Webinar Wrap-Up: Quick Start to Captioning

August 30, 2019 BY SAMANTHA SAULD
Updated: September 3, 2019

TV flashing a CC icon

In the latest webinar, Quick Start to Captioning, we cover all things captioning. We discuss legal compliance, caption formats and compatibility, automated workflows, and so much more. 

Viewers will learn the basics on how to add captions to video content so that it’s accessible, searchable, and SEO-friendly. 

Keep reading to discover the most important takeaways from the webinar. 

All Things Captions

Captions are time-synchronized text that can be read while watching a video and are usually noted with a CC icon. They originated as an FCC mandate in the 1980’s, but have since expanded to online video and internet applications. 

Captions assume the viewer can’t hear, so they include relevant sound effects, speaker identifications, and other non-speech elements to make it easier for the viewer to understand. 

Stark Trek characters leans forward in anguish. Caption read "sobbing mathematically"

Many people use captions, subtitles, and transcripts interchangeably, but it’s important to distinguish between them because they all mean something different. 

As mentioned, captions are time-synchronized and assume the viewer can’t hear. Subtitles, on the other hand, assume the viewer can hear, but can’t understand the language. Transcripts are just a plain text version of the audio and aren’t time synchronized. 

Creating Captions

If you want to DIY your captions, you can utilize a free automatic caption tool with YouTube. Although accuracy is a huge issue when it comes to automatic captions, the video platform allows users to go back and edit the script if necessary. 

Whether you create captions yourself or go to a professional captioning company, it’s important to consider quality standards. The industry standard is a 99% accuracy rate. It’s based on word for word, meaning each word has that percentage chance of being wrong. 

Captioning Accuracy Rates
Word-to-Word Accuracy1 of x Words Incorrect8-Word Sentence Accuracy10-Word Sentence Accuracy
50%1 of 20%0%
67%1 of 34%2%
75%1 of 410%6%
85%1 of 727%20%
90%1 of 1043%35%
95%1 of 2066%60%
98%1 of 5085%82%
99%1 of 10092%90%

Publishing Captions

There are many ways to publish captions. The most common way is through a sidecar file, which is a file that stores captions so they can be associated with the corresponding video. 

Another way is to encode captions onto the video. These are found in many kiosks and offline videos and can also be turned off or on. 

Open captions are burned into the video and can’t be turned off or on. Open captions are great for social videos, since most social media platforms don’t support captions. 

Lastly, integrations are simply a publishing process for captions. It’s a preset workflow between your captioning process and video publishing process. It helps make the captioning process more streamlined. 

Benefits of Captions

  • Accessibility: 48 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing 
  • Comprehension: 80% of people who use captions aren’t deaf or hard of hearing
  • Flexibility: view videos in sound-sensitive environments 
  • Video search: 97% of students said interactive transcripts enhanced experience
  • SEO: adding captions to YouTube led to a 3.7% increase in views
  • Translation: crate multilingual subtitles to reach a global audience
  • Social media: Facebook auto plays videos without sound
  • Reusable: 50% of students repurposed transcriptions as study guides 
  • Legal requirements: 3 major US accessibility laws require captioning 

Accessibility Laws

Rehab: applies to federal and federally funded programs and requires communications and information technology to be accessible. Reference WCAG 2.0. ADA: applies to public entities and accommodations. Internet-only businesses must caption content.CVAA: all video previously aired on TV needs to have captions when published online. This also includes clips and montages

Captioning the 3Play Way

Our goal at 3Play is to make captioning and video accessibility easier. Our account system allows you to upload videos for captioning directly from your computer via links, FTP, APIs, or through our video platform integration. 

Our customers can easily go back and edit captions when necessary, upload cheat sheets, and translate caption files into foreign languages. 

At 3Play, we integrate with most leading video platforms like Brightcove, Kaltura, YouTube, Vimeo, and Mediasite. Our integrations allow you to select the files you want for captioning directly from your video platform. We’ll caption the file and then automatically post it back to your video. 

Since we use a combination of technology and human editing, we ensure a minimum 99% accuracy rate. 

Want to learn more about 3Play’s process for captioning? Watch the full webinar below!


3play media logo in blue

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