So…what is captioning?

The definition of captioning according the National Association for the Deaf: “Captioning is the process of converting the audio content of a television broadcast, webcast, film, video, CD-ROM, DVD, live event, or other productions into text and displaying the text on a screen, monitor, or other visual display systems as captions.”

Captioning makes audio and audiovisual material accessible and provides a link to communication, information, education, news, and entertainment for more than 36 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing.

What are subtitles?

Subtitles are used in many of the same situations that captioning may be used but are mostly meant to meet the need of language translation. Subtitles are mainly used to overcome language barriers. Most of us have seen a movie where an actor is speaking in another language and English subtitles pop up on the screen. (We especially appreciate them when a language like Italian is not our native tongue!)

How Captioning Is Different

Captioning indicates background music or sound effects and other environmental cues to give the overall picture of what the audience cannot hear. Captions not only display words as the textual equivalent of spoken dialogue, but they also include speaker identification. Essentially, subtitles only report speech – captions give a big-picture view.

Captions And ROI

Captioning can help grow your online platform and make an impact on your viewers. While subtitles can be turned on and off like closed captioning (CC), captioning has been shown to increase memory retention of viewers and increase video traffic.

  • Facebook reported a 12% increase in video engagement when adding closed captioning in 2017
  • YouTube showed a 40% spike in video traffic when closed captioning was added to their videos
  • An 80% spike in traffic was seen on YouTube when both subtitles and closed captioning was added

Captioning can also help attract a larger audience to your online platform with the help of some SEO (search engine optimization). Platforms with captioned videos have seen increased traffic to their sites by as much as 16% vs. non-captioned videos. Search engines can’t watch a video or listen to audio, but they do index text!

Get in touch with us to learn more!