Captioning the 3Play Way [TRANSCRIPT]
SOFIA LEIVA: Thanks for joining the webinar entitled, “Captioning the 3Play Way.” I’m Sofia Leiva from 3Play Media, and I’ll be presenting today with my colleague, Ryan Martinez, who is an Implementation Specialist here at 3Play.
Today, we’re going to talk about who we are, why you should caption content, how we at 3Play approach captioning, and the tools we have available that we think are important. Ryan will give also a live demo of our account system, and then we’ll use some time at the end for questions. Please note that if you do want to ask questions, you can type them in the Q&A tab in your Control panel. And you can ask them throughout the whole presentation, and we’ll compile them to answer at the end.
All right, so let’s get started. Who is 3Play Media? We’re a captioning, transcription, subtitling, and audio description company. And we’re really focused on video accessibility. We have about a little over 2,000 customers across a number of different industries, like education, e-learning, corporate, and certainly, media and entertainment. We were spun out of MIT around 10 years ago and are located here in Boston.
So why caption content? There are a number of benefits to captioning content. Certainly the most obvious and most traditional one is for accessibility. There are 48 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, and that’s a very large percentage of the population. And there are also legal requirements that go along with accessibility in many cases.
Then there’s comprehension. More and more data is coming out about how comprehension is very much affected by having text, and so having text along with a video is very beneficial. For example, if you are someone who English isn’t your native language, captions can really help with that comprehension aspect.
Captions also give you flexibility. If you’re in a sound-sensitive environment, having captions will allow you to view a video if there is a lot of loud noise going around.
One of the nice things about having transcripts and captions is that it also aids with video search and SEO. So if you’re putting marketing-oriented content out and you want to make sure you’re optimizing it, it definitely makes sense to think about Search Engine Optimization and how you can use text that you’re creating with captions for search engine purposes. And certainly if you want to reach a larger audience by translating your content into other languages, the first step is creating captions. And then captions are also reusable, and you can use them to create a plethora of other pieces of content, like blogs, study guides, infographics, white papers, et cetera.
So we’ve been doing more and more research on the effects of captions. And what we’ve gathered is that, from a study we did with Oregon State, which you can download for free on our website, is that 98.6% of students find captions helpful. And 75% of students are using captions as a learning aid with their video. And also, the number one reason wasn’t about impairment or any kind of disability, it was more about focus. So it has been helping students a lot with focusing on content.
At 3Play Media, we’re all about making video accessibility easy. And that’s really what it all comes down to. So how do we make it easy? And how do we do a really good job at it as well? Well, we have an online account system. We give you turnaround options, lots of ways to automate the workflow so that you’re not figuring out ways to transfer files, and then a number of tools to address those search questions as well.
In terms of captioning, we’re using speech technology, which not all companies do this. We use speech recognition as a starting point in our process. We don’t believe it can really stand alone for captions, but we do believe it can add some value. So what we’ve designed is a process to make the draft that we get from the speech recognition engine and clean it up really efficiently.
That cleanup process, that full scrub that happens in step two, is doing things like correcting mistakes, putting in speaker changes, and also putting in the non-spoken elements that are required for captions. So there’s a lot that happens in that cleanup process. And then in step three, there’s another human step, which is a QA step, or a quality review step, where a human reviews the final caption file to ensure each file meets at least a 99% accuracy. And with that, I’ll pass it on to Ryan for more information about our process.
RYAN MARTINEZ: Thank you for providing that overview, Sofia. I appreciate that. So really, the next portion of this webinar is going to take you through some of the more specifics about the tools that we have. And you’ll hear me throughout this portion of the walkthrough bring in these ideas of ease of use and workflow flexibility. Those are really the two biggest things from a workflow perspective that we want to provide for our customers. We recognize that there are a lot of different ways that you may choose to upload and ingest content. And also the individuals that you’re providing that content to, of course, varies.
So one of the ways that we make this process easier is by partnering with a whole slew of integration partners that link directly with our account system to really facilitate that upload and download process of your video caption files. Of course, there’s a number of different add-on services that we’ll get into within the demo portion of the walkthrough. But this slide is really meant to illustrate the vast variety of integration partners that we work with and the ways in which we can encompass your workflow.
