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What do Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, Vimeo, and YouTube have in common? Without a doubt they are some of the leading platforms in terms of video consumption today. But there's one more compelling feature they share: All of these video platforms offer captions or subtitles for video uploads as part of their core features.

Why is that? Let's dive into some of the key benefits that captioning offer:

Captions and subtitles can increase engagement.

Captions and subtitles are on the rise. A recent study suggests that 85% of videos watched on Facebook are on mute. Meaning video creators and marketers are well-advised to take that into consideration when publishing new exciting content.

Viewers are more inclined to watch your videos if they provide a great user experience. UK charity Stagetext reports that four out of five young people use subtitles when they watch TV. The charity's research further suggested an average of 31% of people would go to more live events if more had captions on a screen in the venue.

Even more impressive numbers are presented by Netflix: a whopping 80% of members use subtitles or closed captioning at least once a month. And in the last two years alone, US viewing of non-English titles has increased by 33%.

Captions make your event more accessible.

Captions were originally designed to support the deaf and hard of hearing, and continue to do so - either as an alternative to sign language interpretation or as an extra option. Approximately 15% of American adults (37.5 million) aged 18 and over report some trouble hearing, NIDCD reports. Some of your event attendees might have difficulty hearing — so adding captions makes it easy for them to read what’s being said.

Meanwhile, others might prefer reading over listening because they are in a noisy environment such as a café or on public transport.

As mentioned earlier, a vast majority of younger people have established a habit of using captions, and adoption will be quick.

Captioning improve attention to and memory of what's being said.

More than 100 empirical studies document that captioning a video improves comprehension of, attention to, and memory for the video. Studies imply that this effect can be observed throughout the ages: Both children and adults show positive effects in comprehension scores when presented with video, audio, and captions simultaneously.

Subtitles can help you reach international audiences.

Not only can captions be provided as live transcripts of the speaker audio, but also translated in real-time, either through remote simultaneous interpretation, or automatically through machine translation.

Providing live captions or subtitles, as well as captioned on-demand videos are an easy and cost-effective way to make your events more inclusive and accessible for people across the globe.

Offer extra language options at low cost.

Making live event content accessible in multiple languages usually means hiring interpreters and adopting interpreting software. Due to budget restraints, event organisers often have to make cuts on the number of languages they can provide live interpretation in.

With automatic live captions, translated in real-time through AI-powered machine translation (MT), event organisers can now bolt on extra languages at a very affordable price point.

Captions can extend the impact of your event beyond live - even on Google.

Because you can obtain a transcript and SRT files of the live captions, you can make captioned recordings of your sessions available on-demand. Your marketing teams will be thrilled to have localized content at hand.

And there's another very welcome side-effect to this: Videos with captions can help with your SEO efforts. Because, when attached to your video as an SRT or VTT file, Google can read your subtitles and increase the chances of your content ranking higher. 

Because it's easy.

Captioning and subtitles providers like Interprefy make it easy to add live captions in multiple languages to your live streaming events and even business meetings. Because we partner and integrate our services with over 60 different event platform providers, including ON24, Hopin, Webex Events, or Microsoft Teams, we can help you benefit from all the advantages that captions can bring to your events.


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Patricia Magaz

Written by Patricia Magaz

Learn about the latest developments at Interprefy by Patricia Magaz, Content Strategist at Interprefy.