Internet users prefer to “read” your videos

Three quarters of Internet users prefer to watch a subtitled video in muted mode on their mobile device. (Photo: 123RF)

It seems more common to consume videos without sound and play the subtitles than to listen to it at full volume, suggests the most recent North American poll from the firm Sharethrough. And that could have an impact on both mobile and television advertising.

In fact, 75% of the respondents to this survey affirmed to consult their video in mute mode. This figure climbs to 86% among 25-34 year olds.

When watching from their mobile device, 72% of consumers even say they are more interested in video content that includes captions, than those without. On the computer, this percentage rises to 60%.

Familiar with this shift in consumer behavior over the past few years, Sharethrough VP Marketing and Communications Ben Skinazi was not surprised by these numbers. At most, they confirmed his intuition.

What stunned him and his team, however, was that half of the viewers used captions on a regular basis. “So much so that when we received the results, we discussed them among ourselves. But we realized that around us, a large number of people often listen to television with subtitles ”.

This technique of activating the subtitles when watching series to better understand the lyrics is not new in itself. Indeed, Sharethrough who works in the field of marketing and advertising had already noticed that the most effective combination to convey a message, it is that of the image and the text, underlines Ben Skinazi.

The company even managed to measure that understanding of commercials increased by 56% when a video included captions. Hence the importance, according to him, for companies to add “this essential” to their audiovisual content.

Especially since technology makes it practically possible to do it in real time, like on Instagram for example. Ben Skinazi, however, warns companies that rely only on their voice recognition tool to write this text.

“Human verification is still needed. We cannot afford to broadcast advertisements with faults, ”he warns.

The reign of mobile

It’s no coincidence, according to Sharethrough’s VP Marketing and Communications, that captions have carved out such an important place in our visual field. “The mobile has become the first screen. A large part of video consumption is done more on the mobile with the mountain of content now available ”, which tint the behavior of the consumer on other screens, recalls Ben Skinazi.

However, he argues that companies shouldn’t say goodbye to their TV ad campaign, though 79% of survey respondents said they check their mobile device during these breaks. However, he suggests riding the wave, and offering consumers the type of content they like to view, such as captioned TV commercials.

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