Access on demand: captioning and audio description on video on demand services

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Media Access Australia's Access on Demand provides a comprehensive report on the accessibility of video-on-demand (VOD) services in Australia and other countries. With people increasingly turning to the internet to watch TV, the report shows that many VOD services lack captioning and audio description. Only three of Australia’s five catch-up TV services provide captions, and most of the subscription services do not.

The report notes the importance of access regulation. In the US, anything broadcast with captions on TV must also be captioned for the internet. This is the main reason why caption levels on Netflix, which recently launched in Australia, are so high – close to 100 per cent. The report, written by Media Access Australia’s project manager for television, Chris Mikul, recommends that captioning be introduced on all catch-up TV services by the end of 2015, and all video-on-demand services by the end of 2016. If this does not happen voluntarily, the government should step in and make it mandatory.

Download the report:

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Tags: TV & video