“Cable TV? What is that?” were the words uttered to me by my 15 year old. Clearly, the days of cabled television are coming to an end. Increasingly, audiences everywhere want to access their content at any time, in any location, and on any device. As Over-The-Top (OTT) content continues to dominate the media and entertainment world, many industry leaders are advocating that we start treating OTT and broadcast TV the same way. By 2021, the live video streaming industry could top $70 billion, and is expected to exceed $85 billion by the following year.
While closed captioning has been a mainstay for broadcast TV in the United States, governed and mandated by the FCC, there is no such mandated requirement for Live OTT programming. However, there are compelling reasons why content providers should caption their Live shows such as news and sports events.
- Accessibility: Around 10% of the global population is either deaf or hard-of-hearing. Accessing these users requires closed captioning, which makes it a smart business decision, and build brand loyalty for your online channel with such users.
- Reach New Audiences Around the World: Captioning your live shows and also translating them into other languages in real-time is a great way to reach users across the world. For example, a baseball game with English commentary with Spanish subtitles would be a great way to reach Spanish-speaking audiences who can enjoy the game with a high user-experience. NHK WORLD-Japan’s OTT channel translates English captions in real-time to 7 languages thus reaching a wider audience. https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/live/
- Increase Ad Revenues: New realities have brought new approaches to businesses. The ad tech industry is not an exception. With more video consumption headed toward internet-connected TV screens, advertisers are naturally following. As Live OTT content is growing, captioning and translating will clearly drive more users to view the live programming thus attracting more ad revenues, giving OTT providers an even stronger reason to caption and translate their shows.