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  • Writer's pictureSlava

Subtitles vs Audio for YouTube Videos

Updated: May 30, 2023

Every content creator wants their video to be seen by as many people as possible. And logically, these videos should be easy to understand in order to get more likes and higher the engagement rate.


In the nutshell, the main thing here is the quality of content and its correspondence with the needs and interest of the audience.


How Make More People Watch My Videos


Reaching out the most of the audience, we create videos in English, an international language. However, only 15% of the global audience can understand English at a decent level and accordingly, prefer translation.


When it comes to foreign-language videos, people have 3 main scenarios:

  • adding voice over (preferred by the majority)

  • upload subtitles on YouTube videos (for lovers of everything original and language learners)

  • viewing in the original (if you are lucky 15%)

Upload Subtitles for YouTube


Why should one add subtitles for YouTube? After all, we hear original voices, original intonations — often, voice over may sound strange (we refer here to non-professional dubbing, or fan dub).


Create subtitles in YouTube is not as difficult: often YouTube can create automatic subtitles to your videos. If you care more about the quality, you can ask professionals, for example, we at voxqube always transcribe and translate the content before dubbing — you can easily use the translation as subtitles.


How to add subtitles to your YouTube video:

  1. Sign in to YouTube Studio.

  2. From the left menu, select Subtitles.

  3. Click the video that you'd like to edit.

  4. Click ADD LANGUAGE and select your language.

  5. Under subtitles, click ADD.

The main disadvantages of adding subtitles to your video:

  • It is necessary to look up and down in order to cover both the picture and the text with your eyes. The visually larger the screen, the more the eye will have to cover;

  • The second argument against getting subtitles to YouTube videos: with an abundance of text, watching a video risks turning into reading a “creeping line” at the bottom of the screen;

  • Eye strain increases, understanding of what is happening on the screen worsens.

The great alternative to subtitles will be the audio dubbing in foreign language. In our next article we'll talk about the voice over opportunities for your YouTube videos.


Get Subtitles or Dubbing: What to Choose


Many people think that watching video in foreign language with subtitles can help them learn better. Or that adding subtitles to YouTube will make your audience wider.


Modern researches show that subtitles are rather disturbing people then helping them. A human can perceive information from one source, in the case of YouTube video — in textual or visual form. When getting subtitles to YouTube video, you should keep in mind that the views will either read or listen to the content. And if you display something, you can lose the attention of the audience from the main object — people will concentrate on the text.


How to make people watch your videos more?


Localizers do a great job of adapting the content, especially when it comes to the country's peculiarities or word play. Thanks to high-quality localization, we have the opportunity to enjoy equivalent content that will not only be understandable, but also easy to consume.


Voice over, meanwhile, allows the viewer a certain freedom when interacting with the content. Many people try to do multiple things at the same time: cleaning, having dinner, taking a bath, doing hobbies, scrolling Instagram feed, you name it.

Even those who are good at listening to speech turn on subtitles just in case. And if you do not follow them constantly, it is not always easy to concentrate on what is happening. Some note that it is more difficult for them to delve into the plot or simply understand the essence of the dialogue. With voice over, you won't face such a problem.


To get subtitles or dubbing — it's always worth to localize the content. You will improve your reach across different countries and get the best CPM in 2023.

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