Closed captioning and transcription may seem similar at first glance because both convert audio to text.
However, there are different processes for closed captions and transcripts. And both have their unique applications and advantages.
Choosing the right one for your podcast will depend on your needs.
Here, we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of closed captioning and live transcription. Then, you can figure out which is best for your podcast.
How Does Closed Captioning Work?
Closing captions (CC) provide extra information by visually presenting text. Closed captions on a screen are more than a direct speech-to-text conversion. They can include descriptions of non-speech elements.
Closed captioning is a technology developed to assist the hearing impaired. But it has proved to be helpful in a variety of situations. As an example, CC would be perfect for screens in a busy place with a lot of noise.
CC splits transcript text into “caption frames” that synchronize with the audio. Closed captions are the output of this process, and they appear at the bottom of the screen. As a result, viewers can read the captions alongside the video or audio in real-time.
People with hearing impairments can benefit from closed captions. In closed captions, the audio is as if it were not audible to the viewer. It also includes all off-screen sounds.
How Does Transcription Work?
Transcription is the process of converting an audio recording into plain text. Often, transcribers listen to audio files and type out what they heard.
Closed captions are not the same as transcriptions. But, transcriptions don’t have any time-coding. Therefore, transcribers can only create transcriptions after they produce video or audio files.
Fortunately, modern technology has enabled live transcription. Transcribing speech to text in real-time makes it convenient. In addition, live transcripts can be used for cases where developing accurate closed captions would be too complex.
The process of live transcription is automated. However, it is not as accurate as closed captioning. In addition, live transcription can be affected by a variety of factors.
What Is the Difference Between Transcription and Captioning?
The transcript itself will not include any time information. Instead, it is a plain-text output from transcription.
“Caption frames” are chunks of transcript text synchronized with the audio of a video. A caption appears usually at the bottom of the video though there are times when a viewer can choose where they want to place it. It depicts speech and sound effects. In addition, it identifies speakers and helps identify sounds that are not clear.
The Benefits of Captioning for Your Podcast
The benefits of accurate closed captions for podcasts are many. Often, the law requires closed captions.
Closed captioning makes video content accessible to the hearing impaired. Additionally, it can help viewers with learning or attention deficits to maintain focus. It also makes it easier for ESL speakers to follow along.
According to a Facebook study, almost 41% of videos would be impossible to follow without sound or captions. As well as helping viewers understand dialogue, captions allow viewing in a quiet environment. In the same Facebook study, captions increased the time spent watching videos by 12%.
The Benefits of Transcription for Your Podcast
Transcription is a valuable addition to your video and audio content. But it’s also a helpful accessibility tool.
Transcripts can be used for a variety of purposes in podcasts and radio shows. For example:
- Enhance the user experience
- Accessible content for ESL learners
- Improve your search engine optimization
Why You Should Transcribe Your Podcasts
You Can Turn Podcasts Into Videos
Online environments today rely heavily on visuals. Images and videos are at the heart of platforms like:
Podcasts that only offer audio do not share this same level of customer engagement. Since podcasts can’t share audio files online, they’re converting episodes into captioned videos. It would be helpful if you use podcast tools to ensure clear audio to transcribe later.
With podcast transcriptions, creators can add audio captions to a photo background. In addition, you can create another form of content through your transcripts. Video podcast creators can now share to other social media platforms making promotion and sharing easier.
You Can Share Your Content Easily
Listeners remain engaged through educational, interesting, or entertaining podcasts. You want your message to resonate with your audience, regardless of your genre or topic.
Quoting is the easiest way to keep your content top of mind, whether in a tweet, blog post, or article.
By providing transcripts for each podcast episode, your listeners can search for the content they like. Then, they could copy the line and link it back to you as the source.
As a result, your media will be more shareable, and you will also gain credit for it.
You Can Improve Your Search Engine Rankings by Transcribing Podcasts
Search engines cannot crawl or read the audio content. Transcribing your content will increase the discoverability of the podcast and brand. Search engines can pick up on your podcast and expand your reach by including keywords.
Case study results show that transcribed audio can increase your website traffic by 4.36%. In addition, closed captions are also proven to improve search engine optimization.
Your podcast will be more likely to be discovered by new listeners. Transcriptions improve your search rankings and traffic to your website. Current listeners will be able to find and share your content more.
Making Podcast Transcriptions Will Give You a Better Understanding of Your Content
Transcripts are not just a collection of words. They have incredible potential to help with content creation. An hour of the recorded podcast can cover a wide range of topics and issues.
You can use the transcripts of these recordings to create extra content. They can be:
- social media posts
- episode descriptions
- blog articles
- speaker quotes
You can use all the extra content to promote your reach.
In the process, you’ll promote both your podcast episode and your brand. By doing so, you will save a lot of time.
You’re More Accessible if You Transcribe Podcasts
According to studies, over 15% of adults over 18 report hearing difficulties. Unfortunately, this significant part of the population is left behind in audio content like podcasts. Transcripts and closed captioning can help you reach these people.
Audio content may also be complex for other populations. Examples would be non-native English speakers or those with ADD. However, transcripts and captions make your content accessible to a broad audience.
Other factors may also make listening to an audio-only podcast difficult for consumers. For example, transcripts will help your listeners gain a better understanding of your content. They could also pick up on words they missed. It may take a lot of effort to transcribe audio, but it is surely worth it.