Falling on Deaf Ears

So streaming media is a popular thing these days. It’s easy to do for the most part, fun, convenient, entertaining, not terribly expensive, and can be pretty informative. And the best part, you don’t have to be ABC or CBS to do it. Basically anyone can have their own little streaming piece of media. The largest example of these…YouTube. 

Honestly, I love streaming media. I’m a Grey’s Anatomy junkie and sometimes my husband purposely accidentally deletes it, so I can’t get my fix. The solution….get online! I can get Grey’s pumping through my computer like Morphine in an IV. Ahh and I’m in heaven finally able to get my fix. 

But, what about those who can’t hear. What about those who for whatever reason are deaf or partially deaf? I want them to have their fix of Grey’s too! Televisions have closed captioning, why wouldn’t the Internet? It’s been mandated down that all companies except for new ones, those who generate less than $3 million in revenue and the Internet must have closed captioning. Why though is the Internet any different? The Internet is slowly becoming it’s own little television, so shouldn’t closed captioning come with that? 

And, wouldn’t companies want to include closed captioning on their streaming media? Think of all the people they could reach that they don’t reach now. Think of the ability to advertise to the deaf via streaming media. It makes sense to attract these customers as well, and in the future I hope companies will feel he need to make more of an effort to do so. And, apparently so does Streaming Media Magazine. Take a look. 

Today, captioning is mandatory for all broadcast media with a few exceptions, such as new companies, companies with less than $3 million in revenue, and internet channels. There are certain character and font limitations, such as no more than 32 characters per line, equidistant lettering in which an “I” must be as wide as a “W,” and a number of other rules to ensure that the captioning produced is compatible with all chips and players. The cost of captioning is somewhat heavy on the budget, as companies are often charged about $600 per hour depending on the vendor and the care devoted to breakdown and aesthetics. Then, the network or content manager either accepts responsibility for the encoding or outsources the task.

But in the near future, the cost of captioning, which has been a valuable investment in a needy segment of our society, could become an investment to attract both the viewing public and new sources of global revenue for many of the world’s media-content distributors, from cable to the web.

 

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