The next piece here, of course, is the options that we have for turnaround options, as well as the various file types and output formats that you’ll receive. And, of course, we’ll walk through a lot of these here on the live demo, but I wanted to touch briefly on some of the aspects of our account system that are more specific to various workflows. Of course, when it comes to turnaround, you can request various number of turnarounds through the system. We have a default of four business days. But we do accept rush turnarounds in as little as two hours. And again, that’s all about workflow flexibility and really accommodating a variety of customers.
One of the benefits, of course, of the integration partners, the upload and turnaround options that we have for you, are the output formats that we make available to you. And this really helps when it comes to our system to make our clients, what we refer to, as futureproof. Today, if you’re hosting all of your content on YouTube, and tomorrow you decide to host that content on Vimeo, for example, any video that’s been captioned or audio file that’s been captioned through our system, we’ve already made all of those output formats available to you. So there’s no need to re-caption the same video if you choose to host that content on a different video player, for example.
Now, as we get into the next few slides here, again, these are more specific to various workflows that we’ve seen with customers and ways that we can accommodate the information that you’re providing to us. So naturally, the vast majority of the jobs that we do here at 3Play, we’re actually producing those transcripts and caption files from scratch. But there are times where our customers are in possession of a transcript prior to uploading their media into our system. And this is particularly common with universities and government agencies, especially if there are panelists or webinars that have already been transcribed. We’re actually able to ingest those verbatim, basic text transcript documents and use the transcript you provide, as well as the source content you provide, to create the caption file for you.
Similarly, we also have a caption import feature. So if you’re already in possession of those caption files– and here in the US, the difference for us in terms of caption files versus transcript files is a transcript file is simply a basic text document of the spoken word in your video, whereas a caption file actually has those embedded time codes based on the transitions that happened in that source content. So we’re able to take a transcript file and create a caption file for you. Or we can simply take your existing caption file and line it up with your source media content.
We also have caption placement services. And again, I’m reviewing these here because on the walkthrough, I’m going to stick with some of the most common things and the most common use cases for our platform. But again, in terms of workflow flexibility, we also provide a caption placement option, where you have the ability to provide us videos that may have words on screen that already display, a common example being, let’s say, a news story or something that you watch on ESPN. Any of the words that already appear on screen, we have the ability to actually bump the caption files that we produce from the lower third of the video to the upper third of the video, so that those words on screen are not interfering with the caption files that we produce.
Really something I wanted to touch on here as well is our audio description service. This is a fairly new service that we’ve rolled out within the past year or so. But what’s really cool about this service is it provides additional options for those users that may be blind or visually impaired.
What we do is we describe the key visual elements of a video by inserting a synthesized voice into those source media files. All of these descriptions are put together by our human editors, and the reason that it is read back in a synthesized voice is so that individuals who are blind can easily distinguish between what is spoken word in the video and what is described audio content in the video. A good example of when this comes into play is a movie trailer. Naturally, the audio and the dialogue only goes so far. The visual aspects of something like a movie trailer oftentimes are crucial to your understanding of that video. So that’s where audio description would come into play.
And the next portion, of course, is we’re going to walk into a live demo here within the account system. And as I mentioned, I’m going to keep the walkthrough portion specific to some of the most common use cases of the platform and introducing overall organization of the file system here. Let me go ahead and make sure I’m on the right screen.
All right, great. This is the 3Play account system. I’m logged into one of our sample accounts here. What I’m going to introduce to kind of start the walkthrough is the overall organization of files within the system, followed by how to actually upload files, and the ways in which you’re able to provide media to us, and then finally, some of the settings that you’re able to adjust, depending on your specific needs or your specific workflow.
When you log into the system here, you’re immediately presented with the My Files page. The My Files page, you can think of it as your central repository for all of the services that you request from 3Play Media. Regardless of how your files get to us– you can upload files directly from your computer, from a linked account integration, and there’s a few other different ways. But regardless of the way the files get to us, all of your files will wind up here, as the name suggests, on the All Files page.
