Why You Need to Caption Spanish Video on the Web

May 29, 2015 BY EMILY GRIFFIN
Updated: February 6, 2018

Google released automatic Spanish captioning for YouTube videos back in 2012, but just like its English auto-captioning feature, it has serious accuracy problems. Still, the gesture validates the importance of closed captioning Spanish videos on the internet.

Why do Spanish videos need closed captions?

(Keep in mind that closed captions are different from subtitles: Spanish captions serve an audience who understands Spanish but can’t hear the audio.)

The main motivations for captioning Spanish video online are a growing Hispanic audience, Spanish language captioning laws, and benefits like accessibility and increased traffic to videos.

The Market for Spanish Online Video is Growing

It’s no surprise that the Spanish-speaking population in the United States is growing. It follows, then, that demand for Spanish-language internet video consumption in the US is also on the rise. The facts speak for themselves:

Spanish Video Captioning Requirements

FCC regulations require closed captions on Spanish-language or bilingual broadcast television in the US. Spanish captions are held to the same broadcasting caption quality standards as English content, in terms of accuracy, synchronicity, completeness, and placement.

The FCC’s Spanish captioning rules apply to online video that also aired on American television with captions, in accordance with the CVAA.

Other disability discrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 compel certain organizations or institutions to caption online video, but they do not address Spanish-language captioning explicitly.

Benefits of Adding Captions to Spanish Video

Spanish videos benefit from closed captioning and transcription for many of the same reasons that English videos do:

  • Accessibility: videos are more accessible to Spanish-speaking viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Better Comprehension: Spanish closed captions help the viewer follow along and absorb information better, especially if Spanish is not their first language.
  • Easier Video Search: Spanish transcripts make it easier to search for a keyword or phrase in a video or video library to find what you’re looking for.
  • Improved SEO: Search engines index captions and transcripts, making your videos rank higher on search results. There is much less search competition for non-English queries, so optimizing your Spanish video for search will have an even greater impact than English video SEO.
  • Translation: make Spanish video accessible to non-Spanish speakers by translating captions into multilingual subtitles.

How to Add Captions to Spanish Video

Want to add captions to your Spanish videos? Submit them for professional transcription and captioning.

Check our How-To Guides page for instructions on how to add captions to video using different video editors or media players.

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