Guide to convince customers to caption video assets

Guide to convince customers to caption video assets

Regardless of the customer and/or the seller understanding the explicit need for a product or service, selling things can really be hard. It requires the seller to understand the customer’s situation, the problems they face because of the product’s unavailability, talk about its significance, and then the advantages and benefits it can offer.

Helping clients understand the importance of closed captioning service could be a daunting task in itself if customers aren’t made aware of the need. Despite the US law mandating the importance of closed captioning service for video assets, it still could be difficult to convince clients about the importance of captioning services. Here are a few points on captioning that could help ace your persuasion skills:

Lawful Need: Sections 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act mandates accommodation of students with disabilities, thereby enforcing captioning as a necessity for all live and post production video assets.

Better User Experience: Though closed captions were developed to help people who were hard of hearing, research shows that more than 80% of the people who prefer captions are not really hearing impaired. More videos on social media are watched without sound, but only with captions, as users do not prefer turning on the audio resulting in an increase in viewership numbers. Facebook has reported a 12% increase in video viewing time after adding captions.

Improved SEO: Captioning services can make searching videos easier, as they come from a text file enabling them to be read by chatbots. Research shows that captions helped increase viewership by more than 7%.

Better Engagement and Focus: Captions can instantly engage audience by stimulating two key senses: hearing and seeing. Research says captions help people recall information better. A study by the Journal of Academy of Marketing Science says that captions help improve brand recall, behavioural intent, and verbal memory.

Easy Accessibility: Closed captioning helps viewers access content regardless of the environment they are in, including areas where access to audio is restricted.

Better Focus Area: With closed captioning, students who learn English as the second or the third language understand the video content better. In short, captioning helps reach a larger audience.

Better understanding of the service offered, benefits of using it, and the advantages it provides helps create an explicit need and persuades clients to caption video.

The impact of digitization in the education sector boosts literacy and the emotional health of children. The entire sector is digitized through E-learning. The connection between literacy and closed captioning has sparked global interest. Once considered an undervalued learning strategy, closed captioning helps increase the literacy rate rapidly, by being the most easiest and inexpensive way to improve reading skills in children. It improves reading comprehension, retention and focus, helps improve their test scores, and motivates them to perform better.

Improved Child Literacy through closed captioning

E-learning provides a platform for students whereby they are exposed to video-based learning, while at the same time helping them understand texts through closed captions.

Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act mandates that all educational videos are captioned to help children with learning disabilities. Captioning also helps students who don’t follow the speaker or those who don’t understand certain terms or when the audio is distorted. It provides a platform for children to learn better and develops their overall personality and skill sets.

Learning through a combination of audio and video at schools provide a great advantage for children and ensures better understanding. Word recognition becomes easier and kids understand its usage better. Studies show that captioning boosts the morale and performance of children who are deaf and mute.

With closed captioning gaining more traction in the education sector, it becomes important that institutions adopt technologies that help them generate efficient and highly accurate services at reasonable costs.

Accessibility service at Movies for hearing Impaired

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates accessibility services at movie theaters for people with disabilities including deaf and hard of hearing. Constant efforts are being made by movie theater owners in conjunction with their technology partners to create a better experience at movie theaters for people with hearing difficulties.

Nowadays, most of the movie theater owners are trying their best to comply with federal regulations, which require them to offer assistive services for the deaf and hearing-impaired viewers. Let us have a look at some of the assistive features provided by movie theaters for deaf and hard of hearing community.

Closed captioning/Subtitling

All of us are quite familiar with what closed captioning is. Closed captions or subtitles are the streams of explanatory text that run on visual screens. It is way back in 1993 that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) first wanted television manufacturers to have closed captioning capabilities. This allowed deaf and hard of hearing viewers see and clearly understand visuals with help of text displayed on their TV screens.

National Association of the Deaf (NAD), in 1996, formed Movie Access Coalition, which encouraged movie theaters to provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing community.  Even with all the technological advancements that almost eliminated excessive cost involved in creating closed captions for film prints, the NAD estimates that only a little over a percent of movies are displaying closed captions.

What Else Can Help?

Entertainment Access glasses

Around 2012, Sony invented Entertainment Access glasses. This was a personalized closed captioning concept. Viewers wearing these glasses could see captions in front of them on air and the text would only be visible for those viewers. These glasses looked more or less like conventional eyeglasses. Technically, movie theaters started offering this technology to its viewers in 2013.

