Caption Vendor Diversification: Enhancing Business Continuity with Multiple Accessibility Partners

May 25, 2023 BY JENA WALLACE

How to Select the Right Closed Captioning Vendor: 10 Crucial Questions to Ask [Free Guide]

Are you familiar with supply chain diversification? This business strategy entails using multiple channels and vendors to achieve success and prevent disruption in your organization’s end product. It’s a major part of the supply chain and helps support a healthy economy.

When you apply the principles of supply chain diversification to captioning, you get caption vendor diversification. Caption vendor diversification is the act of using multiple vendors for captioning and other accessibility services. And by partnering with multiple caption vendors, such as 3Play Media, you can reap some big benefits while ensuring business continuity at all times.

In this blog, we’re talking all things diversification in the context of media accessibility. We’ll cover the top reasons that organizations diversify their caption vendors. Plus, we’ll share how 3Play Media supports multi-vendor workflows while also functioning as a holistic, all-in-one solution for thousands of video producers across the globe.

Benefits of Using Multiple Accessibility Vendors or Partners

Accessibility symbol in the middle of abstract diversification symbol

The use of multiple caption vendors can be a highly effective way to mitigate the risks of service disruptions while also supporting production continuity in terms of quality and scale. 

There are many reasons why organizations move toward caption vendor diversification, but the most common include: safeguarding against service disruptions, higher quality end products, and scalability. 

1. Multiple Caption Vendors Help Safeguard Against Service Disruptions

Life happens, and no company is immune to the unexpected. While 3Play is proud of our 99%+ uptime reliability, it’s important to keep in mind that disruptions in service due to tech issues or other outages are sometimes unavoidable on the vendor’s end. 

Unfortunately for the captioning industry, disruptions can impact viewers almost immediately–particularly in the case of live captioning

Dropped connections and encoding challenges can leave you without captioning on your live events at the last minute or even in the middle of a program. Producers are often left scrambling to fix the service disruptions with rudimentary ASR captioning solutions. ASR captions get words back on the screen but leave caption users frustrated with the accuracy and quality and you with compliance risks.

Some vendors have solutions in place to maintain your peace of mind, such as 3Play Media’s automatic failover to ASR in live captioning. But not every vendor has the kind of safeguarding systems or technology in place to support failover and other issues. That’s where diversifying by using multiple captioning vendors comes in handy.

Organizations who secure a redundancy solution via diversification can help prevent any unexpected outages from impacting caption users. Even if you are not directly impacted by an outage or service interruption, by working with at least one additional vendor, you can ensure business continuity and avoid costly downtime associated with captioning disruptions impacting your preferred accessibility partner. 

2. A Multi-Vendor Approach Fosters Consistent, High-Quality, Accessible Captions

Different types of video content require different measurements of accuracy and quality. An internal employee training video may not require the same specifications as a high-profile premiere of a popular streaming series. But both demand consistency in captioning for their respective quality needs.

Having multiple accessibility partners can support consistency for every type of video that an organization publishes.

While some vendors are able to handle a multitude of quality levels and types of captioning, others may only specialize in certain aspects. For example, one vendor may excel in high-quality recorded captioning but cannot support quick turnarounds for near-live postbacks to streaming and social media. Another might be great at handling live captioning for sports broadcasts but cannot handle the reformatting requirements for re-air. Others may not actually specialize in captioning at all, but are quick sources for receiving translations and subtitling into other languages.

For organizations, networks, and platforms that are producing diverse video content, there are vendors who can do it all. However, many companies are finding success by getting granular with their content and choosing vendors that support certain types of content and quality needs based on genre or even on a project-by-project basis.

Is your captioning vendor the right fit for your organization? 🧩

3. Scaling Made Easy with Multiple Caption Vendors

Even without service interruptions, many organizations face the common pain point of vendor capacity.

Certain accessibility providers can handle large volumes and varieties of video, but others are unable to meet scaling demands required by organizations that produce a lot of content. This can force producers into pivoting to alternative solutions in a short timeframe, which can narrow vendor choices and make for partnerships that may not be the right fit for you.

To ensure all content is covered regardless of scale, it’s critical to have a backup plan with a strategic partner in the accessibility space

When one vendor can’t accommodate a project or service, another vendor probably can. But making that decision at the last minute and without an opportunity for research can lead to more headaches if the wrong partner is selected. By taking the time to choose the right secondary partner for your captioning needs before a problem arises, you can mitigate service interruptions and last-minute capacity issues.

3Play Media’s Peace-of-Mind Approach to Multi-Vendor Workflows

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Don’t get us wrong–there are lots of reasons to use a single media accessibility vendor. But every organization and industry has diverse needs when it comes to making their video content accessible, and not all vendors have the ability to meet your demands at all times.

Helping customers thrive in the long-term sometimes means working in tandem with other accessibility vendors to ensure that organizations have the peace of mind that their media remains accessible. At 3Play Media, we’re committed to helping you find success with diversification, should you choose to work with multiple vendors.

We approach multi-vendor workflows as more than a way to survive disruptions or solve capacity strains. Rather, we believe diversification can be an opportunity to create strong production continuity and truly accessible videos.

However, we also recognize that switching between captioning providers—even just for certain projects—can be daunting. So we work alongside you to make transitioning your workflows as smooth as possible. We’ll help you evaluate your needs, ease concerns, and ensure continuity as you navigate the use of multiple captioning vendors. 

No matter what strategy your business decides to take when it comes to accessibility partners, 3Play Media is here to support you. Our primary goal is to ensure you can provide an accessible solution for your viewers. Whether that’s handling all, most, or just some of your video content, we can provide you with a partnership that safeguards you from service outages, capacity woes, and loss in quality.

Want to learn more about how we can help you diversify your accessibility stack and ensure a seamless experience? Let’s chat!


How to select the right closed captioning vendor: 10 questions you need to ask. Read the guide.

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