Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Update on Captioning for our Members

In mid December, we reached our captioning goal for 2011, when more than 80% of the hours streamed in the US were of content with captions or subtitles available.  Thanks to hard work from our captioning team, we made significant strides from 40% in June and 60% in September.

We continue to require captions or subtitles from our providers for all new content where it is available, and we continue to author captions or subtitles for significant new content where it is missing.  Our goal is to provide more and more content with captions; however, viewers should expect the gap on the last 20% to narrow more slowly than in 2011, since it includes a large number of titles that are rarely watched, so each hour of captioning added adds less and less to the overall metric.

We welcome the FCC rule-making on captions and subtitles, since it helps align the industry on making captions and subtitles more available from the content suppliers, which can only help us all move forward in this important area.

In the US, almost 90% of streaming viewing is done using a player that is capable of displaying captions or subtitles (some older BD players, TVs, and set-top boxes are not capable, and unfortunately their firmware cannot be upgraded). Almost all Netflix-ready devices in distribution today (including all the game consoles, phone apps, tablet apps, TVs, BD players, AppleTV, and the Roku set-top box) are capable of rendering captions. For users without caption capability, the inexpensive Roku set-top box makes a great upgrade.

A full list of captioned and English subtitled content is available here, which can also be found in the link at the bottom of each page on the website, or by entering subtitles in the search box.

Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer.