On Thursday, Google-owned, YouTube announced several new audio features which will upgrade video accessibility, some of which have already been launched while others will be rolled out in the coming months.
Content creators from now on can enable live auto-captions for any live streams in English to make streams more accessible. This feature was previously only available to creators with more than 1,000 subscribers.
Live Auto-Captions will Upgrade Video Accessibility
Moreover, YouTube intends to upgrade video accessibility by expanding live auto-captions to all 13 supported captioning languages in the coming months. The supported languages include Dutch, English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.
YouTube is Also Testing the Ability to Add Multiple Audio Tracks
Furthermore, under the tag of new audio features, the company is also currently testing the ability to add multiple audio tracks on videos to help offer multi-language audio for international audiences along with narrative audio for people with vision impairments. The latest audio feature is currently available to a small group of content creators. YouTube intends to roll out the feature more broadly in the coming quarters.
Additionally, one of the new audio features YouTube is working on is the new channel permissions in YouTube Studio that enable creators to delegate caption and subtitle creation on their videos to someone they trust. The company earlier announced this feature under the title “Subtitle Editor” and has confirmed that the launch of this audio feature is taking longer than expected. YouTube notes that it’s actively working on the feature and plans to keep creators updated in the coming months.
Improving Accessibility Through New Audio Features is of Top Priority for YouTube
“Improving accessibility is a top priority for YouTube, and we hope these new audio features will help creators reach a wider audience,” the company announced in a community blog post announcing the upgrade of video accessibility. YouTube first rolled out auto-captions in 2010 and has since worked to improve them and make them more broadly available. The company brought auto-captions to YouTube Live in 2018.
In addition to this, YouTube is among many other platforms working to launch more new audio features geared toward improving captions in order to make their programs more comprehensive and to upgrade video accessibility. For example, TikTok added auto-captions to its videos earlier this year while Instagram added a captions option for Stories around the same time.