Closed Captions in Video

January 30, 2023

We’ve all been there. A noisy office, a crowded subway, and oops…we forgot to bring our earbuds. Suddenly a long day or lengthy commute is made all the more difficult by not being able to watch our favorite show. But wait, all is not lost, thanks to the power of closed captions. And, come to find out, they’ll save you in more ways than one.


The most obvious reason to include closed captions in your brand’s video is inclusion. By not, you immediately ostracize the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and why would you want to lessen your potential audience? Not only that, but including closed captions is now mandated by law. As of 1998, the FCC required its inclusion in video programming.

Widen Your Audience

With video content claiming over 82% of web traffic, it is imperative to optimize your brand’s video. One of the top reasons closed captioning can help with this, is gaining access to a wider audience (beyond the deaf and hearing impaired). Why is this? Because 80% of online viewers are more likely to watch an entire video when captions are available, whether it’s due to being in a sound-sensitive environment or overall preference. Adding to this, closed captions have been shown to improve focus, enabling better retention by your audience.

Closed Captions vs. Subtitles

Wait, there’s a difference between closed captions and subtitles? You got that right! As explained in this video, the main difference is that subtitles are used for language translation whereas closed captions can not only be used for this but also can include sounds and other effects happening on the screen. It enhances the viewer’s watching experience, and provides more information regarding the story being told.

SEO Benefits

Lastly, if all this wasn’t enough, including closed captions will improve your video’s SEO (search engine optimization)! That’s right, search engines such as Google aren’t programmed to see just video but can and do recognize text. So the more transcription you can include in your videos, the better. And what’s an easier way to include that than through closed captions?