VoiceBox, Part of Wolfestone Group

In today’s world, inclusivity and accessibility are not just ethical imperatives but also smart business strategies.

As our societal understanding of disability and accessibility grows, more and more businesses, services, and institutions are learning how best to engage all people.

One area where this is especially true is in the realm of content production, particularly for events and visual media, and a great example of this is the increasing use of open captions.

As event organisers, production managers, and PR professionals, it’s important to consider all potential audience members, including the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Alongside closed captions and subtitles, open captions are just one tool at our disposal to ensure inclusivity.

This is what we’re exploring today, seeing what the world of open captions has to offer, what benefits it can bring to your business, and how to get started.

Let’s jump right in!

What are Open Captions?

Open captions are a type of subtitle that’s permanently visible on the screen. 

If you’ve ever watched a TV program where subtitles appear on the screen, perhaps translating a foreign or perhaps even fictional piece of dialogue (Elvish, Dothraki), that’s an example of an open caption.

It’s part of the video, and a form of subtitles that can’t be turned off because it’s literally encoded into the content.

It’s the opposite of closed captions. Head over to YouTube and click on any video, and you’ll see the closed captions button at the bottom near the time bar. These are captions that viewers can turn on and off as they please.

While closed captions are beneficial because users can individually choose whether or not they want to see captions on platforms like YouTube, open captions do have a place in today’s world and can  be very beneficial when used properly in modern video and audio content.

The Importance of Open Captions

The use of open captions is integral for several reasons:

Improved Accessibility

According to the World Health Organization, over 5% of the world’s population – or 430 million people – have disabling hearing loss. That’s more than the population of the entire United States. 

When you’re using open captions, you’re allowing this significant portion of the population to engage with your content without putting in any effort.

Enhanced Understanding

Even for those without hearing impairments, open captions can improve comprehension, particularly in noisy environments or when the speaker has a strong accent.

How often do you go on Instagram or Facebook to scroll through Reels, watch videos, or engage in Shorts, and end up reading the captions on the screen instead of listening to the video audio itself?

According to the latest research, 69% of people watch videos with no sound on when in public, and 25% watch videos silently when at home or in a private space. When you’re using open captions, you’re allowing this surprisingly massive percentage of users to engage in the messaging you have to share.


The Benefits of Personalised Open Captions

In this sea of opportunities, personalised open captions have emerged as an invaluable tool. They not only improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, but they also provide enhanced user experiences catering to diverse audience preferences. 

Let’s delve into the profound benefits of these versatile textual aids and discover how they can amplify the impact of your content.

Improved Branding Options

By far the most obvious benefit of using open captions is the ability to further your branding and to create personalised, recognisable content that your audience resonates with.

Instead of just using your hosting platform’s default subtitle fonts, you can choose the colours, backgrounds, and fonts of your caption text. This creates familiarity as well as a distinct brand while also giving you more control over your messaging.

For example, you can choose to highlight and bold certain words or phrases. You can add emphasis to specific quotes. You can add effects to make a specific phrase stand out.

All of this improves your branding, helps your video content stand out, and helps to create a unique and engaging experience that gets your viewers more interested and invested in what you have to say.

Improved Brand Consistency

Hand in hand with the point above, customising the appearance of your captions can maintain brand consistency across all your content. Again, the subtitles on Facebook, Instagram ads, and YouTube are all different.

This creates a different experience for the same customer engaging with your content on different platforms and makes your brand look the same as everybody else who isn’t using an open caption approach.

Instead, you get to take control and allow your brand to shine the same whether a viewer is watching you, ultimately aiding brand recall and reinforcing your brand identity.

Improved Readability

The use of different colours can make your captions more readable, ensuring that all viewers understand your content. You can also control features like size, font, background, and styling. 

If you want to get super creative and have your open captions become one of the main features of your content, you can. If you want it to be subtle but still assist in how effectively you can broadcast your message, you have that opportunity.

This is the key to understanding the power of open captions. You can either ignore this opportunity and fall behind, or take control, embrace it, and then reap the rewards.

Increased Engagement

There’s no doubt that attractive and easy-to-read captions can enhance viewer engagement, encouraging viewers to watch your content for longer. Quite simply, 80% of viewers agree that they’ll watch a video to its end if it has captions.

The facts speak for themselves.

The Challenges and Solutions

Despite the clear benefits, incorporating open captions can be a challenge. 

It requires accurate transcription, synchronisation with the content, and consideration of caption positioning to avoid obscuring important visual elements.

Fortunately, you can make your life and content creation process far simply using our team’s expert experience here at Voicebox!

At Voicebox, we understand these challenges and have the expertise to overcome them. Our team of professionals is skilled in creating accurate, synchronised, and visually appealing open captions. 

We can customise the captions to match your brand, ensuring that your content is not only accessible but also consistent with your brand identity.

Long story short, making the most of open captions has never been easier!


Inclusivity and accessibility should be at the heart of content creation. 

By incorporating open captions into your content, you can ensure that your message reaches a broader audience, including the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. 

Moreover, personalised open captions can enhance brand consistency, improve readability, and increase viewer engagement.

Remember, every viewer matters. 

Every person who engages with your content is a potential customer, partner, or brand ambassador. By making your content accessible to all, you’re not just building a more inclusive world, you’re also expanding your audience and improving your bottom line.

Are you ready to make your content more accessible and reach a wider audience? 

Contact us at Voicebox today, and let’s work together to create an inclusive experience through open captions.