Online Video Trends: Captioning Needs Expected to Increase
Updated: June 3, 2019
At the end of the year, we issue a survey through social media and email and produce a report on the current year’s trends in captioning across many industries. One of the areas we look at is how captioning needs and expectations will change from year-to-year. Let’s take a look at how the expected demand for captioning has changed over the last several years.
In our 2019 survey, 59% of respondents anticipate needing more or significantly more captioning services over the next year. Less than half (39%) expect no change in their volume of content that needs captioning, while a meager 2% sees their needs decreasing.
In our 2016 survey, 43% of respondents anticipate needing more or significantly more captioning services this year. Just over half expect no change in their volume of content that needs captioning, while a meager 6% sees their needs decreasing.
In our 2017 survey, 74% of respondents anticipate needing more or significantly more captioning services this year. A quarter of respondents expect no change in their volume of content that needs captioning, while a meager 1% sees their needs decreasing.
In our 2018 survey, 68% of respondents anticipate needing more or significantly more captioning services the following year. Just over one third expect no change in their volume of content that needs captioning, while a meager 1% sees their needs decreasing at all.
Why do so many companies report an increasing need for closed captioning services over the last several years?
Stricter Captioning Requirements
Survey respondents range from top-tier universities and faith-based organizations to media broadcasters and Fortune 100 companies. Various accessibility laws apply across these industries, with policies adapting steadily to the digital realm.
Media content providers and distributors are already held to a high standard for closed captioning thanks to FCC mandates and the CVAA.
Institutions of higher education are required to caption or transcribe their online media to ensure it’s accessible to students who are deaf or hard of hearing. This aligns with accessibility requirements of the ADA and sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. While Section 508 only applies to federal agencies, several states’ laws (“little 508’s) apply the same standards to state universities.
Recent case law reveals a trend towards holding commercial and private organizations to a higher standard for web accessibility, as evidenced by the successful National Association for the Deaf (NAD) v. Netflix lawsuit, and the complaint filed against Harvard and MIT for lack of accurate captioning.
The tide of stricter rules for online video captioning is one of the reasons that compels companies to increase their captioning, and provide high-quality, comprehensive captions on more content than in the past.
Greater Awareness of the Many Benefits of Captioning
Video transcription and captioning are beneficial for both your organization and your viewers – and not just those who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing. Below are just a few of the ways captioning can benefit everyone.
Accessibility for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
As the internet pervades our lives, disability advocates raise awareness around the need to make the web more accessible. Captions for videos or transcripts for audio content help reach a broader audience by making rich media accessible to the deaf or hard of hearing community.
The pressure to make online video accessible is only growing, especially as we see more and more lawsuits popping up across several industries.
Video Search and User Experience
Captions and interactive transcripts make video content searchable, allowing users to find exactly what they’re looking for. Video search is increasingly important for corporate training (for example, see what Oracle does) and large educational archives (for example, Harvard School of Public Health or the MIT Infinite History video archive).
Transcripts and captions improve video SEO because search engines are able to index the spoken content instead of just the video title and tags. You can learn more about the SEO benefits of captioning from the white paper ROI Analysis and SEO Benefits of Closed Captioning
In a national research study conducted with Oregon State University, it was reported that 52% of students found captions helpful as a learning aid by improving comprehension.
With closed captions on, viewers can watch your videos in places where audio is unavailable, or in quiet environments like a library, office, or on the train. Autoplaying videos on silent is a common trend on social media, however, 41% of videos are incomprehensible without sound or captions.
Online Video Rapidly Increasing
A study from Cisco predicts that by 2021, 82% of all Internet traffic will be video content, compared to 74% in 2017. Online videos are an essential part of content strategy for corporate training and communications, digital marketing, and entertainment. In fact, it’s reported that 54% of people want to see videos from their favorite brands.
Here are just a few stats to illustrate the growth of web videos:
- Videos increase people’s understanding of your product or service by 74%.
- Video pages are 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of a search engine results page than text-only pages.
- 34% of millennials watch more online video than television.
- 6 out of 10 young people prefer online video to TV.
- More video content is uploaded to the web in 1 month than TV has created in 3 decades.
- 78% of people are watching videos online every week.
- Research from Hubspot reports that 45% of people watch an hour or more of video per day.
- According to Google 40% of millennials trust YouTube for content; and 60% say videos they’ve watched have changed their world view.
Get started making your videos accessible today!
This post was originally published January 26, 2016, by Emily Griffin and has since been updated.
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