What Percentage of TV Viewers Use Closed Captions and Why?

Did you know that approximately 37.8 million Americans rely on closed captions to watch TV? That’s a significant number! This article will discuss the benefits of closed captions and why more and more people are using them to enjoy their favorite TV shows. 

We will also take a look at the latest industry research on closed captioning usage rates. Stay tuned for more information!

What Closed Captions Are?

Closed captions are a text representation of the audio content of a video. They are typically used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing but can also be useful for viewers in noisy environments or those who speak a different language from the audio track. Closed captions can be either “open” or “closed”. 

Open captions are always visible, while closed captions can be turned on and off by the viewer. Closed captioning is required by law for all television programming in the United States. The text is typically placed at the bottom of the screen and synchronized with the video so that viewers can read it while they watch. 

Captions can also include information about sound effects and music. In recent years, some video streaming services have begun to offer automatic captioning, which uses speech recognition technology to generate captions automatically.

The Benefits of Closed Captions

Although closed captioning is most commonly used by individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, it can also be beneficial for people who are trying to learn a new language, are in a noisy environment or have difficulty understanding accents. 

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In addition, closed captioning can be helpful for people who want to watch a video but do not want to disturb others around them. Closed captioning can be done manually or automatically, and it does not require any special equipment. 

As a result, it is an accessible and effective way to make videos more accessible for everyone. Therefore, many of the viewers are using the service of closed captioning companies to get the best experience.

Why More and More People Are Using Them?

There are several reasons why more and more people are using closed captions when watching TV or movies. One reason is that it can be difficult to hear the audio on some devices, particularly if there is background noise. 

Closed captions can help to make the dialogue clearer and easier to follow. Another reason is that closed captions can be a great way to learn a new language. By seeing the words as well as hearing them, it can be easier to pick up new vocabulary and grammar rules. 

Additionally, many people appreciate having the option to read along with the dialogue, particularly if they are hard of hearing or have difficulty understanding spoken English. Whether for practical or educational reasons, it’s no wonder that closed captioning is becoming increasingly popular.

Latest Industry Research on Closed Captioning Usage Rates

The latest industry research shows that closed captioning usage rates are steadily increasing. In 2010, the Nielsen Company found that approximately 12 percent of all TV viewers used closed captions regularly. 

By 2016, that number had increased to 17 percent. And, in 2017, a study by the Pew Research Center found that 30 percent of adults aged 18-29 used closed captions when watching TV. 

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The increase in closed captioning usage can be attributed to several factors, including the growing availability of captioning options on streaming services and the increasing popularity of automatic captioning. Following the increase in popularity and demand, More movie theaters are allowing the use of closed captions.

As more and more people learn about the benefits of closed captioning, that usage rates will likely continue to rise.

Do All New TVs Have Closed Captioning?

Many new TV models now come with built-in subtitle capabilities due to the growing demand of viewers for closed captioning. 

However, not all new TV models offer closed captioning; it is important to check the features list before making a purchase. Additionally, some TV models may require an additional purchase of a closed captioning decoder to enable the feature. Whether you are looking for a new TV or simply want to make sure your current model is equipped with closed captioning, doing your research ahead of time will help ensure that you have access to this important feature.


Closed captioning is a great way to make sure you don’t miss any dialogue, learn a new language, or follow along with a movie without disturbing those around you. 

The latest industry research shows that closed captioning usage rates are on the rise, and many new TV models now come with built-in subtitle capabilities. However, not all new TV models offer closed captioning; it is important to check the features list before making a purchase. 

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