Subtitles have come a long way since they were first introduced to the public during the silent-film era. Though their primary goal has remained communicating verbal content in writing, both their functionality and use cases have changed tremendously over time. In the last few years, following the growth in video consumption and mobile data consumption, captions have become a standard that is promoted by some of the most influential media experts. Here are a few arguments why you should consider incorporating subtitles in videos:
Have you ever watched a muted video? Odds are you have: 85% of all Facebook video consumers watch videos with the sound off. Add to that the number of people who are hard of hearing, and you get a large audience that has no access to videos with sound whatsoever. Subtitles allow users to replace an audio element with a visual one without compromising the message itself.
It’s a well-known fact our collective attention span is at its worst state ever. Some even claim it’s worse than that of a goldfish. Captions can, however, increase our focus, and improve our overall engagement. In fact, studies show people spend 40% more time watching videos with subtitles in comparison to videos without them. And when watching time increases, so does SEO ranking. Which brings us to the next point:
Subtitles improve SEO both directly and indirectly. They help search engines to ‘read’ videos through keywords and metadata. They also have a positive effect on video engagement and social interactions (including sharing and comments), video watch time, and overall time people spend on a website, all of which are crucial factors for SEO ranking. Adding subtitles will, therefore, help your video to be found online.
Interesting fact: Only about 20% of the world population speaks English. Therefore, captions in English could only resonate with about one in five people worldwide. If, however, you choose to translate captions into one or more different languages you could instantaneously grow your audience correspondingly and reach new demographics.
As a result of the increased exposure and interest, your site is much more likely to generate increased revenue. One study compared between web-pages before and after transcripts were added to them. Pages with transcripts manifested a 16% increase in revenue.
Generating subtitles used to be a tiresome process, encompassing subtitle timing, transcribing, captioning, typing, exporting, and ingesting. Today, subtitles are much more streamlined and require less manual work, technical knowledge, and overall resources.
As a part of its “video for all” agenda, movingimage now offers an easy (and free) way to upload, edit, and create subtitles via a) .srt/ .vtt file ingestion or b) manual ingestion. A supplementary AI (Artificial Intelligence) tool is an additional layer that empowers users to generate subtitles via AI-powered transcription. Once transcribed, the outcome can be translated into 54 different languages. The feature is hosted in Azure cloud in Europe.
Creating captions for videos is often a cumbersome, costly operation, both in terms of time and capital. The process includes multiple, mostly manual steps, such as transcribing, ingesting, and translating dialogues into different languages. Consequently, creators often choose to forgo subtitles entirely, even at the cost of diminished reach, engagement, and ranking of their video content.
AI-powered transcription, on the other hand, is a mostly automatic process. As a result, it requires a fraction of the time and capital it takes to manually transcribe a video. It’s also easy and requires no technical skills and special training.
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