We Watch So Much Video, So Why Isn’t Video Accessible?
Updated: January 24, 2019
How much time do you spend on your phone, watching TV, or browsing the internet?
Most of us wake up and immediately check our phones. Then we go to work and spend all day staring at our screens. When we are bored waiting in the long lunch line, we take out our phones. And when we come home from work or school, we turn on the TV (and sometimes watch it while also looking at our phones).
We’ve come a long way from our caveman days, and it’s safe to say that digital technology has consumed half of our life… literally.
A recent Nielson poll uncovered that we spend almost half of our life on the internet, watching TV, or on our phones.
Some of you may not be surprised, others, like me, may be reevaluating your hobbies. 🤔
How Much Video Do You Watch?
U.S. adults spend over 11 hours per day connected to media (listening, watching, reading, and interacting with media).
Almost six of those hours are spent watching video.
With the advent of the smartphone, tablet, and laptop, plus social media and streaming media, we now have unlimited access to video content.
As a result, we’ve kind become addicted to video.
So how much of this video is actually accessible?
41% of videos are incomprehensible without sounds or captions.
What is accessible video?
Accessible video includes captions, audio description, transcripts, and plays on an accessible video player.
Online video is a different story.
Most online video, unless if it was previously aired on television, isn’t captioned. Just go to YouTube or scroll through Instagram and you’ll see many videos with no captions, transcripts or descriptions.
This is a problem.
If we are spending 6 hours of our day consuming media, what does this mean for those millions of people who can’t access all that content?
Captions make video accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing. Audio description makes video accessible for blind or loss vision individuals.
Neglecting video accessibility means you are isolating a substantial part of the population.
Obviously, media has become an integral part of our lives; therefore it should be equally accessible to all.
Why You Should Make Your Videos Accessible
Video accessibility can help you reach a wider audience – and not just people with low vision or hearing loss.
Facebook uncovered that 80% of viewers react negatively to videos autoplaying with the sound on.
As a result, they now autoplay videos on mute.
People love flexibility, and video accessibility simply gives them more options to choose how they want to consume your videos.
For example, some people use Netflix’s audio description as audiobooks.
Others turn captions on to help them learn a language or use transcripts to create study guides.
When you don’t have headphones, captions inform you on the contents of a video, and when you are tired of looking at a screen, audio description can tell you what is going on.
We are constantly consuming media, and my prediction is that over the next few years, we will probably be consuming even more.
Accessible video benefits so many people. At the end of the day, it’s worth the investment.
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