Closed captioning is an evolution of technology and inclusivity that has opened up a new world of opportunities for its users. Not just limited to those with hearing issues, captions offer a wide range of purposes for many audiences.
The Many Reasons People Use Closed Captions
Watching any form of media, you may have seen a “CC” on the screen, which indicates closed captioning is available for the content. There’s a high likelihood that you’ve also experienced viewing captions at one point or another. But do you know what they are, who uses closed captioning, and what services it provides?
Here you’ll learn what closed captioning is all about. You’ll understand its specific definition, who it’s for, and its many uses. Read on for a better understanding of this important aspect of communication. Maybe you’ll decide to discover its potential when viewing, or even implement it for your own video productions.
What Is Closed Captioning?
Before beginning, it’s essential to go over what closed captions are and what they aren’t. Often they get interchanged with the term “subtitles.” Overall, they’re similar, but not the same. More or less, subtitles are translations from the audio’s native tongue to another language. Closed captioning has a different purpose.
There are tens of millions of individuals with some sort of hearing impairment or total deafness. Closed captioning was designed with these individuals in mind. It’s the text of a video’s audio. Added to pre-recorded content, this text focuses not only on the spoken dialogue but also the sound effects, musical descriptions, and any other forms of noise.
In some countries, closed captioning is required for certain programming. However, any media with audio has the option to use this service. Movies, TV shows, documentaries, web content, and video games are just some of the types of content that can greatly benefit from closed captioning.
Additional Motivations for Using Closed Captions
Certain surveys show that around 80% of caption users don’t have a hearing impairment. Aside from assisting viewers with hearing deficiencies, closed captioning provides many other services that you may not have considered before. Here are some of the main highlights of what it offers.
Playing content with sound blasting isn’t necessarily a good idea when you’re out in public or at work. It’s generally frowned upon, if not outright prohibited. But maybe you need to watch a tutorial in the office or pull up a reference clip in the library. For people in an environment where listening to audio isn’t an option, captions afford the ability to still enjoy videos.
Captions are an excellent tool for educational purposes. Those who are learning the video’s spoken language can follow along much easier. Seeing the words makes for a smoother understanding and assists with knowledge acquisition.
Sometimes videos can have fast-paced dialogue, thick accents, unintelligible mumbling, or background noises that drown out speech. Captions give a clearer understanding of the script.
Concentrating can be difficult, especially if you have something on your mind. Furthermore, if you’re one of the millions of people who have any sort of attention disorder, sitting through a video can be a daunting task. Closed captioning helps hone concentration. It creates an engaging scenario for the viewer.
Webinars, speeches, and other gatherings or presentations often utilize captions. They’re an excellent way to reinforce what’s being said while imparting clarity. Plus, if they’re recorded, the audience can devote their time to learning instead of note-taking, as listeners can go back later on and reference particular points with ease.
The benefits of using captions for video or other forms of media are multifaceted. Audiences rely on this text for diverse reasons.
If you’re putting out any type of visual production, you’ll want to increase your viewership to make it user-friendly. While there are free captioning services, their results are lackluster at best. Highly unreliable and with an extremely low accuracy rate, auto-generated scripts will leave a bad taste in your audience’s mouth.
Go with a reliable transcription service instead. Human-based closed captioning companies like GoTranscript offer superior results. With a 99%+ accuracy rate, you’ll provide a quality experience to your users. Not only will you be assisting them, but they’ll appreciate what you provide and will come back for more.