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 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.
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 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.
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 subtitle-now.com. 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.
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.