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Making Video Communications and Training Searchable and Accessible [Webinar Transcript]

BARRY CANTY: Hello. And welcome to the MediaPlatform webinar, making video communications and training searchable and accessible. In today’s webinar we’ll be discussing the benefits of captions, transcripts, and the enterprise video platform to improve online learning. And derive a higher ROI from existing video content. We’ll also cover some of the features and benefits of interactive transcripts, and how a searchable and accessible video library can improve communications in your organization.

My name is Barry Canty, Director of Marketing at MediaPlatform, and I will be your webinar host. Joining us today is Tole Khesin, Vice President of Marketing at 3Play Media. 3Play Media provides premium closed captioning, transcription, and subtitling solutions that make your video accessible, searchable, SEO friendly, and more engaging. Tole oversees all marketing for 3Play Media and has been a principal at the company since 2009. Welcome, Tole.

TOLE KHESIN: Thanks, Barry. Glad to be here.

BARRY CANTY: Great to have you. And today’s second presenter is MediaPlatform Chief Technology Officer, Denis Khoo. Denis has over 15 years of experience leading the development of online applications. And has been CTO of MediaPlatform since 2010. Hello, Denis.

DENIS KHOO: Hey, Barry. Happy to be here.

BARRY CANTY: Great. So before we start the presentation, for those of you who are new to MediaPlatform, we are an enterprise YouTube and fully integrated rich media webcasting solution. We enable video for executive and employee communications, training, as well as marketing. MediaPlatform customers include Adobe, Facebook, General Motors, and Oracle. During today’s webinar please feel free to submit your questions to our representatives at any time by using the Q&A tab and the viewer interface.

And Tole and Denis will respond to as many questions as possible at the end of the webinar. Also, if you would like the slides from today’s event, they can be found under the downloads tab. And with that, I’ll hand it over to you, Tole.

TOLE KHESIN: Great. Thank you. I’d like to begin with a brief overview of 3Play Media. We are based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And for the last seven years we’ve been providing captioning and transcription solutions to more than 1,000 customers across various industries. We recently completed an integration with MediaPlatform which really makes the process of captioning and transcription as simple as it can possibly be. Denis will show how it works.

But basically, all you have to do is select which files you want to have processed from within MediaPlatform and click a button. And what happens behind the scenes is that MediaPlatform s sends us those files. We process them and send the transcripts and captions back. And they just show up in your MediaPlatform player.

Next I want to talk about the benefits and why you would want to transcribe and caption your videos. So the most common reason is to be able to reach a broader audience by making the video content accessible to people with hearing disabilities. In the US alone there are over 48 million people, that’s one in five people, whose hearing loss is significant enough to impede day to day communications. Another reason to transcribe your videos is to increase SEO.

The thing is that search engines can’t watch a video. So they have to rely on the metadata. And in many cases the only thing search engines have to go on is the title of the video. So by transcribing a video you’re providing search engines with a much deeper and broader understanding of what the video’s about. This results in higher rankings across a more diverse range of search terms. We’ve conducted several studies to demonstrate the SEO benefit of video transcript to the captions.

One of those studies was with Discovery Digital Network. They found over the course of 16 months that videos that have closed captions had 13 percent more views in the first two weeks, as compared to videos that didn’t have captions. Another benefit is that transcripts and captions have been shown to significantly improve comprehension. They also make it possible to consume a video in sound-sensitive environments like a workplace or a library. One study that supports this was conducted by BBC. They found that 80% of people who use closed captions don’t actually have any hearing disabilities whatsoever. They do it because it helps them to follow along with what’s being spoken.

So by transcribing a video you can also install an interactive transcript which makes the video searchable and more engaging. Denis will show you how to can skim through the transcript and click on any word to jump to that specific point in the video. One of the most salient studies showing the benefits of interactive transcripts was conducted by MIT OpenCourseWare. In that study, 97% of students said that interactive transcripts increased their learning experience.

Another reason why some of our customers transcribe their videos is to create derivative content. For example, if you produce corporate webinars you can use those transcripts as the starting point for blog posts. Another example, some of our customers in education use transcripts of recorded lectures as a starting point for writing journals or a textbook.

And then, lastly, translation. If you’re a company that’s going global, and you want to be able to broaden your reach to include non-English speakers, then it’s important to translate your videos. And the first step in doing that is through transcription.

