What Are Closed Captions And Why Are They Important?

November 20, 2023

What Are Closed Captions And Why Are They Important?

According to a 2022 study by Cisco, 82% of all Internet traffic by average web visitors is from Internet video traffic. Is your audio and video content strategy equipped to take advantage of this statistic?

Creating quality video content, search engine optimization, and consistent community engagement are some of the many elements of a successful video content strategy. However, one ingredient has been brewing more in popularity and importance in digital media: closed captions.

But what are closed captions, and why are they important to your video content?

Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Closed Captions?

Closed captions (CC) are a textual representation of spoken dialogue in video content.

Closed captioning is designed to make videos accessible for people who are deaf or hard of hearing or those who watch videos without sound or are in a noisy environment.

Typically, closed captions appear near the bottom of the screen. They primarily include speech elements, though some producers may include sound effects and other relevant audio information. 

What Is The Difference Between Open and Closed Captions?

The main difference between open and closed options is that open captions are baked into the video and cannot be disabled without editing, while closed captions are toggleable.

Each type of captioning has different advantages and uses.

For closed captions:

  • Convenience - Closed captions only require any text processor to create and can be made without a video editor.
  • Customizability - Viewers can modify the appearance of closed captions based on their needs and preferences.
  • Integration - Depending on the subtitle file format, closed captions can be integrated with different types of online media players.

For open captions:

  • Ease of use - Open captions don’t need additional setup or specifications to appear properly.
  • Accessibility - When designed properly, open captions can be useful to anyone, no matter what device they use.
  • Consistency - Open captions have the same appearance regardless of the device.

Why Are Closed Captions Important For Your Video Content?

Closed captioning is vital to include in your video content strategy. As online video content is becoming the norm for the average Internet consumer, the standards of what online media should have also increased. To meet those standards, having closed captions is a must.

Here are three compelling reasons why closed captions are essential to add to your videos:

  1. Improves accessibility - The World Health Organization estimates that 2.5 billion people worldwide will have some degree of hearing loss, so having closed captions is crucial for maximizing the accessibility of your video content
  2. Increases watch time - Meta reported that adding closed captions to your video content can increase watch time by an average of 12%.
  3. Expands audience reach - Collated data from multiple publishers found that 85% of online video consumers watch videos without sound, which means that having closed captions is vital to tap into that 85%.

Where To Get Closed Captions

There are two ways you can get closed captions:

  1. Write the closed captions yourself. However, this can take up a lot of your time and energy, especially when faced with complicated audio challenges such as background noise.
  2. Outsource the closed captioning to a service provider. Dedicated human transcription service firms like TranscriptionWing have the expertise and flexibility to create closed captions for your video projects.

Closed Captioning Is The Key To Elevating Your Video Content

No matter what industry, type of audience, or brand you have, closed captions are essential to your online video content strategy. However, creating closed captions itself can be a tedious activity and can hamper your content creation process. Thus, it is highly recommended to trust a reliable closed captioning service provider that can support your video content creation needs.

Learn more about TranscriptionWing’s reliable closed captioning services, academic transcription services, interview transcription services, and other offerings powered by expert human transcriptionists.

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