Regal Entertainment Group offers this technology at many of their units.  Some other theaters that provide the equipment are Carmike Cinemas, Water Gardens Theaters, Muvico Theaters, BAM Rose Cinemas, etc.

Rear-window captioning

Then we have rear-window captioning. This technology allows viewers to see text on a personal panel that displays captions that get mirrored from an LED screen from the back of the movie hall. These personal panels are attached on to a springy plastic shoot that could fit to the cup holders. It is necessary for the viewers to sit at special seats in order to use this facility and get a better angle to view the text.

Motion Picture Access website has the list of movie theaters equipped with this service. AMC theaters provide rear-window captioning service in as many as 160 of their locations.

SmartPhone Applications

There are also smartphone applications that offer closed captioning/subtitling for relatively a large library of new and old releases. You can download this application on to your smartphones. A major advantage for iPhone users is that their closed captioning application offers closed captioning in around 20 different languages. It is always better to inform the theater owners before you use this application as many theaters follow a “no phone” policy.

Assistive Listening Device (ALD)

Assistive Listening Devices are sound-amplifying devices. Theaters offer Assistive Listening Device for viewers with some residual hearing.

Locate Theaters Offering Accessibility Services

To locate theaters near you that provide captioned screens of recent movie releases, you can check your local newspaper; subscribe to NCAM’s e-mail list. You can also check websites providing information on accessibility services in theaters such as; Captionfish, AMC Theatres, Regal Entertainment Group, Marcus Theatres, etc.

Captionfish is a search engine developed primarily for Apple users by three deaf developers to locate movie theaters that provide assistance facilities for the deaf community. You can look for theaters near you that offer closed-captioning, rear-window captioning and other facilities with the help of the Captionfish application.

This week the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication is holding its annual conference, the AMEC Global Summit. Digital Nirvana is participating in the event as a Summit Silver Sponsor, which takes place today through Thursday in Barcelona, Spain. Key emphasis of the media measurement conference will be on the 3 I’s; Insights, Innovation, and Integration driving the future of the industry.

“For the past two decades, Digital Nirvana has been providing business management solutions for an increasingly media-centric world,” said our CEO, Hiren Hindocha. “Our solutions enable more efficient workflows for broadcasters and content creators all over the world. The AMEC Summit is helping to drive the trends of the measurement industry, and we’re looking forward to being a part of the event again this year.”

With the summit now in its 10th year, AMEC is the growing global trade body and professional institute for agencies and practitioners who provide media evaluation and communication research. Learn more about the summit here.

Recently, we introduced the latest version of our flagship media management platform, MonitorIQ. Enabling broadcasters to effectively monitor their video and meet compliance requirements, MonitorIQ Version 5.2 offers more user-friendly features than ever before.

Our CEO, Hiren Hindocha, explained, “Ever since the first launch of MonitorIQ in 2009, Digital Nirvana’s research and development team has been continuously looking to enhance the end-user experience by adding new features. MonitorIQ Version 5.2 is more stable, effective and user friendly. The main focus of this version is to improve the end-user experience and make the platform as efficient and easy to use as possible.”

Check out the below video clip to learn more about MonitorIQ Version 5.2:

The MonitorIQ platform delivers a full range of multi-channel signal monitoring, logging, loudness monitoring, compliance, competitive analysis, advertisement verification, content repurposing and archiving functions – enabling broadcasters to capture live content from multiple sources live and monitor the video for quality and compliance. MonitorIQ features a powerful content retrieval system called SmartSearch and operates in a centralized management server environment – which unites all units deployed throughout the system to one central point.

New features of MonitorIQ Version 5.2 include:

•    Search filter options with updated easy-to-use calendar controls
•    Provision to select multiple alert trigger type (e.g. Email, SNMP, Trigger URL) configurations
•    Settings to configure player options like closed captions, subtitles, teletext, NAC, LKFS and ratings
•    Enhanced geographic timezone display to identify from where the content has been broadcasted
•    New options in NAS configuration to change retention period of original and proxy encoded files in storage before moving to NAS (Storage space can be used more effectively)
•    Enabled Player controls in full screen mode
•    Simplified “Date” and “Time” search filters controls
•    Support for network tuner devices using network device discovery (via SSDP)
•    Improvement to supported IPTV protocols ( MPEG-TS over HTTP)
•    Performance optimization for recording multiple channels from a single input
•    Support for recording H.265 in MPEG-TS

Creating Accessible & Searchable Videos

Video content creators are constantly looking at ways to make their videos more accessible and searchable. Creating closed captions, interactive transcripts and audio descriptions are essentially the easiest ways to make your videos reach out to more audience. It is also important for content owners to deliver their videos in widely accepted media formats.

