In the ever-evolving landscape of content consumption, subtitles have emerged as a powerful tool for engagement across languages and cultures, as well as a major driver of audience expansion.

Bulgari, for example, is an Italian jeweler known for its exquisite handcrafted pieces inspired by diverse cultures. The brand has added subtitles to its website content, videos, and social media in various languages, fostering an emotional connection with the brand's artistic vision.

Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization, has expanded its reach by adding subtitles to videos in over 100 languages, making its content accessible to people all over the world.

Cities like San Francisco and Austin have seen an instant spike in usage of city services by non-English speakers after adding subtitles in multiple languages to public meetings and YouTube videos.

Six Reasons to Subtitle Your Content

The power of subtitling is enormous. Adding subtitles to your content brings exciting opportunities to enhance reach, accessibility, and engagement. Here are five reasons to subtitle your content:

  • Language Reach: Subtitling transcends language barriers, enabling effective communication with a broader audience. With over 400 languages spoken in the United States alone, providing multilingual subtitles significantly expands your reach and connects with viewers who may not speak the video's original language. This language accessibility opens doors to new markets, allowing your content to resonate with diverse international audiences.
  • Accessibility: Creating an inclusive viewing experience is paramount. Subtitles make videos accessible to the estimated 466 million people worldwide with disabling hearing loss, ensuring that everyone has equal access to your content. Additionally, compliance with accessibility laws, such as the Spanish legislation requiring certain websites to provide subtitles, demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity.
  • Consumer Preference and Increased Engagement: According to a survey conducted by deaf-led charity Stagetext, a remarkable 80% of 18- to 24-year-olds use subtitles regularly, even if they are not deaf or hard of hearing. This trend signifies a significant cultural shift in viewing habits. In contrast, only 23% of individuals in the 56-75 age group utilize captions, despite a higher rate of hearing loss. 

Meanwhile, a PLYMedia study revealed that adding subtitles to videos can improve engagement by a staggering 80%. People are naturally drawn to follow along with text, as it enhances comprehension and provides a better overall viewing experience. Additionally, most users turn on captions when watching movies and TV shows, even if they are native speakers.

  • Better Understanding: Subtitles enhance comprehension by providing visual reinforcement of the spoken words. This aids viewers with varying learning preferences, ensuring that your message is fully understood and absorbed. By catering to diverse learning styles, subtitles create a more inclusive and engaging experience for all viewers.
  • SEO Improvement: Subtitles contribute significantly to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Engaging a large audience who watches videos with subtitles to completion positively impacts your ranking on search engines like Google. Moreover, Google indexes subtitles, making your content more discoverable and further boosting its visibility.
  • Reach the ‘Sound Off’ Audience: Watching videos without sound has become a common practice. On average, 63% of viewers watch videos without sound. By adding subtitles, you ensure that your content remains accessible and engaging for this 'sound-off' audience, expanding your reach and capturing their attention.

Who Should Consider Subtitling Their Content?

The upsides of subtitling are not confined to the entertainment industry. Others that stand to benefit include: 

  • Media and Video Production: Webinars, promotional videos, and short clips can all benefit from subtitles, increasing viewer engagement and comprehension. 
  • Government Agencies: Compliance with federal guidelines ensures that video content is accessible to all citizens, promoting inclusivity and equal access to information. 
  • Education and Distance Learning: Subtitles in digital learning environments enhance accessibility, aiding students with hearing impairments and non-native speakers.

LanguageLine Can Help

No two subtitling projects are the same. Fortunately, LanguageLine’s translation professionals and technologists have developed a seamless subtitling process that we are able to tailor to your specific needs.

We possess advanced capabilities to convert English voice content into text, enabling us to create accurate subtitles for media content. Once generated, subtitles can be shared in document form or seamlessly incorporated into the video itself. We provide comprehensive translation services in over 290 languages, tailoring subtitles to match the client's specific needs. 

Additionally, our talented voice actors can recreate videos based on translated subtitles, ensuring linguistic localization, and delivering an immersive experience. 

Working with LanguageLine ensures native speaker accuracy, a streamlined process, and accelerated turnaround, including rush orders for urgent projects. 

Ultimately, we take pride in delivering content that feels as though it was created in the targeted market, providing a fully immersive and engaging experience for the audience.

We invite you to contact us to explore the exciting potential for adding subtitles to your content.

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