Should You Choose Open or Closed Captioning?


Should You Choose Open or Closed Captioning? by Speechpad

Most people are familiar with the term closed captioning and know what it means. But if you look at the word “closed” you might assume we also have something called “open” captioning. Well, you’d be right!

Though most people don’t know what open captioning is compared to closed, both have benefits you may want to consider when looking to get captioning for your media.


The Differences Between Open and Closed Captioning


Simply put, open captioning means that captions are always shown on the viewer’s screen and can’t be turned off. Open captioning is also attached directly to the video stream itself. You’re most likely used to seeing open captioning in airport terminals on the TV screens.

Closed captioning, on the other hand, is able to be turned on and off by a viewer, and they’re not necessarily shown by default unless a viewer has them set up to show that way (for example, Netflix has closed captioning on its videos that viewers can choose to start automatically with the program if they want). Closed captioning is the most typical option for entertainment media.


Best Instances to Use Open or Closed Captioning


As already mentioned above, open captioning is very useful in public situations like airports or bars because all the noise can make it nearly impossible to hear what’s going on. Another good situation to use open captioning might be in corporate training videos where your employees may be hard of hearing. It’s just polite and respectful to include open captioning in these situations because not all people watching the screen will be able to hear it.

However, there are some drawbacks to open captioning. For example, they can be annoying for people who don’t like captions at all. Also, since open captioning is included with a video stream and not as a separate text stream, it makes it harder when you’re working with media like online and streaming movies – you have to provide completely separate transcription information in order to get any text from the movie indexed in search engines.

So in cases where you need to reach a wider audience and get properly indexed in searches, it’s best to stick with closed captioning and let the viewer decide if he or she wants to turn them on.


Once you figure out the right type of captioning for your media, you just need to get someone like Speechpad to help you start and finish the captioning process. Then you can release your media to the world assured your open or closed captioning will serve you and your viewers well!


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4 Reasons You Really Need to Care About Closed Captioning

4 Reasons You Really Need to Care About Closed Captioning by Speechpad

When you’re wrapping up production on movies or television shows, there are a million things on your schedule you need to get done. Final decisions, payroll, advertising options, maybe even last-minute rewrites and shoots. The last thing you may want to be thinking about is getting your work closed captioned.

However, we’ve got four good reasons why closed captioning should be one of your top priorities during post-production:


1. It’s simply the polite thing to do.


When you add closed captioning to your TV series or movie, you’re indicating that you respect the 17% of Americans who claim to have some form of hearing loss. Generally, you don’t think about a problem unless it directly affects you; however, if you stopped to think about how frustrating it’d be hard of hearing and not be able to watch a show or film because of a lack of closed captioning, you’d begin to understand how the deaf have to live every day. Including closed captioning shows you acknowledge their needs.

2. It reaches a broader audience.


If you need a slightly more business-y reason, this one’s easy. You’ll reach more people and have a wider audience if you include closed captioning for your production. Remember that 17% of Americans we mentioned above who are hard of hearing? That’s a group you wouldn’t be able to reach if you didn’t include closed captions.

3. It keeps things out of the legal system.


Closed captioning is a legal requirement you really can’t overlook. Companies get sued over a lack of closed captioning all the time, even in the most recent years. Don’t believe us? Check out these stories:

“Hearing-Impaired Fans Sue for Access to Closed-Captioning”
“Closed captioning lawsuit: Netflix faces legal charges for not complying with ADA requirements”
“CNN Being Sued for Lack of Closed-Captioning Online”

Need we say more?

4. It isn’t that complicated.


You may not have anyone in-house who can do your own closed captioning, or you may be getting very close to your deadlines and simply don’t have the time. But getting closed captioning for your production doesn’t have to be a hassle, even when you’re that busy. It’s quite easy to get your closed captions completed by an outside company like Speechpad. You simply send in the required parts, and leave the rest up to the experts in closed captioning, while you can keep your focus on what you do best.


In general, closed captioning is always a good idea even if it takes a little extra time and resources to include it in your production. You won’t regret it when you get a grateful email or letter from a hard of hearing viewer.

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How Video Hosting Affects Your Video SEO

How Video Hosting Affects Your Video SEO by Speechpad

Congratulations! Your company just created some videos you’re excited to share with the world. You’ve done all the work for making the video SEO as specific and quality as it can be, and you’re ready to upload.

But where do you upload to in order to keep your video SEO working for you?

Should you choose YouTube or Vimeo? Maybe a cloud-based server like through Amazon, or your own server? How do you know which host is better for your SEO?

Though this seems like a lot to think about right now, at least you’re asking some good questions. But there’s another one you should be asking yourself, too: what’s my goal with all this SEO in the first place?


Here’s the Thing With Video SEO and Hosting…


Though video SEO practices like transcriptions and tagging are smart to implement no matter where you’re hosting your videos, the fact of the matter is that hosting doesn’t affect all aspects of your SEO. For example, putting a video on YouTube with the same SEO-optimized title you would have used if you’d hosted on your site obviously doesn’t change the title.

However, what host you pick will determine the impact the video has and traffic your company will see.

As an example, let’s say you choose to host your videos on Vimeo. Your SEO could be so good that eventually your video makes it to the first page of Google’s search, but guess where that link is going to take the interested customers? That’s right — it’ll take them to vimeo.com, and not your company’s site.

Will you really see any of those customers come to your site after they’ve watched your video on Vimeo? Maybe, but that’s why it’s so important to know why and how you’re using video SEO in the first place.


Determine Your Goals with Video SEO


To gain the maximum benefits from your video SEO, you need to define what those “maximum benefits” are to your company.

If you’re looking for direct conversions, rankings, traffic, and rich snippets, you’ll want to host your videos on your own servers or with a secure hosting solution. This will ensure that your video SEO is put to its best use according to the “conversion” definition. And if people like your videos and link to them, you’ll just have that much more lead possibilities coming directly to your site.

But if you’re looking for establishing brand identity and just getting the word out, a more well-known location for customers to find you (like YouTube or Vimeo) will do the trick. People will still be able to find your video with the right SEO, and it could even have a better chance of going viral on a well-known site.


Now It’s Up to You


As you can see, choosing the right host should come from the angle of how you want your video SEO to work for you. Know that, and you should be able to make a more accurate choice!


Photo credit: Rego – d4u.hu via photopin cc