The Benefits of Speech to Text: Why Caption Videos and More


There are a number of reasons to caption your videos, and the benefits of speech to text are undebatable.

Think about it…

We’ve all scrolled through Facebook only to stop and watch a video without actually clicking on it. Of course, that’s really only happening with the videos that display captions so that we know what is going on in the video.

Whether we’re just too lazy to click on the video or simply aren’t in a place where we can play the sound, it’s certainly convenient to get caught up in a video that way.

According to Statista, American adults spend more than 5 hours per day watching videos. So, if you don’t adhere to the best practices and dos and don’ts of video production, your videos won’t stack up. 

What Is Speech-to-Text Technology?

Simply put, it is software that can listen to audio and return a transcript that is verbatim and editable. Typically, you’d want to clean up what the software spits out to make it more readable since we don’t speak the way we read. 

This technology has come a long way over the years, making it not only accessible to more marketers but also affordable. Another term you’ll hear tossed around is “automatic speech recognition (ASR) software.”

When you caption your videos using this technology, it makes your content more accessible for non-English speakers and those with hearing disabilities. Plus, there are many other benefits of speech to text, which we will also cover.

The Difference between Closed Captions & Subtitles

Understanding the lingo of speech to text is important because it ensures you choose the best solution for your company. So, let’s look at all the variations now.


Captioning divides the transcript text into sections that are called “caption frames” and then uses time-coding to match up the audio and text so they are happening at the same time. With this method, captions appear at the bottom of the video.

Captioning is recommended for…

Closed Captions

Closed captions (CC) are a type of captioning that puts the viewer in control of the captions with the ability to turn them on or off.

Because closed captions are there to help the audience understand what is happening in the video, this type includes sound effects, background noises, and speaker differentiation.

Open Captions

Open captions, otherwise known as burned-in or hard-copied captions, can’t be turned off by the viewer.


Subtitles, which are sometimes called multilingual captions, benefit viewers who either have hearing difficulties or don’t speak the same language as the presenter. Subtitles may also be used in part of a video that is inaudible. 

The simple explanation is that subtitles are more of a translation than a transcription.

5 Benefits of Speech to Text and Video Captioning

The benefits of speech to text are massive. In an on-the-go culture and a competitive business landscape, the following reasons demonstrate why you should caption your videos (if you’re not doing so already). 

1) It Helps You Avoid Legal Trouble

Believe it or not, it just might be illegal for you to put out videos that don’t include captioning. That’s because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that places of public accommodation, including websites, be accessible to people with disabilities.

Organizations have seen an increase in lawsuits when they don’t provide video captioning for people who have hearing difficulties. There have been other lawsuits related to a lack of accommodations for people who have visual impairments or other disabilities as well.

One case related to this issue that you may have heard about is the National Association of the Deaf vs. Netflix lawsuit requiring closed captioning on streaming video…

Needless to say, the last thing you want is for your business to wind up in legal trouble. By captioning your video/audio content so everyone may enjoy it, you can avoid such an issue. 

2) It Increases Your Audience

If you want to increase your audience (and who doesn’t?), an easy place to start is to caption your videos. There are multiple ways that this one change can boost your audience numbers.

Reach More Languages

The most notable of all benefits of speech to text is that it will help you reach people who don’t speak English as their first language.

Although 25% of internet users speak English, making it the most widely used language on the internet, 80% of YouTube viewers are located outside of the U.S. Plus, 22% of the people in America don’t speak English in their own homes.

By adding multilingual captions, you can reach more viewers and ensure they enjoy your content. And, your videos will rank in multiple languages in the SERPs as well. 

Reach Those with Hearing Difficulties

Videos are more popular than ever, but at the same time, the percentage of people with hearing difficulties is on the rise

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 466 million people in the world who have diagnosed hearing loss. And that number is expected to increase to 630 million by 2030 and 900 million by 2050.

When you utilize speech-to-text technology, you ensure that those with hearing loss (either partial or complete) have the same access to your video/audio content as everyone else. 

Reach More Scrollers

On Facebook, 85% of videos are watched without sound because people are just scrolling through their feed and don’t want to play the sound. 

At the same time, though, Facebook says that 41% of videos are meaningless when played without sound. Adding captions catches the eye of scrollers and makes your video watchable even without sound.

As a result, you don’t miss out on the chance to capture the attention of potential customers and deliver your content in a way that’s convenient for them. 

3) It Improves the User Experience

One of the greatest benefits of speech to text is that it helps improve the user experience (UX)—something you should always aim for. That’s why making use of this technology is strongly recommended. 

Captioning your videos doesn’t just improve the experience for those who don’t speak English as a first language and for people with certain disabilities; it improves UX in several other ways:

A study by the University of South Florida found that 99% of students feel captions are helpful in learning about a topic. That’s a pretty telling statistic!

4) It Improves Average Watch Time

Every YouTuber knows that average watch time is a key metric to measure if you want to improve your rankings, earnings, and reputation on YouTube. 

When you caption your videos, you immediately grab your viewers’ attention and you can hold their focus for longer; therefore, your average watch time will improve.

5) It Improves Your Ranking in the SERPs

Bots can’t index the content of a video, but they do index captioning text. So, by including keywords in your captions, it’ll be much easier for your video to be displayed in search results. 

It does this in several ways:

What the Data Says about the ROI of Speech to Text

Now that you understand the benefits of speech to text and why you should caption your videos, we know what you’re wondering…

You want to know if the return on investment is worth it. 

Rev published the Speech to Text Report for 2020 for which they surveyed individuals in various industries about their use of speech to text and captioning services. When asked if they experienced a positive ROI from speech to text, only 7% said no.

Discovery Digital Networks (DDN) also conducted a controlled study to determine what effect closed captions would have on their YouTube videos. They found that there was a 7.32% increase in views when they included captions. 

They also determined that captioning has the power to provide more than 10 times the return on investment.

Final Thoughts 

If you’re using audio and/or video as part of your overall content marketing strategy, it’s crucial that you make your non-text-based content as convenient and accessible as possible. The benefits of speech to text might not have been there years ago, but as the technology to caption your videos has improved, it has become a no-brainer. If you aren’t doing it, you’re missing out—plain and simple. 


At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

Stay Up To Speed in the Ever Changing World of Marketing!

Sign-up today for FREE, monthly marketing tips, loopholes, and news to EXPLODE your Return on Investment!


Share your knowledge and gain exposure by becoming a guest author on our blog! Learn how to write for us.

Filed Under: Tools & Technology