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Oracle Justifies the Cost of Captioning and Transcription for On Demand Video Training


  • At the 2013 Streaming Media East conference, 3Play Media hosted the panel Strategies for Deploying Accessible Video Captioning, which featured media experts sharing their methods of using captions and transcripts. One of the panelists was Ben Labrum, Senior Product Manager for Training On Demand at Oracle.

    Oracle uses captions and transcripts to enhance their on-demand video training program, Oracle University.

    Oracle’s diverse range of database products and enterprise software tools compel many professionals to seek Oracle certifications to further their careers. While Oracle University is available in a classroom setting or at private events, Oracle saw the opportunity to leverage online video and give students additional ways to learn.

    Watch the recorded panel session “Strategies for Deploying Accessible Video Captioning”

    How Oracle Uses Online Video

    Oracle leverages instructors’ expertise via video training on-demand. This allows students to pick the training format that best matches their learning style and schedule.

    After filming instructors in a university classroom, Oracle posts those training videos online. Students pay the same price for a 90-day subscription to Oracle Training On Demand as they would to go to an in-person, five-day training session. This simple model has allowed Oracle University to diversify their product offerings.

    Oracle’s Motivation for Video Captioning and Transcription

    Oracle University transcribes and captions 100% of their online video content.

    Ben Labrum explained how the interactive transcripts add value by giving users the ability to search a video for keywords and increase engagement with the content. Captions and transcripts improve student comprehension.

    And of course, captions and transcripts make Oracle’s videos accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing students — an added benefit that Ben calls “a happy accident.”


    BEN LABRUM: It’s really cognitive reinforcement…. So when you read it and hear it at the same time, it helps you remember better. For example, say we record an instructor in Atlanta, Georgia. And then there’s a student in India who’s used to an English accent. The student might not follow as well without captions. Captioning and transcripts add additional value.

    We do it because the video search function and interactive transcript are cool…. Captions are great, but accessibility is a happy accident for us.

    How Oracle Justifies the Cost of Video Transcripts and Captions

    Ben explains that the 7% increase in overall production cost is well worth the extra value that transcription provides, especially for a premium video product. In Ben Labrum’s words:


    BEN LABRUM: We have to have the crew there all day. So it’s already an expensive thing, but we really believe that this is the future, so we’re making this investment already. I figured it out, and transcription works out to be roughly 7% of our overall production cost, not counting our internal head count.

    So for us, it was baked in from the beginning because really… if we’re providing this premium content at a premium price, we need to add value any way we can. That’s how we arrived at doing transcription.

    RECAP: The Benefits of Captioning Oracle University Video Training

    1. Searchability
    2. Interactivity
    3. Comprehension
    4. Accessibility

    For more on the benefits of closed captioning online video, check out the free brief: 8 Benefits of Transcribing & Captioning Online Video

    8 Benefits of Transcribing & Captioning Online Video

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