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5 Reasons Why Captions Need to be Accurate
Closed captions are the text display of a video’s dialogue. They are native-language to the medium rather than a translation to another language and can be turned on and off. From federal laws to consumer preferences, there are many reasons that captions need to be accurate.
We will walk through five major reasons why you should be providing accurate (99%) closed captions on all your videos.
1. People won’t follow what you are saying.
With poor quality captions, it can be very confusing to follow what is going on in a video. For example, in the trailer for Manchester By The Sea, there are multiple instances of “craptions”.
Almost every sentence contains glaring errors that not only are hard to follow but can even change the meaning of the scene. During a very emotional moment, Michelle Williams’ character is captioned saying “My heart was broken nose is broken too,” rather than “My heart was broken. I know yours is broken, too.”
As you can see, captions need to be accurate or else it is very confusing and frustrating for anyone who relies on captions to understand the movie.
2. Accurate captions are legally required.
Whether you are a business, educational institution, government agency, or media & entertainment provider, you are most likely legally obligated to caption online video.
The ADA requires it for employee facing videos (Title I) and public facing videos for businesses, private universities, and public universities (Title II and III).
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requires federally funded entities to provide video captioning. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires government agencies, schools, and some states to caption videos as well.
The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, otherwise known as the CVAA, requires closed captioning on all online video programming that was previously shown on TV with captions.
The FCC sets the captioning quality to requirements. As per 2014 FCC rules, captions are required to be:
- Accurate: Captions must match the spoken words in the dialogue and convey background noises and other sounds to the fullest extent possible.
- Synchronous: Captions must coincide with their corresponding spoken words and sounds to the greatest extent possible and must be displayed on the screen at a speed that can be read by viewers.
- Complete: Captions must run from the beginning to the end of the program to the fullest extent possible.
- Properly placed: Captions should not block other important visual content on the screen, overlap one another or run off the edge of the video screen.
3. Inaccurate captions hurt SEO.
Search engines can’t watch your videos. To enable video SEO and ensure your videos are being indexed and ranked, you have to supply a text version of your video.
Would you publish a blog post that doesn’t make sense and has spelling and grammar mistakes? Of course not. So why would you do that with your videos?
To reap the benefits of video SEO, your video captions need to be 99% accurate. This both keeps viewers on your videos for a longer amount of time — a huge ranking factor — and allows search engines to accurately rank your content.
4. Accurate captions increase traffic & engagement.
Multiple studies have found accurate captions to increase viewership and encourage better engagement.
Because captions expand your audience to include hard of hearing individuals, second language English speakers, and social media users, viewership rates skyrocket. The ease of use with captioned videos encourages viewers to stay longer and get more engaged, commenting, sharing, and subscribing to your videos.
According to recent studies conducted by Discovery Digital Networks, adding closed captions and transcripts to video content increases search traffic, page views, and engagement significantly. AdColony and Millward Brown research echoed this, finding that captioned video ads increase brand awareness by 19% and encourage people to watch more content by a margin of 26%.
5. People like videos with accurate captions better.
At the end of the day, one of the best things you can do is create content with the consumer in mind. Your videos should delight your viewers to keep them coming back.
Captions allow people to consume media how they want when they want. Research from the UK found that 80% of people who use closed captions are not hard of hearing. Rather, captions allow hearing and hard of hearing viewers alike to comprehend and enjoy video content in all types of environments, such as noisy airports, bars, health clubs, or in other situations where access to the audio is limited.
So captions need to be accurate, but how do I get them?
There are two ways to get accurate captions. The first option is to use a free service like YouTube auto-captions and then edit them for errors after. Since this is a very time-consuming task, it is more suited for people who do not make a lot of video content.
The other option is to enlist a professional video captioning and transcript provider. Here at cielo24, we provide 99% accurate captions and transcripts, along with other video SEO and data services, all for one low price
Ready for accurate captions? Request a quote here!