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January 08, 2016 By Bianca Johnson

New Year, New Resolutions… for Closed Captioning

Like a lot of you, I begin the New Year by making a few personal improvement resolutions.

This year I started thinking about some of the most common attitudes and concerns of the potential clients that call us for closed captioning services every day. What if they took the time to set some resolutions around the services provided by companies like CaptionLabs?

I came up with the Top Five Closed Captioning New Year’s Resolutions for 2016. Would your organization benefit from adopting these goals?

5. Stop Tape, Go Digital

I’ll bet there’s a few of you out there that are actually shipping tape to broadcast stations. It still happens—and it’s time consuming and expensive. But any good closed captioning company should be able to digitally deliver your video content fast and securely to broadcast channels. We’ve made our process extremely simple, with no software to install. If you can drag and drop a file, we should be able to digitally deliver it for you. You’re welcome.

4. New Year, New Language

If you want your video to reach the widest audience, then surely you’ve considered translating your program into Spanish?

Pew Research says the Hispanic speaking population in the U.S. is around 17%. That’s 55 million Americans. Translating and closed captioning in a second language will help you broaden your audience. It’s an undeniably smart move for 2016.

3. Live Caption Live Meetings

We get weekly calls from businesses seeking ways to expand their corporate message across a large, dispersed employee base. If you have a quarterly state of the organization message and you want it to reach a broad audience, consider live captioning the presentation. The immediacy and accessibility of your message will be greatly appreciated by the hearing impaired, and also any employees that use English as a second or third language.

2. Caption the ‘Net

While state and federal legislation is evolving, there are currently two generally accepted requirements for closed captioning Internet videos:

  • If it’s been previously broadcast on TV, it must be captioned.
  • If your organization receives federal funding (such as a college), you must provide equal access to video content for the deaf and hearing impaired.

There have been some lawsuits recently that have begun changing the accepted approach to captioning on the web. Disability rights groups have been encouraging companies such as Amazon to provide closed captioning of their online content. We predict that this pressure will push an increasing number of companies to caption IP-based videos. If your goal is to reach a broader audience across the digital landscape, closed captioning should be on your “To Do” list for 2016.

1. Don’t Commoditize Captioning

The definition of “commoditize” according to Investopedia is, “The act of making a process, good or service easy to obtain by making it as uniform, plentiful and affordable as possible.” The problem in the case of closed captioning companies is that they are certainly not all created equal. While one of the FCC’s requirements for closed captioning compliance measures the quality of the service, there are a few low-cost providers out there that cut corners in this area. When captioning your videos, make sure “cheap” doesn’t mean “poor quality.” If saving a few pennies might make your video illegal, is it really worth it?

Bianca Johnson

Bianca is our Client Relations Specialist. She knows her way around CaptionLabs and can help you find the right person. Bianca is a knitting wiz and plans to make the gents in the office knitted jeans.

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