If you work for (or own) a company that has video content posted to your website, you may have heard of WCAG 2.0, or that you'll need to start captioning your videos soon. So, what's the deal?
For many years, the FCC has maintained guidelines for broadcast video, including commercials, that dictate how television networks, cable operators, and local affiliates should present content to make it accessible to those with disabilities (mainly closed-captioning for the hearing-impaired).
Up until now, guidelines for web-based video have been fairly relaxed. If you wanted to provide closed-captioning for your web-based testimonial video; great. But if you didn't want to go through that extra work, there was nothing stopping you. With the speed that people are putting out web content, captioning and transcription creation is - unfortunately - often skipped.
Aside from the SEO benefits of transcribing (more on this below) the FCC has introduced WCAG 2.0, or Web Content and Accessibility Guidelines v2, which will now bring the captioning requirements previously reserved for broadcast content to web-based video. In short, this means that if your web video content isn't currently captioned or transcribed, it needs to be by the end of 2019.
If you work with a production company to produce your content, chances are that they already provide this service for you (at least they should). If you produce your own content, such as testimonial clips, etc. with a simple camera or phone, then you'll need to incorporate captions into your videos (yes, even the ones you've already posted) in order to stay in compliance. Some hosts, such as YouTube, provide solutions where AI can generate captions for you - but keep an eye on them to ensure that they're accurate - or you can upload your own caption files in the editor section.
Aside from keeping the FCC happy, there are distinct benefits of providing transcripts for your videos on your site. Google Analytics will read the content of the transcription files, which provides SEO advantages. This effectively provides an extra layer of content, and if you post video content regularly, can help you stay on top of search results more easily.