Clearcast has partnered with subtitling specialist Digital Nirvana to increase the proportion of UK TV ads that are subtitled through a new online subtitling website, www.subtitlenow.com. The new service is designed to make it easy to upload an ad and receive a file of subtitles that can sent to broadcasters* (there’s a step by step guide to using the service here).
People use subtitles for a variety of reasons; they are used not just by the hard of hearing, but by parents watching TV with noisy kids, by people who want to catch every word of dialogue or song lyric, in noisy environments like pubs and clubs and quiet ones where the TV volume is turned down so as not to disturb others. The latest available Ofcom research on usage of subtitles (2006) showed that 7.5 million people use subtitles yet broadcaster data suggests that in 2017 only around 60% of ads were subtitled. Apart from the social responsibility implications of this, in purely commercial terms it means that advertisers are likely to be losing out by paying for viewers that can’t hear their messages.
The new subtitlenow.com service makes subtitling even easier by allowing agencies and post houses to upload an ad and receive back a file containing accurate subtitles within a few hours. Users can either upload and pay as they go or set up an account.
Clearcast’s business focused CSR objective for the next 12 months is to drive up usage of subtitling in advertising. By promoting the new subtitlenow.com service we hope to drive up awareness of the issue and the proportion of subtitled TV ads.
* The subtitles will need to be correctly placed relative to any on screen text and Clearcast can manage this, or the whole end to end process for you, as part of our Edit to Clear service.