UKTV improves Digital Accessibility with Manual Closed Captions for Dave YouTube Channel

Big Zuu's Wrap Clash
  • Dave YouTube channel launches full manual closed captions for all content
  • Dave becomes first major UK broadcaster YouTube channel to provide full captions

Wednesday 9th February 2022

UKTV's comedy channel Dave has made a commitment to maximise digital accessibility across its YouTube content, introducing full manual closed captions across the channel. The Dave YouTube channel is the first major UK broadcaster-run social AVOD channel to provide an accurate subtitling service for 100% of its videos.

Spearheaded by Erina Jones, UKTV's Head of Social, and Jasper Wilkins, UKTV's Social Video Manager, the ambitious project to add accurate, manually created subtitles was the result of one of many initiatives in place at UKTV working towards full content accessibility, as part of UKTV's continuing focus on improving diversity and inclusion in all areas of the business.

Subtitles are vital not only for UKTV's deaf or hard of hearing viewers, but for the broad range of viewers who use them to enhance understanding and help maintain concentration. Prior to implementing manual captions, Dave YouTube viewers were reliant on the automatically generated closed captions service provided by YouTube, which can provide a poor viewing experience due to the errors in the resulting transcription. To ensure as many viewers can access and enjoy Dave's digital entertainment as possible, UKTV has committed to caption all content on the Dave YouTube channel and have established new workflows to achieve this.

Dave YouTube captions have been achieved by adapting broadcast subtitles, with additional transcription support from 3Play Media. For the growing range of exclusively commissioned Dave YouTube content, including Who Cares? hosted and produced by Chicken Shop Date creator Amelia Dimoldenberg and Big Zuu's Wrap Clash, UKTV has built caption requirements into commissioning briefs.

Viewers have been quick to make use of the new manual captions, with 22% of Dave YouTube users now viewing content with subtitles, up from just 5% of users who opted to use the automatically generated captions.

Erina Jones, UKTV's Head of Social, said:

UKTV is committed to improving accessibility and this is another great step forward. We now have subtitles on 100% of our content across digital AVOD platforms which includes our on demand service, UKTV Play, and now the Dave YouTube channel, which is growing at pace.

This project was implemented during a strong year for the Dave YouTube channel, which relaunched in 2021 featuring archive clips, outtakes and bespoke short-form commissions. Last year the channel achieved over 8.4m views and a total of 580,000 viewing hours, and growth continues in 2022, with 1.6m views in January alone, generated by 650,000 unique viewers.

The commitment to improving accessibility is echoed across the wider UKTV network, with the January 2021 announcement that UKTV had increased subtitling on Dave, Yesterday and Drama to include all programmes. Full 2021 data now shows that all seven of UKTV's linear channels (Dave, Gold, Drama, W, Yesterday, Alibi and Eden) exceed Ofcom requirements for both audio description and subtitling. Video on demand service, UKTV Play, also provides subtitles for all content on free to access and direct-to-consumer apps.

For further information please contact:

Kerry Goode, Director of Communications, UKTV

Rebecca Gresley-Jones, Corporate Communications Manager, UKTV

About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 25 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.

UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.

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