So, depending on what industry you’re in, creating closed captions may be required by law. In the US there are three federal laws that have jurisdiction over video and web accessibility require closed captionings. I’ll just go over those on a very high level. The Rehabilitation Act, which was actually enacted in 1973 including two sections, section 508 and 504, that require equal access to people with disabilities. Again, this is something that applies to all governmental agencies and certain colleges and universities that receive federal funding.

The second law is the ADA, the Americans With Disabilities Act, which is a very broad law that requires accessible content for the public. Again, for public and commercial entities. The Title II of the ADA is what affect public entities. And Title III is what affects commercial entities. And Title III is the one that has had the most activity.

Particularly the landmark lawsuit that happened recently was the case of NAD, that’s the National Association of the Deaf, that sued Netflix. This was in 2010. Citing the NAD on the grounds that many of Netflix’s movies, their streaming video service, were not captioned and they weren’t providing accommodations to people who were deaf. And the thing about Title III of the ADA is in order to qualify you have to be considered a place of public accommodation. And historically, this is something that was applied or used to determine a use for physical structures.

For instance, determining that a building requires wheelchair access. It had never been used for an online business like Netflix. And Netflix’s defense was that they did not qualify as a place of public accommodation because they were just an online website, basically. Serving movies. And in the end, the court ruled that Netflix did qualify as a place of public accommodation.

And they settled, and they ended up captioning close to 100% of their movies. And this lawsuit had some very profound implications because Netflix qualifies as a place of public accommodation. You can imagine that many other organizations would also qualify as a place of public accommodation. Probably anything that is large enough to have a global impact would fall under that ruling and would be required to have closed captions as well.

So the last most recent law is the CDAA. That’s the abbreviation that stands for the 21st Century Communications and Accessibility Act. And that applies to content that airs on television and the internet. So the interesting thing about this law is that unlike with previous laws where cable networks had the burden of providing captions, the CDA puts the burden on the copyright owners. That means that if you’re uploading content that aired on television with captions, it’s your responsibility to add captions to that video as well.

In July of this year the SEC ruled that this law does also apply to video clips. So if there’s a 30 minute TV show, and you’re uploading a two minute clip in that show, then that’s something that would require captions as well.

So here’s a slide with some resources that may be helpful. The first one shows the integration that’s in place between 3Play Media and MediaPlatform. The next one is a directive of different case studies. And the last one is a portal to webinars White Papers, I think, use. How to guides and video tutorials that may be helpful for captioning and transcription. And with that, I will hand things off to Denis.

DENIS KHOO: Great. Thank you, Tole. My name is Denis Khoo, as Barry mentioned earlier. I am the CTO at MediaPlatform. Let me start by quickly introducing MediaPlatform and then we can jump back into the topic. MediaPlatform provides an enterprise grade video platform. Essentially you can think of it as a corporate YouTube. But with all of the enterprise security, functionality, flexibility, and whatnot that you would expect with an enterprise app.

We support the ability to do on demand video, of course, with several transcoding options to do live webcasting, rich media, full customizable portal, social aspects such as commenting or whatnot. So all of that is tightly integrated into a single platform that we call MediaPlatform that we make available to any enterprise customer. OK. And with that, let’s jump back Into the topic.

So Tole mentioned many, many great reasons why you’d want a transcript and caption within your video. I’m going to be focusing more on the aspect of searchability and discoverability. So as anybody knows content is only as valuable as you can discover it. Right? So oftentimes we’re inundated with just having too much content. And video is a different beast in itself because video is not flat content.

It can be a five minute video. It can be a two hour video. So being able to find content that you are interested in within video becomes very challenging. Well, with transcripts and captioning we really overcome a lot of the hurdles that we’ve seen in the past.

So in general, let’s talk about searchability within MediaPlatform first. So within MediaPlatform searchability is paramount and very important within our application. So we make sure that we have very robust and advanced searching, as you would expect. You can search using a lot of different key metadata point channels. You can search by contributors and whatnot.

And, of course, through key word search as well. When searching we recommend having content delineated across channels, and you can have sub-channels as well. So it’s not just about searching but also about navigation. So having the content organized in a logical fashion is obviously key, and searching within specific categories or within channels really helps to narrow down exactly what you’re looking for.

