Vimeo Live Captioning: Learn How You Can Expand Your Reach

By: Verbit Editorial
man holding up a camera in front of his face

According to the latest user stats, over 60 million creators are currently producing content and live-streaming on Vimeo. Vimeo bills itself as an “interactive video experience platform” that offers users an all-in-one interface for creating, sharing, organizing and analyzing live and recorded video content. The platform is becoming increasingly popular for creators and business leaders looking to communicate virtually with internal and external audiences.  

Vimeo’s live-streaming platform currently hosts a wide variety of virtual events like webinars, conferences and meetings. These virtual offerings present opportunities for brands to expand their reach while communicating with their target audiences more efficiently and effectively. To further maximize the value of these live communications, many creators implement live captioning technology to make their live streams more inclusive and accessible to diverse audiences. Let’s explore the ins and outs of adding captions to live video streamed on Vimeo.  

Introduction to live captioning 

Fundamentally, captioning refers to the process of converting audio to on-screen text. Captions are meticulously timed to sync up with their corresponding audio, allowing users to follow along in real-time. Captions are a valuable resource for viewers who cannot engage with a video’s original audio track due to disability, physical location, background noise or other environmental factors.  

While editors commonly add captions to recorded video content during post-production, it is also possible to add captions to live video content streaming on Vimeo. Thanks to its live-streaming capabilities, Vimeo offers users a comprehensive virtual meeting platform that allows attendees to tune in simultaneously from different time zones and locations. These virtual offerings make it possible for a team member to join a meeting from their phone, tablet or computer and take notes and collaborate with their associates in real-time.  

Despite the convenience of virtual communications, it’s important to consider that some community members require additional support to meaningfully engage with video content, regardless of whether it’s live-streamed or pre-recorded. Individuals with certain disabilities may require accommodations like captioning to participate equitably in virtual meetings, webinars and other events. Adding live captions to these remote offerings can help support the diverse needs of modern workforces and ensure more streamlined messaging for all virtual attendees.  

person with two monitors setup and a microphone for live streaming

Benefits of live captioning on Vimeo  

First and foremost, adding live captions to live Vimeo content can help significantly improve accessibility. Anyone sharing information online must follow web accessibility guidelines that exist to protect and prioritize the needs of individuals with disabilities and specific learning needs.  

Beyond mere compliance, however, adding captions to live communications is crucial for supporting audience members who:  

Captions offer an alternative way of sharing and receiving audio or video information. With these additional opportunities for audience engagement, it’s possible to communicate more effectively with diverse audiences. In addition to supporting the needs of specific individuals with disabilities, live captioning can also enhance overall audience engagement.  

Viewers and streamers must contend with several variables when communicating virtually. Adding accurate captions to live video content can help to safeguard against problems posed by poor audio quality or slow internet connections. Similarly, captions can enhance comprehension for any viewer joining a meeting from a noisy location. By mitigating the potential impact of background noise and other distractions, live captions make it possible for all virtual attendees to collaborate and engage more fully.  

How to enable live captioning on Vimeo 

Vimeo offers automatic live captioning options for creators sharing videos on the platform. However, this feature is currently only available to users with Advanced, Premium or Enterprise memberships and can only be enabled for recurring events. These auto-captioning solutions use a type of artificial intelligence software that receives and analyzes audio information and converts it to text. Google’s API powers Vimeo’s particular ASR software to generate live captions that display on screen. After a live stream, Vimeo saves the auto-captions with the video and makes it available for download as a separate caption file for future use.  

When creating a recurring event, users can enable auto-captions from the Auto CC tab on the left side of the preview page. From there, users can select the language of their captions and add any keywords they would like to include for enhanced speech detection. It’s important to keep in mind that Vimeo users are subject to captioning limits as dictated by their membership terms. For example, Premium users only receive two hours worth of caption time per year.  

While these auto-captioning features are convenient and easily accessible, it’s important to understand that computers are subject to certain limitations when it comes to accurately converting audio to text. For example, AI software often struggles to accurately represent audio from recordings with multiple speakers or poor audio quality. AI may also fail to correctly caption speakers with distinct accents and dialects. According to current estimates, Google’s ASR software is capable of achieving accuracy rates of around 84%. This level of accuracy may prove insufficient for supporting accessibility standards and guidelines. For this reason, Vimeo creators may wish to consider alternative means of live captioning their content.  

