The Divide between Broadcast and Digital Captioning

Despite Format Fragmentation, Captioning Adds Value to Digital Ads

Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, Closed Captioning in Broadcast Television has become status quo. And despite some evolution in the methodology for encoding TV captioning over the years (SD to HD to UHD), the shifts in standards have been fairly uniform.

Not so with digital. As the digital landscape has become increasingly fragmented, with new streaming services and platforms constantly popping up, digital captioning formats have followed suit. Considering just a few of the many file formats [SRT (.srt), WebVTT (.vtt), SCC (.scc), DFXP (.xml), TTML (.ttml), SAMI (.smi), CAP (.cap), to SMPTE-TT (.xml)], it’s easy to see how the process can lead to frustration.

The use of subtitles to communicate key product features resulted in a 23 percent uptick in audience comprehension of the ad’s core message.

Despite this complexity, research shows that captioning digital ads is a must. According to research by AdColony and Millward Brown, “more and more adverts are being viewed on computers and mobile devices without sound.” This translates to brands facing “the challenge of producing engaging content that can resonate with consumers, both with or without sound.” In addition to increased user engagement and SEO benefits, the value of subtitles in digital advertisements is further supported by the study’s finding that the use of subtitles to communicate key product features resulted in a 23 percent uptick in audience comprehension of the ad’s core message.

The benefit of captioning in digital ads is clear. But the landscape is increasingly complex. Never fear! At Tylie, our commitment to accessibility is rivaled only by our passion for keeping up to date on the latest industry trends. So you can rest easy knowing that we’ve never met a file type we couldn’t generate. And we’re here to help you navigate the ever-changing world of digital.

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