As I mentioned earlier, you can search by the contributor. You can search by users as well. When you get search results you want to make sure that you can quickly identify what the context on that search result looks like. So here you can see that you can quickly get some context by seeing a thumbnail within that video, the title and description, of course. You can also hover over the search results to get more information such as a detailed description and tags. The whole idea being that you can try to find the content that’s relevant as quickly as possible. Without wasting several minutes, or even hours, playing through videos that may not be what you’re looking for.

So that leads us to our captioning and transcription integration with 3Play. So again, we’re very excited about this integration because it leads to the next level in terms of productivity and being able to find the content that you’re looking for. As Tole mentioned earlier, we have tight integration with 3Play to be able to get the transcription and captioning data back into our system. From your perspective it’s a single click. You select that you want the transcript. It gets sent off. We do all the magic behind the scenes.

And once the transcript comes back you get a beautiful asset with captioning, as you would expect, within the video. Very much like on Netflix and YouTube. But in addition, we also provide something known as a transcription component. And on this screen shot you can see what that looks like. Essentially you can read ahead, and you can click on any word ahead of the actual playback of the video to jump to that section. So it gets pretty exciting and very, very productive.

With the transcription metadata in place, our searching becomes much more sophisticated. So previously, I showed search results where we had thumbnails and videos that came back. Well, now with transcription data being available you can see the difference. So on the first two videos at the top we don’t have transcription data it matches the title, description, or tags, which is fine. So we present those videos that match the search results.

On the third video, in the middle, it gets pretty exciting. Where you can see not only do we match the key word to the video, but we’ve matched it to specific parts in the transcript. And you can see that as time delineated, meaning you can get a snapshot of exactly what point in the video the match occurred. What you can do, essentially, is be able to get some context by reading a snippet of where the search matched. And being able to jump to that direct point in the video.

So again, very, very useful. Especially for very long videos where it might match that video, but you don’t know what part of the video you want to jump to. Here you can quickly click and jump to that specific part in the video. And if we did that, we would get to the video, it would start playing back at that time, and you can see on the bottom where the phrases that matched in our search results.

In addition, you can search here once again to search through the transcript of this asset and see additional points where it matched as well. So that you can easily identify other parts in the video that you want to jump to. And again, this is all kind of live links, meaning you can click on any word, at any time, and it will jump to that point in the video. OK. So no more needing to go through the video scroll bar and jumping to random points in the video. And trying to find what you’re looking for. Now you can read ahead and be able to jump directly and precisely to the content that you need to get to.

And in terms of discoverability and searchability, we’ll talk about a few of the best practices to making sure that the content is easily discoverable. One of the things that we preach is making sure that you curate content well. And have a good portal that’s going to highlight it and emphasize the video that most people will be using or looking for. So one of the things you want to have in the portal is making sure that you can feature certain videos.

Featuring not just at the home page but also per channel. So if you had an HR channel, HR might want to feature a video. Whereas you might have a different channel for IT, and they might want to feature a different video. So you want the ability feature within different contexts.

Sharing is key. So syndication of the video, of course, having the video appear in the right place at the right time, obviously makes a big difference in terms of discoverability. So the ability to be able to take a link or even an embed code, very much like YouTube and to be able to share it. In addition, you want to be able to make sure that the security of that video is preserved. So even if you took the share link and shared it on another intranet but if that video is not supposed to be accessible to people in a certain department, or under a certain title. Well you want to make sure that security and permission gets carried over to the embedded video.

Same for playlist. So the concept of playlist is very, very powerful in that you can associate multiple videos together into a single playlist. So that’s obvious. And being able to take that playlist and give an embed code, very much like you would with a video and putting it somewhere else, say a project management page or somewhere else. Again, lends itself to discoverability in making sure that you get the relevant video to the right people at the right time.

Again, another important aspect here is making sure that each of the videos in that playlist is only accessible by the people who are authorized to access it. So a playlist gets a little bit more complicated because it’s not a single video, obviously. And we have multiple videos, say four videos in this case. If you’re viewing it and you’re only authorized to view three of the four videos, well, the playlist should be dynamic enough to automatically present to you only the videos that you can see. So that’s an important aspect within enterprise that you have to consider.

User channels. So this is another compelling feature that really helps with just user engagement and getting people more involved. So generally most enterprise video platforms focus on what we call corporate channels. And those are channels basically set up by an administrator, someone at the top, and defined by the corporation. What you may also want to do is enable user channels where users can basically have their own channels.

