Subtitling Services: Professional Subtitles

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Adding subtitles to your video content is no longer simply a “nice-to-have” feature—it’s something that consumers have (rightfully) come to expect from brands and organizations of all types and sizes. 

Subtitles promote accessibility and expand the reach of your videos by translating them into several different languages.

But before we dive any deeper into the advantages of having professionally-written subtitles, let’s have a little introductory lesson on the subject.

What are subtitles, exactly?

Although the terms “subtitles” and “captions” are often used interchangeably, strictly speaking, they are not the same thing. Yes, both are represented by text on the screen, but subtitles represent a translation of the dialogue or voiceover in a video, while captions are simply a timed transcript of the audio. 

To be more to the point, captions are used to benefit those who are deaf or hard of hearing (or those who watch videos with the audio off, more on that in a bit). Subtitles, on the other hand, translate the audio content of a video to the viewer’s native language. Captions often indicate background noises, musical cues, and speaker differentiation. Subtitles tend to focus exclusively on what is being spoken. 

Why should subtitles be used? What are the benefits?

There are a number of advantages to using subtitles in your video content. For many viewers, they complete the experience. They help an audience to have better comprehension of a video—the dialogue between speakers, the flow of the story being told, etc. Subtitles enhance the viewing experience, and keep viewers interested in your content.

Think about why you chose video as a medium in the first place. You could have written a white paper or blog post about the topic, or recorded a podcast. But you chose video because it combines visual and audio elements to create a compelling experience for users. When you don’t include subtitles, you’re cutting a lot of people off from understanding the message you’re trying to convey.

When you upload a video to the internet, it becomes accessible to people all over the world. One of the benefits of adding subtitles is that you expand the reach of your content. Without subtitles, non-native speakers likely won’t understand what your video is about and are more likely to skip it. 

And even if the subtitles aren’t in the viewer’s native language, many people find it easier to follow along with some form of written language and prefer having subtitles in another language to nothing at all. The point here is that you need to have a global mindset when you put your content online.

Do subtitles benefit native speakers as well?

Yes, absolutely. Check this out: a 2019 survey of consumers in the U.S. found that 92% view videos with the sound off on mobile, and 83% of users overall watch video with sound off. These are mind-blowing numbers. The same study indicated that 80% of viewers are more likely to watch a video in its entirety when there’s text on the screen—be it subtitles or captions.

Reasons why consumers prefer having text on the screen vary; they’re in a crowded place and don’t have headphones, they’re waiting in line and want to be considerate of those around them, or perhaps they’re doing multiple things at once and have to remain aware of what’s happening around them.

Do subtitles help with anything else?

Sure! Videos with subtitles tend to get more engagement than videos without them. When a viewer can follow along with a video, they tend to stay more focused on and retain more of the content. This is particularly important now, in the Age of Limited Attention Spans. 

Videos are also more shareable when they have subtitles. When more people understand and enjoy your content, they are much more likely to share it with their peers.

Why should I use a professional subtitling service?

There are a number of reasons why using a professional subtitling service like Rev to add text to your videos rather than trying to do it yourself in-house. 

First, the accuracy of our subtitles is unsurpassed. Because Rev works with the largest community of speech-to-text freelancers in the world—50,000 of them and growing—we’re able to put the right person on the job who can tease out and translate the dialectical nuances of the language spoken within your content.

As a further safeguard to protect the accuracy of your subtitles, Rev has developed an extremely effective quality assurance practice. It works like this: before we send your English captions to one of our talented freelancers to be translated, we share them with you so you can be a part of the quality-check process. You can then submit your edits directly within our transcript program. 

Once you’ve approved the updated version of the transcript and your English captions are exactly how you want them to be, they’re immediately sent off to be translated. We offer subtitles in a wide range of languages, and if you don’t see the language you want on the list, you can simply contact us and request it.

Subtitles, captions, and Rev  

Subtitles aren’t the only professional speech-to-text service offered by Rev. Far from it! We also offer captions, transcriptions, and live captions for Zoom—all at unparalleled speed, accuracy, and low cost. 

You don’t need to be a psychologist to know that when more viewers have a better experience watching your video, the content performs better. Get in touch with us today and see how Rev can help you extract the most value from your videos.