Now, as you order various services– we do have audio description as I mentioned. We have translation services. As you order various services here in the system, we automatically categorize some of those services here on the left. Though we’re inserting a copy of your file to the All Files page, if you order a translation for that file, we’ll also add it to the Translations folder to make it a little easier to find that work that you’ve requested.
Now, if you’d like to create your own folder structure, we have this concept of folders as well as tags in the system. And again, this is all about the idea of workflow flexibility and giving you as many options as we can to organize those files. So you can actually create custom folders and add specific jobs into those folders. So in the case of a university, maybe a folder per department, or a folder per professor makes sense. And then you can take it a step further by tagging those files within specific folders so you can search for tags and trace back jobs ordered out of a specific department, for example. If you’ve ever used something like Gmail or any of those other email providers, it works very similarly to the tags you see in those sorts of systems as well.
Now, we also have this concept here in the platform of sub-accounts and sub-projects, and again, all based on this idea of organizing your work. If you’d like to create custom folders within these accounts, that’s great. But if you have a need, a specific need, for, say, a dedicated files page for a dedicated group of users, you have the ability to create multiple sub-accounts all associated with your one main account. What that looks like is if I have access to multiple accounts, I can click this dropdown, and my All Files page and the users that have access to that account changes according to the various services that were uploaded. So again, a lot of options there for you depending on your needs and how you’d like to organize your work.
Now, some of the options that we have here– and I won’t dive into great detail. But through our account overview, we do make a full suite of reports available to you throughout the month. So at any point, you can log in and pull a report for a specific date range and access the services that you’ve ordered. We also give you access to your bill at any point during the month. We’re super transparent and super open about what we charge our customers for what services. So certainly you have access to that at any point during the month.
And we also link you directly to our support teams. We have a dedicated technical solutions team that is staffed from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday. And within this Support section of the platform, we link you to our knowledge base, where we feature all sorts of articles on tips, and tricks, and integrations that we have in the system. And we also allow you to file tickets with our support team, again, directly from the account system itself. So lots of tools for support, and we certainly want you as a customer of 3Play to be familiar with the account system as well as the contacts and the support systems available to you.
Now, the next thing we’ll get into here is actually uploading media into the system and how we’re able to ingest files. When I click on the Upload Media section of the system, right next to the My Files page, I’m brought into a section that actually invites me to upload media in a variety of different ways. Now, of course, the most straightforward way is from your computer. If you have local files on your machine, it’s just a matter of choosing those files and uploading the files into the system to request turnaround options.
We also have a From Links option, where, if you are in possession of links to, say, YouTube videos that you don’t own or videos that have a video extension, such as a .mp4, you’re actually able to paste those third party links here and caption those videos. Especially in the cases of educational purposes, oftentimes, the automatic speech recognition captions that are produced and built into something like YouTube just don’t cut it. So if it makes sense to paste a video that you don’t own in here and caption it through 3Play, that’s absolutely something we can accommodate.
We also have linked account and cloud storage options. Now, both of these options are very similar in terms of the process required to link various types of accounts. When I click on New Linked Account or New Linked Cloud Storage Account, all of the various providers and integration partners that we have display here within the platform. So the only difference between the linking process, when it comes to YouTube versus Vimeo versus Wistia or Kaltura, is the information requested by a specific media provider. In the case of YouTube, it’s very simple and straightforward. It’s just a matter of selecting YouTube, signing in with your YouTube credentials, and it links the account directly to 3Play. So you’re basically granting the 3Play system permission to access the videos that exist on your YouTube channel.
The process is very much the same for cloud storage. If you click on New Linked Cloud Storage Account, our various providers populate. You choose the provider you’re looking for, enter in your credentials, and the videos will show within the 3Play Media platform.
