Video and Closed Captioning Trends for 2021

April 2, 2021 BY JACLYN LEDUC
Updated: May 19, 2022

Access the full 2021 State of Captioning Report.

The 2021 State of Captioning report is now available to read in full. In it, you’ll find some of the top video and closed captioning trends for this year.

The State of Captioning (SOC) is an annual report by 3Play Media and the destination for discovering captioning trends across industries like higher education, corporate, media & entertainment, government, and religious organizations. The purpose of this report is to paint a picture of how organizations implement and perceive captioning, and the findings within the report are beneficial for content marketers, web accessibility advocates, and anyone else interested in video accessibility trends.

Ready to dive into the latest online video and closed captioning trends?


Get Free Access to the 2021 State of Captioning Report


Curious to learn a little more? Keep scrolling for some noteworthy findings from the report.

Stand Out Closed Captioning Trends from the Report

In the 2021 SOC report, we captured data on video production and captioning behaviors, social media captioning, live streaming video captioning, and captioning barriers and drivers.

Video production grew 71% in 2021.


In 2021, 24% of the SOC survey respondents said they produce over 500 hours of video content annually. In 2020, only 14% of respondents produced over 500 hours of video annually. That’s a 71% year-over-year growth in video production and creation.

Video is growing and will keep growing.

87% of people are captioning their video.


When asked how much of their video content gets captioned, 87% of respondents indicated that they caption all, most, or some of their videos.

Compared to 2020, we see a 5% growth in this area which shows that there is a slow but steady increase in captioning prioritization.

The Captioning Report of the Year

The fifth annual State of Captioning report tracks current and upcoming captioning trends for 2021 across many industries. You’ll be presented with fresh data focused on captioning behaviors, social media captioning, live captioning, future outlooks, and more.


Over 50% of people caption for accessibility.


When asked what drove them to caption, 56% of 2021 respondents said equal access and accessibility. Other key drivers include legal compliance (15%), boosted engagement and SEO (8%), and better learning outcomes (8%).

In regards to social media video specifically, 50% of respondents said they caption their social media videos for the purpose of accessibility. This was followed by captions’ ability to boost engagement (19%) and to increase viewership (10%).

60% of respondents are using live captions.


Almost half of people said they are producing up to 1,000 hours of live streaming video annually.

60% of respondents said they do provide live captions, which is important because live captions ensure more folks have access to live video content, such as live webinars, social media live streams, and virtual conferences.

65% expect captioning needs to increase in 2021.


In 2021, 20% of respondents said their captioning needs increased significantly, 45% said it increased moderately, and 31% said their needs stayed the same as the previous year.

Fortunately, it appears that captioning budgets are increasing to meet the growing demand from audiences for closed captions.

State of Captioning Methodology

The 2021 State of Captioning data was collected through a survey which was distributed via email, social media, and our website. Over 800 respondents shared their uses and perceptions of captioning for online video.

There’s much more information on closed captioning trends in the full 2021 State of Captioning report. Don’t miss your chance to stay up-to-date on important captioning data and outlooks.

2021 State of Captioning Report. How captioning is changing video for the better. Download the report.

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