A camera captures a live stream of a woman speaking

Tools and services for live captioning on Vimeo 

Third-party captioning providers like Verbit can offer enhanced captioning solutions for Vimeo. Verbit uses a dual approach to captioning and transcription to deliver final captions that achieve the high levels of accuracy dictated by certain accessibility guidelines. Users can easily upload a recording of their previously streamed content to Verbit’s platform for captioning.  

Upon upload, a video is initially transcribed via highly advanced AI software. These transcriptions are then reviewed and edited for accuracy by one of Verbit’s professionally trained human transcribers. The final transcript will be used to create accurately-timed captions that sync perfectly with the video’s audio. With Verbit, captions are available for downloading in a variety of file formats that are compatible with social media sites and video hosting platforms.  

For live content, Verbit uses Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to intercept and caption a live stream before streaming it directly to Vimeo’s platform. Live captions will be produced by a human captioner to maximize accuracy before being shared with the live stream’s general audience. Once a live stream concludes, Verbit’s team will review and edit the captions to further enhance accuracy before making the caption file available for download in the user’s desired file format.  

This process works for a wide range of live content, including video podcasts, webinars, lectures, seminars and more. These captions can also support other communications like virtual meetings that take place over Vimeo. Additionally, users can convert caption files into transcript files that audience members can use as comprehensive meeting notes and reference tools.  

Case studies: Successful implementation of Vimeo live captioning 

Many creators and business leaders across multiple industries have witnessed firsthand the positive effects of supporting their content with live captions. Verbit is proud to partner with forward-thinking clients to help them communicate more effectively with diverse audiences.  

Recently, Verbit partnered with The Motley Fool to help them scale up their live streaming capabilities. The Motley Fool is a financial and investment advice company that streams roughly 40 hours of live video content every week. Verbit’s captions and transcriptions are helping make their broadcasting more engaging and accessible.  

Verbit’s platform enabled The Motley Fool to support the diverse needs of thousands of members, even as communications shift towards more virtual platforms like Vimeo. Through their self-described “close relationship with Verbit,” The Motley Fool can request tailor-made support for their members-only live streams, financial reporting and other communications. 

A woman working on a computer

Tips for optimizing live captioning on Vimeo 

To maximize the value of your Vimeo captions, it is important to ensure that your final caption files are as accurate as possible. The more accurate your captions are, the more effectively they can support your audience. That’s why it’s so important to partner with a professional caption provider like Verbit. In addition to accurately representing spoken text, Verbit’s captioners are well-versed in best practices for caption formatting and placement, as well as the nuances involved with captioning non-speech audio elements like music and sound effects. 

Verbit also offers additional solutions to optimize engagement during virtual events and meetings. For example, business leaders can take advantage of Verbit’s live minute and note-taking services for near-verbatim records of Vimeo communications without individual attendees needing to spend time typing or inking in note-taking platforms like OneNote. Users can also convert Verbit’s captions into a searchable transcript that serves as an interactive reference or study tool.  

Verbit delivers quality customer support around the clock so users can easily speak to a representative about their captioning and transcription needs without being subject to lengthy communication delays.  

Partnering with Verbit for Vimeo live captioning 

Vimeo’s live streaming capabilities offer business leaders and content creators enhanced opportunities to reach diverse, global audiences. Whether users are employing live video for their internal or external communications, all communications should be inclusive and accessible.  

Working with Verbit to add real-time captions to Vimeo content can help maximize viewer engagement while supporting web accessibility requirements. Verbit’s platform also offers a variety of seamless software integrations as well as bulk uploading capabilities to further streamline the live captioning process. Furthermore, Verbit’s platform prioritizes data security and privacy, so business leaders can comfortably request live captioning of even sensitive internal discussions.  

For more information about Verbit’s live captioning solutions or to learn more about how brands worldwide are using assistive technologies to communicate more effectively, reach out today to speak with a member of our team.