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BizReport : Internet : March 25, 2009

PLYmedia: Subtitles increase video viewing time

PLYmedia, a company specializing in the enrichment of online video by overlays of interactive content or help with the spoken word, has released findings of a survey into the effects of subtitles on video viewing.

by Helen Leggatt

Subtitles encourage consumers to watch video content for longer, found PLYmedia in a recent trial where captions and subtitles were overlaid onto video content. The results showed that videos with subtitles increased the duration of time a user spent watching the content by 40%.

Videos that didn't have subtitles were watched, on average, 66% to completion whereas subtitled videos attained 91%.

Internal research from PLYmedia, released last year, also found that viewers watching subtitled video were more likely to share the content, boosting its viral potential.

"The results from the trial prove that subtitles and closed captioning have a substantial effect on online video viewing", said Yoni Silberberg, co-founder and director of Business Development at PLYmedia. "We've proved the opportunity lost for online publishers not using subtitles."

Many of the viewers of subtitled content hit the 'mute' button, probably those in environments where sound was an issue such as the office or public spaces such as a library.

The use of subtitles also makes video content more accessible to those who have hearing difficulties and viewers whose first language isn't English.

PLYmedia launched SubPLY last year. The easy-to-use service adds subtitles and captioning to video content.

Tags: accessible, captioning, online video, subtitles, video content

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