Now, what that looks like when account is actually linked, if I click on Linked Account and I navigate down to my YouTube account, any video that exists within that YouTube channel will show here within the integration page on 3Play Media. And if I click into Settings, one of the areas that I wanted to point out here is this idea of auto postback. If this field is set to On, what happens when videos are uploaded through a linked account integration is when we provide the caption and transcript file format back to you within 3Play Media, if Postback Data is set to On, we’re actually also simultaneously and automatically posting those caption files out to your video player. So there’s no need to manually download and manually upload those sidecar caption files. By virtue of setting automatic postback to On, the caption files are immediately live and available within your video provider’s channel at the same time we deliver those files back to you here within the account system.
Now there are certain systems, such as Kaltura, that do allow you to log into the video player itself and tag various files with, say, 3Play to request it for standard turnaround on captioning services. So there are certain options available to you. If you would prefer not to log into 3Play and instead tag your files from your video player itself, you’re able to do that. But it does vary on a video provider by video provider basis. And in the case of YouTube, that is not an option. All of the services would have to be initiated from 3Play Media.
Now, when I go back to the YouTube account, regardless of how files are uploaded into the system, whether it’s from a computer, links, linked account, or cloud storage, the options for uploading and requesting turnaround options are going to be the exact same. So I’m able to go in and actually select the files that I want to download. And I can process multiple files at once. So I’m able to select all the files in my channel, just a select few files in the channel.
Actually, if I pop back into one of my other accounts here, and I go back into Upload Media, another benefit of this account system here, if I access a channel that’s with videos that have already been requested, we’re also keeping track of the services you’ve requested through our system, based off of the video IDs assigned by the player, as well as the automatic ID that we assign on the back end of the 3Play system. So if you attempt to caption a file that’s already been captioned, we’ll actually provide you a message that we’ve previously processed the file and give you the option to cancel, instead of re-captioning files that have already been processed.
But in the case of requests that you’re looking to make, again, from a computer or linked account, your options are going to be the same. It’s just a matter of selecting the files you want to caption and clicking Process.
Now, the various turnaround options that we have here for you, English transcription and captioning is going to be the most basic, the most common. We do have an option to produce a Spanish caption file if your video happens to be in Spanish. We have some dual-language options as well. And then this alignment option is what I spoke about, if you had a verbatim transcript, you can select alignment. We’ll prompt you to upload your transcript and upload your video, and we create that caption file.
Now the add-on services I touched on, you do have the option to add caption placement and audio description here. But you can also add them on later. If you don’t realize you need caption placement and notice down the road that the captions are blocking words on screen, you can tack that on and order it at a later time.
Now, when I click Continue, you’re presented with the various turnaround options here in the system. Our Standard typically is four business days, but we do feature a number of Rush options, as I mentioned. But in every case here, we do also give you an Extended option. So you can choose to take us up on our 10-day turnaround option and save yourself a little bit of money per minute.
But for each of these, it’s important to note that when our editors are presented with files, we’re never forcing editors to take files of a particular subject matter or particular discipline. We instead encourage all of our editors to pick up files with subject matter that they’re comfortable and confident in. Because our editors are scored and compensated based on timeliness and accuracy, in the case of any of these turnaround options, if we’re able to complete the file sooner than expected, we’ll return it to you sooner than expected. If you choose the Standard delivery date, and we can complete it on 8/21, that’s the date that the file will be in your hands. We won’t simply sit on it to hit that delivery date.
Last thing here before a summary is to just choose the location that you’d like to upload this file. So if you want to append to the My Latest Upload, that’s fine. But if you’ve created an existing folder, you can upload it into that folder. And the benefit here is when we issue invoices at the end of each month, we not only provide a file-by-file breakdown on that invoice, but we also include a folder-by-folder breakdown so you can see the total of the jobs that were requested out of a particular folder.
The last thing here is, of course, just to hit Continue and review a summary of the order. We’re looking at the service that we’re ordering, the various turnaround options, what folder we’re inserting it into. And then some of these settings here I’ll cover in the next section of settings. But again, we’re giving you the chance to review the order. And, of course, toggle the check box at the bottom before placing that order.
