Closed Captioning

Closed Captions

Although very similar to subtitling, closed captions are created with the hearing-impaired in mind. They include the spoken word, sound descriptions, speaker identification, indications of mood, denotations of music and contextual information.

These and other elements combine to ensure that your video content is accessible to your hearing-impaired audience.

Whilst closed captioning and subtitling are simply the process of adding text to video making audiovisual productions available to a broader audience, a professional will know there’s more to transcription than simply converting sound to text, just like there’s more to subtitling than merely syncing text to video.

Everyone knows this, right?

Well written closed captioning and subtitles can make a significant difference to a viewers’ experience and video content consumption: amateur versus professional

Vita Luna provides superior video closed captions using strict grammatical, structural, and formatting guidelines.

Simply put, closed captions should be easy to read and allow the hearing-impaired viewer to enjoy your content.

Lines should be split where natural breaks in speech occur or where it makes grammatical sense. Likewise, italics, hyphens, and brackets must be used consistently and accurately to interpret sound effects, speaker changes and forced narrative information for closed captioning.

Our experienced team knows that closed captioning is more than mere words – it is culture, nuance, and humour.

The core objective is to correctly convey the essence of the message and, at the same time, balance the technical requirements, with particular attention given to the reading time of the viewer and the length of the text.

We use the latest software to produce perfectly synchronised content that will enable your audience to connect with your media, delivered timeously and hassle-free.

We work with television series, movies, animations, documentaries, and corporate presentations. The careful and continuous monitoring of each of the steps involved by a dedicated project manager guarantees the uniformity of the final product.

Whatever your project, our crafty team are here to help so you can effectively communicate your message.

Key points:

Caption formatting: text, size, font, and placement
100% human-generated
Exceptionally accurate and perfectly timed
Caption files can be supplied in a range of formats
Captions are created to capture the meaning and essence of the dialogue

What is the difference between subtitling and closed captioning, you may ask?

Basically, subtitles assume your audience can hear the audio but require the dialogue to be provided in text form as well.

While closed captioning assumes your audience can’t hear the audio and requires a text description of what they would otherwise be hearing.

Closed Captions

Subtitling for the deaf and hearing-impaired is the transcription of spoken dialogue in a video.

This type of subtitling distinguishes itself from standard subtitling as it contains additional information, including sound effects and speaker identifications, as well as onscreen text transcription.

Caption formatting: text, size, font, and placement.


Simply, the transcription of the speech.

This type of subtitling assumes that viewers do not have hearing difficulties. Only the spoken dialogue is subtitled.

Subtitles act as an alternative to voice-overs for your localised and translated videos and offer a quick way of providing multilingual video content.

Read more

Interesting studies:

Increased SEO and ROI

Discovery Digital Networks, in partnership with 3PlayMedia, decided to test the theory of improved SEO and ROI with video captioning. Closed captions were created for eight of their channels.

In the first 14 days after adding closed captions, they registered a 13.48% increase in views.

Next, captions were switched on and off for some of the days. The traffic was visibly lower on the days that the captions were off. The lifetime increase in views stabilised at a substantial 7.32%.

The SEO studies conducted by Discovery Digital Networks, This American Life and SafeNet help to measure and record the benefits of captioning and transcription.

The documented increase in views, search traffic, user engagement and search rank clearly prove that captioning has a significant impact.

Closed caption videos in the classroom

According to a study done by the Journal of Instructional Pedagogies, closed captions were originally developed to help the hearing impaired. In addition, closed captioned videos were also widely used to benefit English as second language learners (Zamoon, 1996).

Prior research finds that closed captions improve English language learners’ listening and reading comprehension skills (Markham & Peter, 2003), students’ attention and motivation, and reduces students’ anxiety (Vanderplank, 1988).

Language learners performed significantly better in objective vocabulary testing when they watched closed caption videos versus no caption videos and reported that they were able to integrate previous knowledge and process presented information much more effectively with closed caption videos (Winke, Gass, & Sydorenko, 2010).

Various empirical research studies reveal that closed captions also benefits children, college students, and adults who don’t have hearing impairment or limited English skills in their comprehension and memorization of video contents via increased attention (Gernsbarcher, 2015).

The studies showed that closed captions improved research participants’ ability to recall brand information about television advertisements (Brasel & Gips, 2014) and film dialogue (Hinkin, Harris, & Miranda 2014), and enhanced their reading comprehension (Griffin & Dumestre, 1992-1993).

Eye tracking studies find that participants attended to closed captions and were able to read closed captions with ease (d’Ydewalle, Praet, Verfaillie, & van Rensbergen, 1991; d’Ydewalle & de Bruycker, 2007).

Many believe that close captioned videos are intended to help the hearing impaired or non-native English speakers, but the extant research demonstrates that closed captioned videos also benefit literate capable adults with no hearing impairment (Gernsbarcher, 2015). This study proposes that the use of closed caption videos in college classes can enhance students’ learning experience.

Closed Captions benefit everyone

According to the NCBI, more than 100 empirical studies, listed in the appendix, document the benefits of captions.

These studies report benefits to a wide swath of participants as measured by a wide swath of criteria: summarising main ideas (Markham, 2000–2001), recalling facts (Brasel & Gips, 2014), drawing inferences (Linebarger et al., 2010), defining words (Griffin & Dumestre, 1992–1993), identifying emotions (Murphy-Berman & Whobrey, 1983), and of course, answering multiple-choice comprehension questions (Hinkin, Harris, & Miranda, 2014; Markham & Peter, 2002–2003; Murphy-Berman & Jorgensen, 1980).

The numerous empirical studies referenced in the appendix demonstrate that captions benefit everyone who watches videos, from younger children to older adults.

Captions are particularly beneficial to persons watching videos in their non-native language, children and adults learning to read, and persons who are D/deaf or hard of hearing.
Gernsbacher M. A. (2015). Video Captions Benefit Everyone. Policy insights from the behavioral and brain sciences, 2(1), 195–202.