Everything you need to know about Closed Captions

With the growing popularity of videos around the world, brands and content creators have started using video content in their online marketing campaigns. On YouTube alone, approximately 5 billion videos are watched every single day, and 300 hours of content is uploaded every minute. Therefore, it is essential to make your online video content accessible to a global audience, and this is possible with the help of closed captioning.

What is Closed Caption?

A Closed caption is a text version of the dialogues within a video. Besides spoken audio, it also includes the narration of any sound effects or music playing within the video. Closed captions appear on the bottom of the television or computer screen and are identified by the CC symbol on a video player.

Closed captions enable deaf and the hearing-impaired population to access video content with ease. Without closed captions, 360 million hearing-impaired people around the world would be unable to understand and engage with your video.

Closed and Open Captions

Captions are of two types: closed and open captions.

Have you ever seen an Italian TV show with English subtitles displayed on the screen? Well, that is called open captioning. Open captions are embedded within the video and cannot be turned off by the viewer. You can use these for offline as well as social media videos that don’t allow users to upload a separate text file.

On the contrary, closed captions give you a choice whether you want to turn the caption on or off on videos. You can do this with a push of a button. These are added to the video as a separate caption file and are displayed in the media player or video sharing sites that support it.

Closed captions vs. Subtitles

Closed captions and subtitles may seem similar, but there is a big difference between them.

Closed captions are the transcriptions of dialogue and are useful for the hearing-impaired population whereas subtitles are timed transcriptions created before the release of a movie or television show. They assume that the viewers can hear the audio, but don’t speak the language in the video. Furthermore, subtitles aren’t appropriate for the hearing-impaired population because they do not include the non-speech elements of the audio.

Why should you choose Closed Captions?

Closed captions were initially developed for hearing-impaired people. But today, these are used for a variety of purposes.

According to research conducted by Facebook, captioned video ads enhance video view time by 12%. Moreover, more than 80% of the people react negatively towards social media videos playing loudly on their phones unexpectedly. For example, when you’re watching a how-to video while sitting in a quiet place, such as a hospital, chances are you don’t want everyone to hear. In such a case, it is vital to reach these users with closed captions.

Closed captions give an SEO boost to your videos and also allow them to get more views. They play an essential role in helping search engine bots to crawl and index your video text. It results in higher search engine traffic, better engagement, and more view time.


The rising popularity of video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime around the world has increased the demand for captions globally. It benefits all viewers and not just those who have difficulty hearing. Thus, if you want to reach a global audience with the help of your videos, don’t underestimate the power of closed captioning.
DUBnSUB is a Dubbing, Voice-over and Subtitling company with offices in Germany, France, USA, Myanmar and Head Office in Gurgaon (India). For any requirements/queries, please contact [email protected] or give us a call at +91 124 498 2484.

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