Captioning and Transcription for Streaming Media Distributors
Updated: March 16, 2021
6 in 10 young adults in the US primarily use online streaming to watch TV. With more than 130 video streaming services on the market today, it’s clear that streaming video has changed the way we consume media and entertainment. These services range in price and offerings. Some have even begun including and prioritizing original content.
Almost half of US consumers now subscribe to paid streaming video services. Consumers are streaming content from paid services only 35% of the time, while free services take up 40% of consumers’ streaming time.
Clearly, streaming media is playing an increasingly large role in the way we consume video and entertainment. Thus, it’s crucial to make sure that this content is accessible with captions and transcripts. Understanding what is important to streaming media distribution platforms when it comes to captioning and transcription is important.
What is important to streaming media distributors?
Streaming media distributors have a lot at stake when it comes to captioning, making the following items highly important.
- Legal compliance: Accessibility laws including the CVAA, FCC, and ADA all apply to media and entertainment, and the FCC regulates the quality of closed captions with standards for accuracy, timing, placement, and completeness.
- Custom specifications: Media companies are especially critical of how dialogue looks on-screen. They want the primary speakers’ names to show up at the beginning of a scene, and then only dashes when switching between speakers after that. It’s also crucial for distributors to have specific tags for music, sound effects.
- Output flexibility: Having availability of all output formats and knowing you won’t have to redo captioning is critical for streaming media distributors. With so many devices, it’s important to know that your content will work seamlessly anywhere someone tries to watch it.
What are the common challenges for streaming media distributors?
- Ease of use: A major challenge for streaming media distributors is having access to custom specifications, but still keeping an automated workflow. Streaming media distributors are very specific about the aesthetics and formatting of captions, but because they have a large amount of content with strict deadlines, automatic workflows are a must.
- Deadline compliance: Deadline compliance is absolutely critical for streaming media distributors. Live and near-live online video clips are legally required to be captioned within 12 & 8 hours (respectively) from when they were broadcast. This challenge can be remedied by finding a vendor with flexible turnaround options that consistently meets or exceeds their deadlines even at off-peak hours.
- Scalability: Since streaming media distributors produce a lot of content, scalability can be a challenge. Being able to caption a large volume of content at a time without sacrificing accuracy is important since these customers often need captions quickly, and sometimes at odd hours to accommodate the legal requirements even for late night shows.
- Quality: Finding quality at a competitive price point with traditional captioning vendors is difficult. Depending on the vendor’s process, it can be a challenge to find accurate and consistent work when you have large quantities. Accuracy is crucial to streaming media distributors in order to be in compliance with FCC standards.
What captioning and transcription vendor features are important to streaming media distributors?
- Accuracy: We know that consistently high quality captions and transcripts on the first go around are really important for streaming media distributors. They have legal requirements and standards that must be met, and have too much content to have to edit or resubmit their files for correction. At 3Play Media, we guarantee a 99% accuracy rate, even when there is difficult audio.
- Translation: Translation and subtitling services are really important for streaming media distributors, as this allows them to expand their content to a wider audience. Our translation services are seamlessly integrated with our captioning and transcription services.
- Turnaround: With strict timelines and bulk content, turnaround options and deadline compliance are really important to streaming media distributors. That’s why we offer multiple, turnaround options ranging from 2 hours to 10 days and nearly everything in between.
- Custom specifications: Presentation and aesthetics are of very high priority for streaming media distributors, which is why we allow customers to choose their specifications. The ability to customize captions by adjusting size, allowing italics, or offering the option to transcribe lyrics or signify songs with the word “music” is really important.
- Vertical placement: By offering vertical placement, we can ensure that our customers are getting the appearance they want, as well as meeting FCC standards for caption placement.
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