Thursday, January 18, 2018

Captions And Subtitles: What They Are And Why You Need Them

Captions and subtitles are an essential addition to your post-production budget when you’re marketing to schools in the United States or if you are producing for a government agency.

Most schools and government agencies are required by the Americans With Disabilities Act to provide closed captions (this includes web videos) with every video. If you market to schools or government agencies, not having closed captioning may keep them from purchasing, no matter how much they want your video. We have seen this trend increasing.

Closed captions (CC) – also called subtitles for the hearing impaired – are the text of the audio placed into a hidden area of the video – line 21 of standard definition video. A decoding device is required to open these captions for viewing. All televisions, 13 inches or larger, built after 1993 are required to have a built-in decoder.

They allow people who are deaf or hard of hearing, learning a new language, beginning to read, in a noisy environment, or otherwise disadvantaged to read a transcript or dialog of the audio portion of a video, film, or other presentation. As the video plays, text captions are displayed that transcribe (although not always verbatim) speech and often other relevant sounds. Source: Aberdeen Captioning.

Although you can purchase software to do closed captioning in your editing process, there are services that are well worth the investment in future sales revenue. The company we have used is Aberdeen Captioning. Aberdeen also provides subtitling as well. While we were at the NAB Show 2012, we had a chance to get their sales engineer, Steve Holmes, in front of the camera explaining why you want to include captions and subtitles and why working with a service such as Aberdeen’s is the way to go. What’s even more exciting is that Aberdeen has grown from being just a captioning house… Steve shares in this 10 minute video exciting services they now offer to assist you in offering more value added options to your videos and how they are now set up to deal with your distribution challenges.

(If you can’t view the video here, go to our YouTube channel to view.)

When we produced Hooked On Succulents and Crazy About Cacti, we used both their closed captioning and subtitling services. It cost us $250 each for a 25 minute video. Since those videos sell to the school market at $125 retail, $74 wholesale, we made up those costs very quickly. We also repurposed these to sell as retail at a lower price point, Success With Succulents and Captivating Cacti and having those with captioning also is a appealing benefit.


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