Now as soon as that order is placed, you’d be able to back out onto the My Files page, and you would see this as a pending file appear within the system. So, of course, we have a number of files that have already been uploaded here into the system. And we do make an awesome editing interface available to all of our customers for every file that is completed. So once that file is completed, you’re able to click into any of these files and see all of the services that were requested for that file. So over here on the left, we give you some details, some nice metadata, information about maybe the source media, and what content was uploaded.
But if you scroll down, we also show you exactly the services that were ordered for these particular files. So in this case, some caption encodings were ordered, where we actually burned those captions into the video. We also translated this file into Spanish. So right within this editing interface, you’re able to see all of the services that were ordered for a particular file.
You’re also able to download any of the 50 caption file formats that I mentioned, by clicking Download, selecting the formats that you need, and downloading them. You’re able to order additional services. You can order caption placement, translation, audio description, any number of services directly from here within the system. But you’re also able to preview the captions.
This goes back to that automatic postback that I spoke of. If your automatic postback was set to Off, and you wanted to QA your videos, give yourself the option of reviewing the content before posting them back to your video players, we actually make a low-resolution version of that video available to you. Right within the account system, you’re actually able to play your video and view the caption files that we’ve produced before posting them out to your video channels.
Now, if you happen to preview those captions and you notice that there’s an error, maybe a small spelling mistake or a word that should be changed, you’re able to click into our editing interface and edit any of the words that you want before saving those changes and finalizing that file. So if, for example, I notice that instead of “this,” it should be “the,” I can easily make that change. We do have some Find and Replace options if that’s easier for you. But if I save those changes, it actually saves the changes locally here within the 3Play Media account system.
But by clicking Finalize File, regardless of whether my automatic postback is set to On or Off, if this video were uploaded through one of our linked account integrations, clicking Finalize File pushes the changes that you’ve made in this caption file, or the caption file itself, out to the channel without actually having to download and upload that caption file into your video player. So this Finalize File is a super powerful tool in that you’re automatically updating the places in which this video exists without having to do anything manually.
So I’ll go ahead and back out here because I don’t want to save those changes.
And the next thing that I’m going to go ahead and pop into here are the settings within the account system. Now, I mentioned we do make available any of the 50 caption file formats to use. Those are always going to be available in the system as long as you are a customer of 3Play. It is not our policy to purge that information. So any caption and transcript file formats, audio description formats, all of that, will be stored on the 3Play system for the life of your account. But you’re able to go in and choose up to six formats as a favorite format if you find yourself coming in here and downloading the same type of caption file formats every time.
And really, this is just a nice time-saving measure in that if I were to click back into the My Files page, and bring up a file, and go into Download, the list of files that we provide to you is somewhat overwhelming. And it can be helpful sometimes to just have a small list of files that are most commonly downloaded from the system. So if I declare files as a favorite format, what it does is it makes it an option here for Quick Download. So I can easily click in, hit Quick Download, and with the click of a button, I already have my SRT file available to me. So it’s a nice time-saving measure. Again, if you’re an admin, and you find yourself accessing the system to download the same caption file formats, it may make sense to declare them as a favorite.
We also have this idea of Cheat Sheets and Glossaries so you can leave special instructions for our editors if there’s particular pieces of information that you want to be sure is captured in that caption file. This could be something like acronyms that are commonly used, or the names of people or buildings in your location with unusual spellings, or something as simple as the speaker’s name in this video. His name is John, but it’s spelled J-O-N, as opposed to J-O-H-N. You can leave Cheat Sheets at a project level, so for the entire account, at a folder level, or at the time of upload, you can upload a file-specific Cheat Sheet for instructions on that particular file.
Our Transcription Settings here give you some options over what happens if we’re unable to determine what is being said in the video. So our default is Standard, and we replace words that we can’t understand with either inaudible or flagged word tags to give you the option to use our editing interface to change those words to what you know them to be. We do provide a Clean Read option, so we replace those flagged words with our best guesses. But in general, we’re not in the business of guessing at content that we can’t understand.
Now, it’s important to note in the case of flagged words, 99 times out of 100, when words are flagged, it’s simply due to poor audio, overlapping speakers, someone far away from the mic, or static on the line. But because we work with a lot of government agencies, universities, and highly technical content, things like English as a second language are not oftentimes the issue when it comes to words being flagged. It’s simply high-quality audio or not.
