How Do You Prioritize Content for Captioning?

February 8, 2016 BY EMILY GRIFFIN
Updated: June 3, 2019

Closed captioning can be a tall order for organizations with a sizable video library or a regular stream of new content. This is especially true in higher education, where each lecture adds another hour to the stack.

When time and budget are limiting factors, how do you prioritize what gets captioned?

We surveyed our customers and found out:

How Do You Prioritize Content for Captioning? [Survey Results] Pie Chart: Caption everything: 36%; Caption upon request: 30%; Caption all we can afford: 14%; Caption most popular content: 9%; Other: 11%

Caption Everything

We’re thrilled to learn that 36% of our customers caption all of their videos by default.

This is the ideal scenario. If you caption everything, then you never have to worry about last-minute accommodation requests. Everyone can access your content from the start and reap the benefits of captioning, like improved comprehension, focus, retention, and engagement.

Caption Upon Request

About a third of customers surveyed prioritized captioning based on requests. To comply with accessibility law, organizations must provide an accessible alternative to videos if requested by a person with a disability.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing people require captioned videos because they cannot hear the audio. Closed captions may also be requested by people with learning disabilities, attention deficits, cognitive disabilities, or neurodivergence. Closed captions are also helpful for non-native English speakers to follow along and understand the language better.

Whatever the reason for the request, organizations must promptly provide captions for the desired content. That legal impetus makes prioritizing that content a no-brainer.

Caption All You Can Afford

A solid 14% of survey respondents said that they caption all the video and audio content they can afford. While that may mean that not all of their content gets captioned, that’s the aspiration. It’s encouraging to see these companies are not cutting corners on accessibility — they’re making an honest effort to do all they can.

Caption the Most Popular Content

A portion of our customers (9%) prioritize captioning based on popularity of content. This makes sense when tackling a large video archive: where do you begin?

The logical starting point is to caption whatever gets the most views. That way you’re benefiting the most people immediately, and then servicing fewer and fewer viewers as you make your way through your video catalog.

Other Reasons

How else do you choose what to caption? Here are some alternative answers:

  • We caption based on business need or client request.
  • We caption all external content, selective internal content, and some raw footage for clip-making purposes.
  • We caption all of our newly published content first, then work our way through our archives in reverse chronological order.
  • We caption content that will be used repeatedly in the future.

Need more reasons to caption all your videos? Download our white paper:

8 Benefits of Transcribing & Captioning Online Video

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