About 3Play Media

Find out the history, mission, and vision of our company.

What We Do

We provide premium closed captioning, transcription, audio description, and subtitling solutions at very competitive prices. Our goal is to simplify the process by providing a user-friendly account system, fast turnaround, flexible API’s, and integrations with a multitude of video players, platforms, and lecture capture systems. We create closed captions and subtitles in many different formats and languages. We also develop video search plugins and a range of tools that save time and cut costs. Our commitment to innovation has led to 7 patents (granted and pending)–all of which focus on making the captioning, subtitling, and transcription process more efficient and less expensive.

How We Got Started

3Play Media was founded in 2007 by four MIT graduate students researching affordable ways to make video accessible through innovative technology. Drawing on research from the MIT Spoken Language Systems Group, we developed a more efficient captioning and transcription process that combines automatic speech recognition with human editing cleanup.

Our Customers

Our services and products are used by more than 2,500 universities, companies, and government agencies across a wide range of industries. A few of our customers are Procter & Gamble, Time Warner Cable, MIT, Autodesk, the IRS, and the University of Wisconsin.

How Our Customers Benefit

Our captioning, transcription, and subtitling solutions increase the value of online video by making it accessible, usable, searchable, and SEO-friendly. Customers benefit in different ways. Educational institutions and government agencies benefit by complying with accessibility laws; media & entertainment producers and distributors benefit by complying with FCC captioning rules; online video publishers benefit from better SEO, searchability, and user engagement; market researchers and video producers gain productivity through video search, clipping, and editing tools.

We Heart Captions

As a company, we love captions and the communities they serve. Through our Faces Behind the Screen project, we’re telling the stories of the d/Deaf and hard of hearing community, who benefit from captions every day.

One of the great things about captions is that they benefit so many people – from the d/Deaf and hard of hearing, to people who know English as a second language, to people with learning disabilities, to everyday viewers in sound-sensitive environments. We made this video to show all the ways in which captions can make your videos better!


Over a decade ago, online video accessibility was still in its infancy, but a group of four MIT graduate students saw great potential. They decided to research and develop affordable ways to make video accessible through innovative technology, and in 2007, the idea for 3Play Media was born.

The small team worked together to develop a more efficient and affordable captioning and transcription process and came up with a process that worked: automatic speech recognition, human editing clean-up, and human quality review.

Incidentally, our name, 3Play Media, was partly inspired by that three-step process!

The Early Days

3Play Media was officially founded in 2008. Our very first headquarters was located in Somerville, MA, and according to co-founder CJ Johnson, was a “small apartment where the floors seemed as flammable as they were slanting.”

Regardless of the challenging arrangements, the four founders worked hard to develop the business, to grow our customer base, and to build out our technology. With teamwork and the motivation to bring their idea to life, the tiny seed that was 3Play Media began to grow into something great.


After several years, the 3Play Media team and business began to grow. In 2013, we landed at an open, collaborative workspace in Cambridge, MA with our logo proudly displayed in the entryway. Our growing team possessed a true “start-up” mentality and consisted of hard-working people dedicated to building a successful company.

A time-lapse video shows the progression of the 3Play Media logo being painted onto the entryway at the old Cambridge 3Play Media office location.

3Play Today

From four founders to over 50 employees and over 2500 customers, 3Play Media is now located in the heart of Boston’s thriving Innovation District in the Fort Point neighborhood. In total, we’ve captioned nearly three million videos!

The “start-up” mentality of 3Play Media never dissipated, though. We’re still a team full of collaborative, hard-working folks who work every day to drive the evolution of our company.

We have many ambitions, but our number one goal has never changed: We aim to make video accessibility easy. Always have, always will.

A Look Back

3Play Media has come so far in the past decade. We started with four founders and just one customer, and we’ve grown to over 50 employees and more than 2,500 customers. Our mission all along has been to make video accessibility easy, and we’re proud to say that we’ve captioned nearly three million videos with no plans for slowing down.

Sending Our Gratitude

Over the years we’ve received several awards, like the Streaming Media Readers’ Choice Award for “Preferred Captioning Solution” in 2013, and the Boston Intelligence Group “Best Place to Work” in 2017. We are grateful for the support we’ve received along the way and are very honored to be recognized for what we do. Thank you!


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