Our speaker identification also gives you some flexibility in the case of, again, if you’re a university, and you want your content labeled with professor and student labels, you can choose that. But for any of the speaker IDs that are chosen, if it says here, “Use names if known,” that means that as our editors are going through your file, if they’re able to determine the actual names of the speakers based on the content of that video, they’ll replace those generic labels with the actual names– so Professor Smith, for example, over just Professor.
We also have some options for audio description. And the only reason I like to point this out is that you’re able to go in here and actually change the speakers, change the speaking rates, and click these samples, and hear exactly how that audio would sound to a blind user attempting to ingest this content.
Now, the Translation Profile is specific for those that may be translating files in the system. But again, similar to our Cheat Sheets, we want to make sure if we’re producing caption files for you that we are capturing everything from your business, to your audience, to your voice that you want used. So if you’re providing content for folks in Spain versus, say, Latin America, even though they speak the same language, we want to make sure the regional differences, and dialect or content are captured effectively. So all of these settings in here are, again, designed to make sure that we not only give you as much flexibility from a workflow perspective as possible, and that the system as easy to use, and easy to get us the information we need, but also that the files that are produced really mesh well with your brand and your expectations of the results.
The last piece here that I wanted to review as far as Settings is the idea of managing users. You do have the ability to add what we refer to as a Project User or a Super User. And a Project User really comes into play with the idea of sub-projects or sub-accounts that I touched on earlier, where you have the ability to create users that only, for example, have access to this Sales Account Walkthrough account. If they were to log in as I’m seeing here, they would not have access to this dropdown to access any of the other accounts in the system.
But by contrast, a Super User by default has access to all projects within your account. So if today we create a Super User and tomorrow, a new project is requested, that Super User by default will be given access to the new project.
But regardless of which user you’re adding, you always have the ability to adjust the permission levels of that specific user. So if, for example, you wanted to create a user that only had access to Manage Invoices and Billing and nothing else in the system, you could set that person’s access here. If, by contrast, you wanted to have someone that cannot manage users or manage invoices, but you do want them to be able to upload, edit, and publish those files, that’s all you would need to do is you add that first, last, and email, select the permissions that you need, and create that user.
Now, for security reasons, we do not save passwords in the system. So any user that is created does have the option to set their own password in order to log in to the system.
We’ve covered the vast majority of the settings here within the system. A lot of the areas specific to some of the other add-on features really come into play on a need-by-need basis. But I, again, welcome any questions that come in here. We’ll go ahead and start compiling some of those questions to really answer and hammer down on some of the things that you folks are wondering about based on the walkthrough that you’ve seen.
SOFIA LEIVA: So we have a lot of really great questions. The first question we have is “Does your auto-generated captioning system include non-dialogue sounds, or do those have to be added by the human editing process later? How do they appear in captions, with brackets, i.e., bracket, running water, end of bracket?”
RYAN MARTINEZ: So for the most part, yes. The answer to your question is we do insert those non-speech elements. We would insert the non-speech elements within brackets. Oftentimes, it’s in all capitals. There are a number of different articles within our website and the support portal that go into much more detail about compliance, and what that looks like, and how we actually edit those files. But when caption files are produced, caption files do encompass both spoken word and non-speech elements like sound effects.
SOFIA LEIVA: Great. Thank you. The next question we have is “It seems like your interface is geared towards organizations producing large amounts of content. How do you handle smaller groups that may have more infrequent needs?”
RYAN MARTINEZ: Sure. That’s a great, great question. So the platform itself was really built to scale. And that being said, we want to be able to work with customers that have varying levels of needs. Certainly, it is very user friendly for those that are producing large amounts of content. Some of the items that we didn’t go into more detail here is that every account, in addition to the options that I’ve shown, is provisioned with unique FTP and API credentials. So we certainly can accommodate a vast array of workflow needs from folks that are automating their content and the transmission of that content to us via FTP or API, or for much smaller folks that simply want to link an individual YouTube channel and caption on an as-needed basis.
