The decision to use subtitles has always, until recent years, been one of practicality or necessity. For example foreign language films that are being distributed globally, programming for the hard of hearing and even documentary style programmes where the speech which is muffled or difficult to understand.
Subtitles have never really been a creative choice, unless the creative was to imitate the content above. However, more readily people are choosing to add subtitles to their moving images. The sharing and digesting of content has changed quite dramatically in the last 5 years, even the way in which we watch TV. Everything is viewed on the go. You can catch-up on missed TV shows and box sets on your daily commute. People don’t carry around books or newspapers anymore, whether you are sat on a bus or waiting on football sidelines you can guarantee at least 70% of people sat around you have a tablet or phone and that their right thumb is sliding down the screen.
It’s at times like this when people are killing time looking for content. Short films, news and even commercials are all being shared and watched across social media platforms. It’s has become more and more relevant to be talking to people, be it friends or potential customers, through moving images.
Here’s three reasons why I think you should be adding subtitles:
1. People are on the move. You are not sure when or how they are going receive it. If they are sat on a packed commuter train with no headphones you don’t want to miss your single opportunity to talk to them. Newsfeeds are constantly re-filling with news updates, and it’s very unlikely that people will return or be able to find you again. Subtitles mean that people will get your message, even if it is on mute. I often watch things on mute on the train to get the gist of what it’s about, and if I like the look of it I’ll mark it for a re-watch when I get home.
2. It’s not just about staying native, look outwards to other markets. Why not make your message reach out across the globe to a broader crowd and make your content accessible to foreign audiences. By subtitling your content for other markets you are creating a global message and expand your potential customer base. Subtitles are so much quicker than voiceovers, which can be a costly and time consuming process.
3. Subtitles can be immediate. You can add subtitles and push your content out at speed. News stories, exclusive content or even important information that needs to be shared internally within businesses can be captioned and communicated in hours or even minutes.
Tools like CaptionHub can help with all of these. Give it a go!