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When Do You Get a Positive ROI from Captions? Tim Schmoyer Interview [TRANSCRIPT]

TIM SCHMOYER: Hey guys, today we’re going to talk with Lily Bond from 3Play Media about whether or not adding captions to your videos is actually worth it or not for the time and the investment that it takes to do so.

That’s coming up.

Hey guys, my name is Tim Schmoyer and this is Lily Bond from Play Media.

Thank you for being here with us.

LILY BOND: Thank you.

TIM SCHMOYER: So you guys know that adding captions to your video is important, but it is time consuming if you do it yourself. And it can also be– it takes some money if you want to pay someone else to do it instead.

So today I want to talk with you, Lily, about –you guys have done some research about whether or not the ROI, the investment that goes into captioning your videos, whether or not it’s worth it and where the payoff is.

Can you tell us a little about that research that you guys did?


So we did a study with Discovery Digital Networks. And they captioned over a hundred of their videos across eight channels and compared them against uncaptioned videos to see the effect of the captions on their SEO. And what they found was really exciting.

They found, in the first 14 days, a 13.5% increase in views.



TIM SCHMOYER: Which is really impressive.

LILY BOND: And then what’s even better is a lifetime increase of 7.2% in views.


LILY BOND: So that definitely means that if you add captions to your videos, it will pay off.

TIM SCHMOYER: So one of the things, when I looked at this report, that I noticed is that the chart of how much it influences was really heavily scaled towards when you first publish your video.

It seemed like captions had a bigger impact on how your video performed when you first published it. Is that true and then why do you think that is? Do you have any thoughts on that?

LILY BOND: First of all, any time you post a new video, you’re sending that out to all of your subscribers.


LILY BOND: So that’s one aspect.

But it also boosts your SEO so much, suddenly your keyword diversity is so high that you have a lot more keywords that people are searching for and getting your video as a result.


One of things I heard from you guys also that was interesting was that 80% of people who use captions aren’t actually disabled. Because I think a lot of times when we think about captions, we’re like, well, I don’t have deaf people watching my videos, something like that. Can you explain what’s going on there and why captions are valuable to people outside just like accessibility issues and reasons?

LILY BOND: Yeah absolutely.

Yeah, that was a study by the Office of Communications in the UK. And 80% of people who use closed captions are not deaf or hard of hearing.

So what we’re finding there is that accessibility features and closed captions affect everyone, particularly people in sound-sensitive environments.

If you’re in the office and watching a video, you can actually watch it without the sound.

Or there’s also people who know English as a second language. It’s a lot easier for them to follow along. And most of YouTube are people that are not English speakers natively.


And then I also heard, from that report, that it was also people who do speak English natively, but it’s just easier for them to read. It makes it easier for them to follow what’s happening in the video.

And I read, I think, somewhere from you guys or that report, that it actually increases audience retention scores when you have captions with your videos, because people stay longer because they can follow with the captions.

Now let’s talk about the ROI issue.

So at what point is there– do you at least break even on the costs that you have put into captioning a video? Where does that break even mark happen for that?

LILY BOND: So that you can tell based on the number of views on your channel.
So if you’re captioning all of the videos on your channel, you can look at how many views you have currently

and then add a 7.32% increase, which is the number that the Discovery Digital Networks study found, and find out how many views you would get that are attributable to closed captions.

And then you can judge that against your CPM earnings and tell whether or not you would actually be making money off of it or not.

TIM SCHMOYER: So you’ve got to do a little math to figure it out, but that’s OK.

I’d love to hear from you guys in the comments below what you guys use for captioning and if you do or not. And if you do, why do you use it? And if you don’t, why don’t you use it?

I know the most common reason, I think, is expense and time. So if you guys have other reasons, I’d love to hear those from you guys down there. And if this your first time here, we’d also love to have you subscribe to this channel.

Every Thursday we do videos just like this to help you guys out as video marketers to help your content perform the best as it can here on the web.

So subscribe for next week’s video, and I will see you then.


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