There is no cost to having an account with us or having access to the services that we provide. The only costs really that comes into play is the per minute charge associated with the duration of the files here in the system. So to your point on the question of folks with smaller needs or less volume of content, once your account is created within 3Play and your linked account, say, is synced with it, that only happens once. The linking process lives within the account system, and you’re able to log in on an as-needed basis and caption the files that you need.
SOFIA LEIVA: Great, thank you. The next question we have is “Sensitive media files will be uploaded to your site. Would our content be secure? Specifically, are you able to ensure others will not be able to view our video / content?”
RYAN MARTINEZ: Yes, and that’s something that we take very seriously here at 3Play. I’d be happy for anybody who’s interested– we actually recently went through a security and compliance audit, in which we had a number of what’s referred to as white hat hackers essentially try to break and infiltrate our system. We passed with flying colors, both from a data security perspective once the files are within the system, but also from a data transmission perspective, that linking process, and the back and forth between the 3Play system and various media providers. So we can certainly ensure that the content you’re providing us will be safe.
And to that point, I mentioned that we do keep caption and transcript file formats for the life of your account. But we only keep copies of source media and source audio for 60 days within the account system. And that, again, just goes back to that overall point of security and compliance. We only want to keep copies of things for as long as we need to, no longer.
SOFIA LEIVA: Great, thank you. There are a couple questions about pricing. Could you talk a little bit about our pricing model?
RYAN MARTINEZ: Sure. So, in general, most of the accounts in the system, we do accept pay-as-you-go customers. So it’s certainly an option, if you want to start an account with us, to pay as you go and use some of the more basic features in the account system. We do offer transcriptioning and captioning through what we refer to as our Express accounts, which is exactly what that is. It’s more of a pay-as-you-go model. You use services as you need them. And most often, that is at a $3 per minute charge. And again, that is based on the duration of the file, not our standard turnaround time of four business days. So if you provide us a three-minute file at $3 per minute, the total cost of captioning that file is going to be $9.
Now, for customers that would like to pre-purchase a volume of captioning services, the minimum pre-purchase that we accept is $750. And what that does is that opens your account up to some of the more advanced features of our system, so Caption Encoding, Caption Import, some of the things that would not be available to customers on Express, pay-as-you-go accounts. But it also drops your per minute rate from $3 to $2.50 per minute.
Now, north of that, if you’re looking to make a larger volume pre-purchase, we can certainly offer discounts at a higher volume. But that would be, in general again, for those that are looking to make a pre-purchase. It’s a $750 minimum, and your per minute rate drops from $3 to $2.50.
SOFIA LEIVA: Great, thank you. I think we have time for a couple more questions.
RYAN MARTINEZ: Sure.
SOFIA LEIVA: “Do your captions meet requirements for TV broadcast, such as on PBS?”
RYAN MARTINEZ: Yes, our captions do. And I certainly recommend checking out– there’s a 3Play Media Frequently Asked Questions page that do address just that point. Broadcast media, such as PBS, naturally, because we are in the same space, there are times that we are competing with one another. But the compliance guidelines that we follow are one and the same. So they are definitely compliant with something like a broadcast PBS.
SOFIA LEIVA: Thank you. And I guess the last question we can answer today is “Does the minus $0.20 per minute for extended turnaround apply if you have done a bulk purchase or only if you pay by project?”
RYAN MARTINEZ: So that applies for every service that you order, regardless of whether you did a bulk pre-purchase or not. And that option is always available to you. To make that extended option available, it did come about because of the number of partners that we have in the college and university space. Oftentimes, the need surfaces where folks have a backlog of work. Maybe there are videos over the last two or three years that have been posted and just now is captioning becoming the standard. So we made that option available and will continue to make that option available, specific for those folks that don’t really have any need for a specific turnaround time, but they’re combing through a backlog of work and know that they need those videos captioned at some point. That’s what that option is intended for.
SOFIA LEIVA: Awesome. Well, thank you, Ryan. And thank you, everyone, for joining us today.