And that way each user is able to upload their own content, or whatever it might be, that they care about. And be able to have it confined to their user channel. The searchability of this becomes key because you are going to have a lot of content once you enable user channels. And the searchability to be able to delineate between corporate channel and user channels is important. Meaning, when I go and do a search in my enterprise YouTube I want to be able to say, hey, I care about only searching company sanctioned videos that are in the corporate channels.

Or in this case, or another day, or for a different search, I might care about searching across the entire board. Across all user channels. And they might be personalized videos, but that’s fine. That’s what I’m looking for. So having that delineation is also important in the enterprise.

And accessibility and mobile is obvious nowadays in this mobile world that we live in. So making sure that that video is successful in the video. Making sure the search and the transcription and everything we talked about earlier carries on to mobile is a very important factor.

And finally, having the ability to incorporate the video, the video platform, to other web properties that you might have within your organization, such as SharePoint, Jive, Yammer, is also important. So this lends itself to the whole concept of having the right video, at the right place, at the right time. So having a video portal is great. People understand, employees understand, the concept of being able to go into a video portal to find videos. But at the same time in an enterprise world, people want to be, employees want to be able to use video within the context of different applications.

So when they’re in Jive, they want to stay in Jive. When they’re in SharePoint, they want to stay in SharePoint. So having the ability to be able to use that video functionality that you get from a video platform in other web properties is another important thing to consider.

And the last integration point is LMS. LMS is Learning Management Systems, of course, and an important topic in that LMSes are used throughout many enterprises. LMS is leverage video in a huge way. Video is obviously very conducive for training. And so you want to make sure that you can take your videos from any video platform and be able to syndicate it into popular LMS systems. And with that, I will hand it back to Barry.

BARRY CANTY: All right. And thank you so much, Tole and Denis, for that informative overview. It’s great for the audience to learn about the benefits of captions and transcripts. So now we’re just going to jump right into Q&A. And Denis, I’m actually going to start with you for Q&A. We had a question come in. The first question that I’ll give you is, does MediaPlatform accept WebEx ARF files? And if so, are they searchable as well?

DENIS KHOO: Yes. So WebEx has a proprietary video format known as ARF. And we do accept the ability to upload ARF into our system and we will convert it to a standard video. Very much an MP4. And once it becomes a standard video it can be sent through the transcription service through 3Play, very much like a standard video that you upload from default. So yes. That is very much supported.

BARRY CANTY: OK. And I’ll just give you one more question. This question is actually about LMS integration. And the question is, is there integration with Saba LMS?

DENIS KHOO: I don’t personally know Saba. But our LMS integration is done through a standard known as BICC. So if the LMS is BICC compliant, then our integration will work. So the advantage of BICC is that there’s an open standard. Whereby if LMS is BICC compliant and we are BICC compliant, it should just automatically work. So if Saba is a large and leading LMS, and excuse my ignorance on the LMS space, it will very likely be BICC complaint.

BARRY CANTY: All right. All right. And so, Tole, I’ll jump over to you now. The first question for you is, how well does the transcription work for technical content?

TOLE KHESIN: Yeah. So we actually process all sorts of highly technical and specialized content. We have a staff of 800 transcriptionists that cover a broad range.

BARRY CANTY: It sounds like we might have actually lost Tole there for a second. So Denis, I’ll just jump back over to you. This is actually a question from a MediaPlatform customer. Says, we are implementing a webcaster for Phillips 66. And they wanted to know if they would have access to uploading transcriptions back to the MediaPlatform hosted server.

DENIS KHOO: If I understand that question correctly, they are looking to see if they can upload transcriptions that they already have into our server. So yes. They can absolutely do that. The way the MediaPlatform transcription integration works is we have a tight integration with 3Play. Whereby the end user can simply say, hey, I don’t have a transcription, I would like 3Play to generate the transcript. And you’ll have it automatically.

But if you already have the transcript in a VTT format, which is a standard transcription format that exists on the internet today, we allow you to upload that. That’s not a problem. You will still have the same searchability and the same transcription component functionality that I displayed earlier. And it is totally fine for you to generate that on your own some how, some way. And to simply upload into our system. We will preserve all of the functionality that you would get if you use our 3Play integration.

BARRY CANTY: Got it. Got it. OK. And I’ll just throw one more question at you. Seem to be having some issues with Tole on the other end. The next question is, what are your video search capabilities inside enterprise social networks such as SharePoint, Yammer or Jive?