Closed Captioning or Subtitling

Closed captions or subtitles are textual representation of audio and visual cues synchronized with the visuals in the video. Closed captions or subtitles ensure that your videos are accessible to deaf and hard of hearing population. Captioning also helps students and non-native English speakers to interpret videos with much ease.

Interactive Transcription

Transcripts are complete textual representation of the media content. Basically, transcripts cover complete spoken audio descriptions of visuals that wouldn’t be otherwise accessible without seeing the video. Transcripts essentially help your videos to be widely accessible, which also includes viewers who are not able to consume your videos because of technical limitations or any other accessibility problems. Interactive transcripts help users to click a particular line in the transcript and jump to the exact portion of the video where the spoken text is present. Interactive transcripts extensively help in enhancing searchability of your videos. People who have time limitations can quickly scan through the transcripts to get the essence of videos without having to watch the entire video.

Audio Description

Audio description is the narration of the story that runs in a different audio track. Audio description basically narrates the entire visual content. This makes the video accessible to people who have difficulty with vision. By listening to audio description, individuals with difficulty with vision can comprehend the video. Good audio description will include description of every action present in the video. Audio description enhances the accessibility of your videos by helping you to reach out to the visually challenged audience.

Ways to Get Your Videos Closed Captioned

Generally, there are two ways by which you can get your videos closed captioned.

One way is by doing it on your own. There are quite a few online tools available for you to caption your video. Another more reliable way to get it done is by outsourcing to professional captioning service providers.

Whichever way you choose to get your captioning done, you get time-coded text files. Once caption files are available, you must integrate the file into your videos.


Digital Nirvana recently announced that it has joined forces with Clearcast, the UK’s sole television ad clearing house. Our cloud-based subtitling solutions are now a featured tool within MediaCentral, Clearcast’s online portal for the video advertising industry. Through this strategic alliance, we are now Clearcast’s partner for subtitling TV advertisements.

Check out the below video of our CEO, Hiren Hindocha, and Clearcast’s Managing Director, Chris Mundy, discussing the new partnership at the NAB Show in Las Vegas last month.

“With this portal, Clearcast has created a place where advertisers can go to not only make sure their ads follow the UK compliance regulations, but also for adjunct services. Adding these new services – all within one central site – greatly increases the value they’re offering their customers. We’re thrilled to be a part of such an integral, forward-thinking site for the advertising community.” – Hiren Hindocha

how to identify ideal closed captioning partner

Closed captioning or subtitling is swiftly gaining popularity among organizations to drive substantial traffic to their marketing videos. They understand that quality traffic generation on to marketing content in turn helps them in quality lead generation. Captioning or subtitling marketing videos is one quick way to drive traffic and reach out to broader prospects.

Companies understand that creating closed captions is not a simple task and inaccurate subtitles or captions can hurt their marketing efforts very badly. This prompts them to look for caption service providers with certain qualities. Let us look at some of the factors that content owners consider while identifying ideal service providers for their captioning needs.

Closed Caption Accuracy:

The first and the most important factor that the companies, considering to invest in closed captioning, look for is the accuracy of captions. To create accurate closed captions, the service providers should get their transcription right. Nowadays, a lot of service providers depend on automated tools to deliver final transcript for creating captions. This is one of the fastest means to create transcripts, but entirely depending on such automated tools can hurt caption quality really bad. The best transcription accuracy these tools give is not more than 95% while ideal accuracy is at least 98%. So, having qualified and highly experienced professionals is the only way to hit target accuracy.

Closed Caption Synchronization & Placement:

Another factor is accurate synchronization of closed captions to the visuals. Captions should appear exactly corresponding to the visual frames of the videos. The captions should also be placed properly without hindering the visuals. The captions should be easily readable and should not overlap.

Turnaround Time:

It is very important for the service providers to stick to the timelines. This is an essential factor people look while hiring caption service providers.

