How Kaltura Captioning Can Help Make Online Events More Engaging

By: Verbit Editorial
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Recent research indicates that 49% of businesses currently host between 20 and 30 virtual events each year. Kaltura is growing in popularity as the platform of choice for many of today’s companies, including brands, media entities and learning institutions. Kaltura is a cloud-based software that offers a wide range of online solutions for everything from video sharing to live webinar hosting.

While business leaders continue to use Kaltura and similar platforms to produce more events each year, they also report underwhelming audience engagement. Factors like poor internet connection and subpar audio/microphone quality are just a couple of hurdles event planners must address. While there’s no one fix for all of these challenges, many who are hosting virtual events and webinars are now using the built-in Kaltura closed captioning to help keep audiences engaged.

Captioning was initially thought of as a solution to accommodate individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Now, its benefits are many, and individuals without hearing loss often prefer to use them as an extra visual aid and reference point.

Incorporating closed captioning

Captioning refers to converting audio and video recordings to on-screen text. Captions convey the spoken audio from videos, as well as sound effects, pauses, music cues and more. This visual representation of audio elements helps to improve engagement for those who may not be able to hear.

Closed captioning refers to a form of captioning that allows users to enable or disable captions at their own discretion while watching a video. Oftentimes, closed captions appear at the top or bottom of a screen in a white subtitle font encased within a black box. Users can generally turn closed captions on and off via remote control or an on-screen [CC] button.  

What are the benefits of closed captioning?

There are many reasons a creator, marketer or business leader may choose to caption their video content. Here are a few of the benefits of captioning digital media. 

Greater Accessibility

Captioning video content improves accessibility for audience members with disabilities. Accurate captions provide more equitable viewing experiences for individuals who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Captions can also support the needs of those with ADHD and auditory processing disorders. Additionally, accurate captions also help to support accessibility standards and guidelines like the Americans with Disabilities Act. In many cases, accessibility laws even make offering captions a legal requirement. 

Improved Messaging

Captioning both live and recorded video content is a great way to ensure your message gets across. Viewers may be tuning in from a variety of environments, many of which aren’t conducive to listening to video audio. Also, audio quality can fluctuate throughout a webinar or virtual event. Luckily, with on-screen captions, you can clarify anything that may be muffled or hard to hear. It’s also important to remember that an increasing number of people choose to watch online video content with the sound off. Captions can help support the viewing experiences of the 69% of people who watch videos on mute when, for instance, they’re in public spaces. 

Increased visibility

Converting audio to text is an excellent way for a brand to boost its online discoverability. The content of a video is not capable of being “crawled” by major search engines. As a result, video content alone does not necessarily have a significant impact on a company’s SEO ranking. However, providing the text of a video allows search engines to crawl the content. This step is one way to improve the brand’s ranking within search results.  

How to Add Captions to Kaltura Video

If you want to create more accessible, engaging content, you should consider offering Kaltura captions to your audience. The Kaltura Management Console allows users to upload their own caption files for their videos via the following steps:

  1. Select the Content tab and click your desired entry.
  2. Select the Captions tab.
  3. Click Add Caption.
  4. Label your caption file (i.e., “English”).
  5. Select your caption language from the drop-down menu.
  6. Select your file type (SRT, DXFP or VTT).
  7. Select Upload File and choose your desired caption file.
  8. Toggle the bar to reflect the accuracy rate of your caption file (default is 100%).
  9. Select Add Caption.
  10. Select your default caption file in the Actions column.
  11. Click Save.

In order to add Kaltura subtitles and captions this way, a user must first have an accurate caption file on hand. You can create your caption file manually. Unfortunately, this process can be extremely time-consuming. Furthermore, individuals without professional training are prone to making a significant number of transcription errors. Captions that include many errors can compromise the viewing experiences of those affected by hearing loss or other disabilities. Even a few errors can confuse viewers, causing the loss of the video’s messaging.

Users looking to efficiently generate accurate captions for their Kaltura content can instead partner with a professional video captioning service like Verbit. Verbit uses artificial intelligence software in conjunction with a vast network of professional human transcribers. Together, Verbit’s technology and trained professionals provide accuracy rates of up to 99% in a way that’s scalable and efficient.

When users upload their videos to Verbit’s platform, our advanced automatic speech recognition software creates a draft of the transcript. Next, a professional human transcriber will review and edit the transcript to provide accuracy. The transcript then becomes a caption file that matches the timing of the video’s audio track. You can request the final file from Verbit in various formats, including those compatible with Kaltura’s interface.

kaltura captioning

Does Kaltura Offer Live Captioning?

The process outlined above is great for adding captions to a Kaltura video recording, but what about Kaltura captioning for live events? Through its partnership with Verbit, Kaltura can offer streamlined captioning workflows for both recorded and live content.

Verbit’s software integrations for Kaltura allow viewers to request captions or a Kaltura transcript directly from within the platform. During a live event, Verbit will generate captions in real-time to improve audience engagement and accessibility. After the event, Verbit’s team will review and edit these captions to ensure optimal accuracy for all future viewers. If a user decides to post the recording of their Kaltura event on another media hosting platform, they can download Verbit’s caption file from Kaltura’s Management Console. Once you download the file, you can re-upload it to other sites and expand the video’s reach.

Verbit: A Trusted Partner of Kaltura

Kaltura offers users a wide range of options when it comes to sharing and hosting media on their platform. Many individuals, brands and institutions are turning to Kaltura for their digital media needs, and Kaltura relies on Verbit to make those videos accessible. As a leading provider of accessibility technology, Verbit is helping creators improve the quality of their communications.

Verbit offers a full suite of technology solutions like captioning, transcription, translation and audio description. These solutions support the creation of more inclusive, engaging content across a number of platforms. Whether you’re looking to provide live captions for your next webinar or to transcribe your backlog of recorded media content, Verbit’s optimized workflows and seamless integrations make quick work of even large-scale accessibility projects. Reach out and connect with Verbit to learn more about our partnerships with industry-leading media companies like Kaltura.