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Why closed captions are good for videos

At McGowan Transcriptions, we can provide a premium quality closed captioning service that meets the highest standards in accuracy and comprehension. See below for more information on this service, and how closed captions can help your organisation.

What Are Closed Captions?

Although similar to subtitles in some respects, there is actually a difference between subtitles and closed captions. Subtitles show the spoken words in a video – whether that’s exchanges between characters in a television show, or a transcription of a training video to make things clearer.

Closed captions provide more information than this, often working on the assumption that an audience cannot hear the audio. They display the dialogue in text form, as well as further information about the audio – for instance, describing background noises, sound effects, onomatopoeia, and music. They can also include important information about aspects like tone of voice to further aid understanding and comprehension of video content.

Closed captions can be turned on or off as necessary, making them a great option for those with hearing loss or deafness. They provide all the information that’s needed to understand the video and are an essential accessibility tool.

Closed captions are incorporated into video by creating a separate file that’s uploaded alongside the video file itself and synced using time stamps. Audiences can then choose whether or not to display the closed captions along with the video. This is in contrast to open captions, which are burned into media files and remain visible at all times.

Most online video services like YouTube offer the ability to display closed captions; whilst for television captions are embedded in the signal and are decoded by the television set. Closed captions are legally required for all broadcast television in the UK, as well as in on online on-demand content.

YouTube now has an inbuilt automatically generated captioning service; however, this can be insufficient. Although one billion videos are now captioned, there has been criticism around the fact that the voice recognition can be inaccurate. If you’re serious about improving accessibility to your videos, we’d highly recommend the use of our professional closed captioning service.

The Benefits of Closed Captions

Reach 432 Million Adults with Hearing Loss

According to the World Health Organisation, 432 million adults and 34 million children suffer from hearing loss. Without closed captions, this group could struggle to understand the messages in your carefully prepared video.

Here at McGowan Transcriptions, we are pleased that we can help the deaf community gain access to video content more easily by means of closed captions and transcripts. Over the years, we have produced transcripts for many different purposes, ranging from sermons, webinars, adverts and workshops. We are committed to providing access for all.

As members of the Equality Register, we see it as our duty to research ways of making transcription, training materials, videos – to name but a few – accessible to everyone.

Make Your Videos Search Engine Friendly

Videos have become increasingly widespread and more and more companies are using them for the purposes of marketing and communications.  Some sources, such as Entrepreneur.com, claim that 80% of online content will be video within the next year.

Search Engine Optimisation is now an essential strategy for those looking to promote their website and earn more traffic. However, the content of a video cannot be accessed by search engine spiders and bots, meaning that your target audience may struggle to find your video.

When a closed caption file is added to a website, YouTube, Vimeo – and other platforms – instantly your video content becomes visible to bots. This is because is a text file that bots can read to determine the content of your video and rank it accordingly. Make your video content as relevant to your service or product as you can and you will be filling your captions with plenty of keywords and phrases for the bots to index, improving your site’s overall presence in search engines.

This is where you can get ahead of your competitors: adding closed captions to videos should be top of your to-do list.

Improve Understanding

Video captions aren’t just useful for people with hearing loss. If you’ve ever watched a documentary and heard someone speaking in broken English, you will have noticed that subtitles are provided to assist with understanding.

This can also be the case if you are trying to reach an audience for whom English is not their first language. It may be easier for them to understand what you are saying in your video if they can read the words. For training videos, too, seeing the words on the screen can be a massive help in understanding terminology or jargon connected to your industry that may be unfamiliar to a trainee.

Professional Closed Captions

At McGowan Transcriptions, we can provide highly accurate, professional closed captions for a wide range of video content. This includes everything from corporate training videos and seminars, to YouTube content and television shows.

We can work with a wide range of video files, and provide closed captions in whichever format and template you prefer. This includes adding time stamps and codes, making it seamless and easy for you to upload your captions alongside the content.

We have a fast turnaround time and have never missed a deadline, and we pride ourselves on offering an affordable and high quality service to help your video content to reach every possible audience.

Simply get in touch to talk about your requirements and receive a quotation for your project.

“We are really excited about being able to add closed captions to our range of services”
We have a dedicated team of transcribers working on producing closed captions. Our default closed caption format is WEBVTT. However, if you wish to have captions in a different format, just ask and we’ll see what we can do.
Joe McGowan, Managing Director
Carol Nourse, Operations Coordinator 

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Since our start in 1993, we have had the privilege of working for many of the country’s leading businesses. The fact that many medical institutions, legal firms, and multinational companies trust us with their words is something we do not take for granted. We are committed to always give it our best, making sure our customers are fully satisfied with the results. That is the feedback we get, and we are proud of that! Below are some of the companies we may call our customers.
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Joe McGowan

Managing Director, McGowan Transcriptions UK

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