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Increase Online Video Viewing by 40%

Research Shows Subtitles Will Do Just That

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Research conducted by PLYmedia shows that subtitles in online videos increase the the amount of time a user spends watching them by 40%. Furthermore, in a comparison between subtitled videos to identical videos without subtitles, PLYmedia found that the videos with subtitles were watched 91% to completion, compared with 66% to completion for those without subtitles.

As a post at ReelSEO notes, "This is an important indicator for post-roll video advertising as well as for those videos that have a branding message or call to action at the end of the video."

eMarketer says that $6 billion will be spent in the US a year by 2013. There is expected to be tremendous growth each year before that:

US online video advertising spending

So why do the subtitles have such a huge impact? Certainly this helps in cases where the viewer is hearing impaired or speaks a different language from what the audio is presented in, but eMarkter notes that most of the targets of B2B marketers are in their office most of the day without their sound turned on.

Not a bad point to consider. eMarketer says viewing of videos on mute is expanded 20-fold with the addition of subtitles.

Effect of subtitles

For those already in the online video game, these probably aren’t statistics that should be ignored. If nothing else, subtitles make your videos more accessible. A way to turn them on/off is probably the best way to go, because many people would still prefer to view their videos without any added clutter on the screen.

Increase Online Video Viewing by 40%
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    good job

  • http://www.westcoastvinyl.com/installation.html West Coast Vinyl

    I like that they’re actually testing to see these neat stats. Having subtitles helps convey what the video is all about. This helps with the content on the video.

  • http://inchoo.net Toni Anicic

    Great and very useful article, as always Chris! You made some very nice points in this text.

    As not a native English speaker myself, I can confirm that in most cases videos with subtitles tend to be understood and accepted much better with non native English speaking population of the internet.

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Adam

    The accessibility benefits are obvious, but the fact that it makes such a difference to viewing figures is very surprising. I guess as far as advertising is concerned, this will make a massive difference – you’re increasing your audience by almost a third!

  • http://www.hovercraftcentral.com Daniel Drouillard

    I just thought about it a little and, it seems to me, the changes in video responses could be due in part to some people browsing with the sound turned off (or way down low).

    As a general rule, try not to put any critically important information in the bottom third of the screen. That way, you can always add or change subtitles later wothout losing anything significant.

    Other thoughts?

  • http://clubgreen.ning.com Gerhard Kaiser

    Thank`s for this great and useful article. I