Captioning Live Online Video the VITAC way

open captioning, closed captioning, streaming media, online video, accessibility

Source: Streaming Media

The March edition of Streaming Media included a comprehensive guide to the intricacies of captioning live video online written by Heather Hurford and Matt Szatmary, and we’re here to tell you we’ve got you covered. Streaming Media describes online captioning as the “Wild West” and “requir[ing] a fair amount of effort.” Well, ┬áthe sheriff’s here to ensure law, order, and minimal effort in bringing accessibility to your online video. Many of VITAC’s clients are already simultaneously transmitting live captions via broadcast and online, which is necessary as more viewers turn to the web for their news and video content.

We cannot tout the benefits of captioning online video enough, and Hurford and Szatmary sum it up wonderfully in their article:

  • Captions increase inclusion. Captions make your content more accessible to more people. While it may not be mandated today by the FCC unless you are a broadcaster (more on this later in this article), sending a message of inclusion is likely to have a positive impact on the way your audience views your brand or program. Reading also improves comprehension for some, especially second-language viewers, which means your message will come across more clearly.
  • Captioning means more viewers and more engagement. Videos with captions are more consumable by everyone. Facebook leadership has predicted that the platform will be all video in 5 years (, and company reps shared that internal tests indicate a 12 percent increased view time on captioned video ads ( Now is the time to get ahead of solving your captioning challenges so you will be ready for a video-driven future online.
  • Captioning is venue-agnostic. Whether your video is playing on a mobile device or on a monitor in a noisy airport terminal, the message is still conveyed. Nowadays, many public lobbies and spaces feature displays. Captioning your video makes it relevant and consumable regardless of the environment.
  • Captioning enhances visibility to search engines. Captioning gives you the highly valuable benefit of your content surfacing higher and faster in searches, because search engines can index the text in your video. Live captions go a step further, letting your PR team quickly pull quotes for the press and your marketing team efficiently publish companion ebooks and blog posts. You can also flag inaccurate or inappropriate content for swift removal if needed.
  • Captions improve content analysis. Data mining possibilities are infinite when you have the full transcript of your program immediately available. For example, you can easily determine term frequency to see what words are coming up most often in your programs.

The reasons are there, and VITAC has been taking the stress out of captioning for over 30 years. With the latest FCC mandate requiring closed captions on live and near-live clips┬ácoming due July 1, we’re ready to help you exceed compliance and deliver your message as inclusively as possible. Get in touch today to see how we can help.