Security & Confidentiality:

Organizations would definitely want their content to be secure. Organizations enter into a confidentiality agreement with the service providers.

These are some of the key factors to be considered while zeroing in on an ideal captioning service partner.

Subtitling helps your commercials to reach out wider

It makes sense to spend a little extra to create subtitles or closed captions for your advertisements as it allows your adverts to connect with a larger audience. It is estimated that over 10 million people in the UK are facing difficulty with hearing loss. This means that there is a significant chance for UK TV advertisers to extend their influence to this community by having subtitles on their commercials.

It is also estimated that there are more than 3 million people in the UK exercising English as their second language, and advertisements in English are not really getting the message across to these people. Subtitling would significantly help this community to comprehend advertisements with fast and accented English dialogues.

With subtitles running on them, your advertisements communicate to your potential customers even with the volume turned off. Subtitling helps to comprehend adverts even in public and other noisy environments like restaurants, gyms, airports, bars, etc.

Companies that operate globally would need their commercials to communicate with a diverse set of audience spreading across the globe. Rather than recreating commercials in different languages, it is always better for these companies to create subtitles in different languages for their adverts. This essentially helps to cut down the cost of creating commercials multiple times. Creating subtitles or captions in multiple languages is apparently less expensive than recreating commercials multiple times in different languages.

In addition to reaching out to a wider audience; subtitling your advertisements can also help when you repurpose your commercials for social media. While ads are played on social media like Facebook or Instagram, often they are muted. When users interact with the commercials in social media, they do not have audio to deliver the context. Subtitling your advertisement engages your users, which in turn increases the impact of your advertisement. So, subtitles are not only important for your broadcast TV, but it is all the more important when you repurpose your ads for social media.

Digital Nirvana Partners with Clearcast to Provide Subtitles for Advertisements

Digital Nirvana, leading global provider of media solutions, has entered into a partnership with Clearcast to provide subtitles for commercials in the UK market. The service is offered through an easy-to-use online portal called The advertisers can upload their videos and get them subtitled quickly through this portal.

Clearcast is the UK’s sole television clearance house that looks at about 61,000 TV commercials a year. Being able to upload commercials online and have subtitling done in minutes is going to be a big benefit for the UK advertising agencies as it speeds up the process, and would also reduce the barrier that is holding back advertisement subtitling in the UK.

When we talk about closed captioning or subtitling process, one question that immediately comes to our mind is; whether an automated transcription process good enough or do we really need to have human involvement during the process.

transcription for closed captioning automated or manual

As we all know, there are a quite a few software tools and equipment available in the market that can effectively convert speech to text automatically. However, there are limitations for these software tools or equipment when it comes to transcribing different accents and audios with different qualities. For instance, in the US, people of different regions have different styles of speaking. Most of the time, converting speech to text automatically for a television show is challenging because TV shows feature people from different regions and backgrounds who would pronounce English words in completely different styles.

During a study conducted by Google and Harvard University, it was found that over the last century, English as a language has doubled its size and it continues to expand yearly by around 8,500 new words, and now stands at 1,022,000 words. Growing glossary of vocabulary makes automated transcription a challenging process. A lot of new terms and words adding up to the vocabulary make automated tools vulnerable to misinterpret them. Although internet helps software tools and equipment to get updated regularly, there is still some amount of difficulty faced by these automatic transcription tools when it comes to interpretation of growing vocabulary.

Human transcriptionists still have advantages compared to speech recognition tools although manual process is more time consuming and requires more effort by transcriptionists to keep themselves updated with new words and phrases. Voice recognition tools are trained on patterns and styles of specific voices, whereas human transcriptionists have experience listening to and communicating to people with a variety of dialects. New phrases and words get communicated to humans quickly across different regions. The new technologies are undoubtedly making transcription process easy and quick; however, the need to have human intervention to create transcripts for closed captions is still preferred by most of the broadcasters and content owners. Broadcasters and content owners do not want to take chances when it comes to quality of closed captions and are still not ready to rely completely on automated processes. For them having quality closed captions are all the more important as they add value to their content.

Digital Nirvana’s closed captioning process makes use of a hybrid transcription process wherein a quick preliminary transcript is created by an automated process, which is further edited by qualified and highly experienced transcriptionists for error-free delivery. The combination of automation and human intervention make Digital Nirvana’s captioning process quick and foolproof.