DENIS KHOO: Sure. So with integration with other web properties there’s a couple ways you can do search integration. One of them is through open search, and SharePoint supports open search. And that’s basically a standard whereby SharePoint will integrate with a search database, such as MediaPlatform, using the open search XML protocol. The other way to do it is to embed the MediaPlatform search widget into the third party website, if you will. And be able to have search embedded very much like an iframe within that web property, and be able to get search results the same way you would get them within the MediaPlatform system directly.

BARRY CANTY: OK. All right. And so, Tole, are you back on with us?

TOLE KHESIN: Yes. Sorry about that. I’ve been having some technical issues but I’m back on now.

BARRY CANTY: OK. All right. So let’s jump over to some questions for you. This question actually has come in from a few different people. It’s a question about turnaround time for the transcript.

TOLE KHESIN: Yes. There are, you can actually control the turnaround at the time of upload. The standard turnaround is four business days. But you can also specify two business days, one business day, or you can specify same day, which gets it back to you within eight hours. And now this is for the full transcription and captioning process. If you just want to do just the speech recognition alone, then that comes back to you within a matter of hours.

BARRY CANTY: Got it, got it.

DENIS KHOO: And actually, that’s one thing that I just realized I forgot to mention during my presentation. The integration we did with 3Play allows our customers to specify your standard transcript where a human is going to watch the video and type up the transcript. And you’re going to get 100% accuracy with that. The turnaround time is going to be a little longer, very much like Tole just mentioned.

We also have integration with something we called automated speech recognition. This is fully automated where you don’t have any humans involved. And basically, if you select that option, it’s a much lower price point first of all, but it’s also a much faster turnaround. The accuracy, as you would imagine, is not going to be as high as a human reading it. But the accuracy is fairly good and sufficient for searchability purposes.

So one of the things we love about automated speech recognition and having this capability is, customers will eventually be able to have transcription captioning across their entire video library. Whereas it might have been cost prohibitive in the past.

BARRY CANTY: Got it, got it. I’m sorry. Go ahead, Tole.

TOLE KHESIN: Yes. If I could just add to that. So just it might be helpful to clarify how our process of transcription works. So when we receive a video from MediaPlatform, we first put it through speech recognition. That’s an automated process, as Denis was saying. This is something that’s ready within a matter of hours. And it’s typically, after that’s done, it’s typically about 80% accurate.

At that point, depending on what you chose at the time when you initiated the transcription order, we could either send that back to MediaPlatform. If you opted to have the full transcription and captioning process then what we do is, that draft transcript that was done by a computer, it gets assigned to a professional transcriptionist who will go through word by word and basically clean up the mistakes left behind by the computer.

Subsequently, there will be a QA person who will go through and double check grammar, punctuation, research difficult words, make sure that we’re adhering to all the different captioning and transcription standards. So by the time that process is finished, that transcript is pretty much close to 100% in terms of accuracy. And so we would send that back.

BARRY CANTY: Got it. Got it. OK. Great. So in the interest of time, and ending this not too long after our scheduled time, I’ll make this the last question. And it’ll go to you, Denis. And I think it’s a question that you’ll be able to expound upon. The question is, if we have video posted on another platform, such as internet archive, can you use MediaPlatform through a plug-in?

DENIS KHOO: Yeah. I’m not sure about the plug-in part. But I can talk about a couple ways in which you can use MediaPlatform with existing video that you might have on another platform. One way you can utilize it is by doing a bulk import into MediaPlatform. So we have a tool whereby you can point to your existing video library and be able to do a mass import, if you will. Another way to do it is to use MediaPlatform’s embed capability.

So when you create an asset, as we call it, our video in MediaPlatform. You would generally upload the video, an MP4 or an MOB file. You can also choose to put in an embed code. So the idea is that rather than copying the video because it already exists somewhere on the internet, you can simply embed it. And the advantage of putting it into the MediaPlatform system is for the whole discoverability and searchability that we talked about earlier. So that way you have a comprehensive or a one stop in a location for an aggregation of all the video assets. Whether they live somewhere else or they live, you know, video itself lives in MediaPlatform.

BARRY CANTY: Got it. Got it. Thank you so much for that answer. And that concludes our webinar for today. If you would like to contact MediaPlatform, you see our contact information, phone and email on your screen. And we will be sending out an archive of this webinar within 24 hours. So look for that in your email box. And have a great day.

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