can be exceptionally profitable for B2B firms looking to gain potential customers (i.e. all of them).
As of the end of this month, TV networks and web video sites will have to provide closed-captions for any TV content that is available online. As reported on Gigaom: “The original FCC rule included a mandate that would have allowed consumers to change the font size and color of captions to improve readability. These requirements now have been postponed for another 16 months. Starting September 30, deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers will have a right to access to basic captions, without these kinds of bells and whistles.”
So does adding captions to your videos benefit you? The answer is almost always yes, and to a remarkable degree if your business lies within one of the three industries described above.
With Kaltura we are making it extra easy for our customers to transcribe their video. Our partners on Kaltura Exchange such as 3Play Media, dotSUB, PLYmedia and AST CaptionSync offer great solutions that are integrated with our platform, making transcribing as easy as clicking a button.
To learn how to use captions with Kaltura:
- Visit Kaltura Exchange
-Visit our Knowledge Center
-Check out our video hub for examples