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80% of Video Caption Users Aren't Hearing Impaired, Finds Verizon

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As viewers increasingly watch videos on mobile devices in public places, captions take on a greater importance. According to a survey conducted by Verizon Media and marketing and advertising agency Publicis Media, 80% of those who use captions don't have a hearing impairment. Also, 50% believe captions are important since they often watch videos with no audio, whether that's on a desktop or mobile device.

News 2Video viewing is increasingly done in public: 69% of those surveyed said they watched video with the sound off in public areas. What's more, 25% watch videos with no sound even in private. The top reasons given for watching with the sound off is that the viewer was in a quiet place, didn't have headphones, or was waiting in line.

Captions enhance video ads, as well, finds Verizon Media. For mobile viewers, seeing captions led to an 8% lift in ad recall and a 10% lift in ad memory quality. However, advertisers should be careful not to crowd the screen: Coupling a brand logo with captions on a mobile device led to a 12% decrease in ad memory. Doing so has a negative effect for highly emotional and visual ads.

“Leveraging captions isn’t just about addressing sound-off environments, it’s understanding the consumer mindset and creating greater advertiser opportunity than one would think,” says Helen Lin, chief digital officer for Publicis Media. “When done right, captioning not only does not detract from brand messaging, but leads to greater ad recall, memory quality, and brand linkage.”

The results come from an online survey of 5,616 U.S. adults age 18 to 54 conducted in April. For more results, view an infographic showing study highlights.

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