Introducing a New Tool: Free ROI Calculator for Captioning YouTube Videos
Updated: January 4, 2018
We’re excited to announce a fun, free new tool! The ROI Calculator allows users to gauge how captioning can impact YouTube views and ROI by simply inputting a link to one of their YouTube videos and clicking Calculate.
While YouTube is one of the largest online video platforms, it is unique from an accessibility standpoint in that most of the content is not legally required to be captioned. While federal laws dictate captioning requirements for educational, governmental, and broadcast video (among other industries), user-generated video is currently unregulated when it comes to captioning. Because of this, the pressure to caption is not the same for YouTubers as it is for many other video creators. However, captioning on YouTube has recently become a trendy topic, with Deaf YouTuber Rikki Poynter leading the charge (she has been featured recently on BBCNewswire, Upworthy, and Huffington Post discussing the importance of accessibility on YouTube). In response, Tyler Oakley captioned his entire channel and posted a great video about it.
It’s true that many YouTubers want to make their videos accessible to the whole community; however, cost is often a chief concern when it comes to captioning. Creators want to know that their investment will pay off. To help alleviate some of this risk, we have introduced a new tool that automatically calculates your estimated ROI and increase in views attributable to captioning. This tool is based on an extensive SEO study by Discovery Digital Networks, which found a 7.32% lifetime increase in views on captioned YouTube videos.
Using this documented increase in views as a metric for YouTube CPM earnings, we can calculate an estimated ROI (realizing, of course, that CPM earnings take into account more than views: however, captions are likely to increase other metrics like watch time, retention, and user engagement, as well). If you know your CPM, you can input that on the results page to recalculate a more accurate ROI!
How to Calculate Your ROI from Adding Captions to YouTube
First, find a video that you want to calculate. It can be one of your own, or one from your favorite YouTube channel! The most accurate calculation will come if you select a video that is fairly established and is about the average length of other videos on your channel. Just copy and paste the link and press Calculate:
We’ll instantly propagate a chart that tells you how many views you would have if you had captioned your video, as well as your estimated ROI. We’ll also create a chart that shows the results for captioning your whole channel!
Making Your Results as Accurate as Possible
You can make your results more accurate by inputting your known CPM earnings and your known average video duration (otherwise the results for your channel will pull an average video duration equivalent to the length of the single video you calculated). Also keep in mind that entering a link to an established YouTube video will give you a much more accurate calculation – try not to link to a brand new video!
Other Reasons to Caption Your YouTube Videos
For large YouTube channels, the ROI of captioning is often impressive enough that there’s no real reason not to caption. However, if you calculate a negative ROI for your channel, it doesn’t mean that captioning is a bad idea. Apart from the fact that all of your deaf and hard of hearing fans will be thrilled to be able to watch your videos, there are a lot of other benefits to captioning:
- Non-automatic captions are indexed by Google and YouTube, so they help your videos rank for more diverse keywords (and help people find your videos).
- Captions are proven to increase views.
- 80% of people who use closed captions are not deaf or hard of hearing (according to a study by the UK Office of Communications).
- Captions make your videos easier to understand in the case of background noise, accents, difficult subject matter, complex language, and fast speaking.
- Captions make it so viewers can watch your videos in sound-sensitive environments like libraries, gyms, and offices.
- 70% of YouTube views come from non-English speaking countries, and captions vastly improve comprehension for viewers who know English as a second language.
- Similarly, captions can be translated into multilingual subtitles to boost your SEO and viewership on a more global scale.
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