Text Vs. Video – A War that Cannot be Won

Contact us now for an accurate quote within 1 hour: info@kwintessential.co.uk Contact us

We’re in the future – instant access to every conceivable piece of information, all delivered on a screen that fits in a pocket. And the biggest area of growth? Video.

People consume a billion hours of YouTube per day, and video consumption is tipped to grow even larger, predicted to account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2021. In the war for eyeballs, video is king – but this king has married into royalty, and would be absolutely nothing without the queen of the internet; text.

Is Text in Decline?

Well, reading books and newspapers might be on a downward trend – but online text consumption is way up, displacing the print that preceded it. Text it seems is still a big player. But what does it have to do with video?

Context, delivery, headlines – these all play an important role in getting users to click on the play button. What’s more, transcribed video is almost essential in today’s video-first world, and big video platforms, notably Facebook, have begun automatically inserting subtitles into video – which, like YouTube captions, often miss the mark.

But why are subtitles being forced upon us?

It’s all to do with user behaviour and a shift in culture.

Silent Running

If you were to survey, you’d probably find that most people’s phones are always on silent, set to vibrate only with notifications, and to render media (like video) mute when played. Social norms still dictate when it’s okay to watch videos – and an awful lot of us seem to watch videos when it’s not okay.

Smartphones are now our televisions, newspapers, and diaries – but they’re also our biggest escape from reality. With video, sound is integral to the information exchange – but more and more people are leaning towards silence in communication.

Generation Mute, as they’re called, will consume hours of silent video – but what good is video without sound? Lots – but only if you add captions.

Captioned video engagement is higher than videos that have none, in a world where 85% of Facebook users are running their devices on mute.

But reliance on automated captioning can run brands into trouble; it’s unreliable and homophones are mistakenly inserted, often to detrimental effect.

To avoid the pitfalls of auto-captioning, use a transcription agency – like Kwintessential.


Subtitling videos has another great benefit – accessibility. Deaf users can make the most of online videos, movies, and TV when this simple step is adhered to. It also makes video content international by allowing for bespoke, localised translations and dubs to be made. You only have to look at the surge in popularity of Korean film and Japanese animation to garner the inspiration to take the leap.

We live in a world of wonderful variety, and keeping content to one culture, language, and walling content for disabled people is a step back – especially when it’s never been so easy.

So, if your business wants to take video seriously, make sure you’ve got your captions covered.

Contact Kwintessential

For professional video transcription, contact Kwintessential today. Our extensive pool of qualified and experienced transcribers can help deliver transcribed audio in any language, for all common formats.

Call (UK +44) 01460 279900 or send a message to info@kwintessential.co.uk

Achieve Your Global Potential

Contact us now for your translation needs, and we promise to respond within an hour. Call us on 01460 279900 or send us a message to get started.

Contact us