Netflix to Caption All Videos by 2014

Adam Grant
Published: 10/12/2012

After being faced with a lawsuit by the National Association for the Deaf (NAD) back in 2010, Netflix has now agreed that it will work toward captioning all of its streaming videos by 2014.

Currently, Netflix captions 82% of its videos. As part of a settlement with NAD, Netflix will ensure that 90% of its videos are captioned by the end of 2013 and that every video it offers will be captioned by the end of 2014.

Netflix also has to improve upon the speed in which its videos are captioned. By 2014, the company must caption each new piece of content within a month of its release. By 2015 and 2016 the window shrinks to 14 days and seven days, respectively. Eventually, the goal is to have new content captioned at the time of its Netflix release date.

Additionally, Netflix has agreed to attempt to make the more than 1,000 devices that its streaming service is offered upon caption-friendly. However, the company is not obligated to bring all of these devices up to speed.

Lee Nettles, a staff member of the Stavros Center for Independent Living, originally brought this suit against Netflix forth. He claimed that Netflix was discriminating against the hearing impaired and forcing members of that community to churn out more money for DVDs that offer captioning. 

Actually it is 82% of all “streamed hours” of content has captions available. This is far different than the number of catalog titles (which may be less
popular and streamed less often). Currently about 65% of their entire catalog currently has subtitles.

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