The Impact of Subtitles on Video Views

Looking for the latest YouTube hack? Well, subtitles and captions might just be the next thing you should focus on. We’re going to break down the subject of subtitles on YouTube and whether they really make a difference.

No matter where you are in your YouTube journey, there’s always more to learn to get better and grow your audience.

So if you’ve ever wondered, “Does adding subtitles increase views?”, we will explain everything you need to know about subtitles to make sure you’re doing everything you can to grow your channel.

What Are Subtitles and Captions?

What Are Subtitles and Captions

You might already know everything there is to know about subtitles. Great! But, just in case, we’ll give you a quick definition before looking into the truth of whether adding subtitles really makes any difference on YouTube.

Subtitles are captions that show up at the bottom or across the top of a video with the text of what the person is saying. You can either create them automatically on YouTube or add them in stylized ways on your own, in post-production.

Subtitles started out as an accessibility feature for people who are hard of hearing or deaf. They also were used a lot for foreign-language films, allowing viewers to follow along with the dialogue in English or whichever language they spoke being shown at the bottom of the screen.

But subtitles and captions have really gone mainstream in recent years and are being used a lot more than many people realize. Adding subtitles and captions is a good (and easy!) way to level up your YouTube game.

Subtitles Are In!

With so many of us watching videos on our smartphones, we’re not always in a position to watch them with the sound on. For instance, maybe you’re at a restaurant taking a break in conversation and checking out a quick video. Or maybe you’re on a train, subway or airplane and you don’t have your headphones in but still want to watch something.

Enter subtitles.

Even just taking a brief look at video content across all social media platforms, you’ll notice that the majority of videos now have captions and subtitles on.

Recent studies have shown that 69% of viewers watch video with the sound off when they’re in public places. And 92% of viewers watch online videos with the sound off on mobile devices like smartphones. Meta (formerly Facebook) once reported that 85% of all Facebook videos were watched with the sound off. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it.

And it’s not just for short-form content. Users are turning to captions even with longer videos.

One article summarized a few of the key stats regarding subtitle trends:

“80% of viewers are more likely to finish a video with subtitles. 80% of viewers respond negatively to video ads that auto-play sound. 37% of viewers said video subtitles encourage them to turn the sound on.”

And this last statistic really highlights how powerful it can be to add subtitles to YouTube videos. “One company saw a 7.32% total increase in YouTube views after adding subtitles.”

It should be obvious by now that subtitles can really make a big difference in increasing your YouTube views.

So what’s the best way to add them to your videos? We’ll take a look.

How to Add Subtitles to YouTube Videos

Thankfully, YouTube and the folks over at Google have made it really easy to automatically add subtitles and captions to your videos.

Here’s what YouTube Help has to say about the benefits: “Subtitles and captions allow you to share your videos with a larger audience, including deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers and viewers who speak another language.”

First, sign in to your YouTube Studio account. Then go to the left menu and select Subtitles.

Simply click on the video you want to add them to. Click ADD LANGUAGE and select the language you want the subtitles to appear in. Then just click the ADD button and you’re good to go!

YouTube also gives you the option to automatically create captions through its machine learning algorithms and speech recognition technology. Here’s what YouTube advises creators about automatic captions:

“These automatic captions are generated by machine learning algorithms, so the quality of the captions may vary. We encourage creators to add professional captions first. YouTube is constantly improving its speech recognition technology. However, automatic captions might misrepresent the spoken content due to mispronunciations, accents, dialects, or background noise. You should always review automatic captions and edit any parts that haven’t been properly transcribed.”

Finally, you can also use a third-party app to create subtitles and captions and there are a ton of good ones out there. This gives you more control and can make your videos stand out from the crowd with stylized captions.

An Easy Way to Increase Views and Watch Time

An Easy Way to Increase Views and Watch Time

If you’re not using subtitles and captions within your YouTube videos, what are you waiting for? This is an easy and quick way to make your content available to a wider audience, and to increase views and the length of time people watch your videos.

Just think back to two of the stats we read earlier. (1) An estimated 80% of people are more likely to finish a video with subtitles. So subtitles actually encourage people to finish your videos, increasing your watch time. And (2) one company saw a 7.32% increase in YouTube views after adding subtitles.

Don’t put this off! Add subtitles and captions to your videos and watch your YouTube metrics go up.

The Impact of Subtitles on Video Views: Does it Really Make a Difference?