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How to add subtitles to a video

Have you ever wondered how to add subtitles to your videos? If so, this article is for you! Keep reading to learn more about s how you can use Milk Video to add subtitles to your videos for free.

What are Subtitles?

If you have ever watched a video that transcribed the words on the bottom as they were spoken, then you have seen subtitles!

The goal of subtitles is to convey the dialogue in the video via text – so anything said by the narrators or characters is transcribed. Subtitles are commonly used to translate the video footage so that someone can enjoy your content – even if they don’t speak the language.

In other words, the original audio is left unaltered, so that viewers can read the dialogue while still enjoying the soundtrack as intended.

Other Names for Subtitles

While subtitles are the most common name for what we just described, you may also hear the term closed captions. They are sometimes used interchangeably, but captions take the video experience a text further.

Subtitles focus on translating spoken words, but captions also explain relevant parts of the soundtrack. Captions express emotional changes in the dialogue or relevant, non-vocal audio that adds to the storytelling. This includes descriptions of background noises, and the tone of the phrases, to help provide additional context to the viewer. 

For example, a caption might let a viewer know that a phone is ringing in the background or that the speaker’s tone was angry or sad. These clues allow your customers to understand what’s going on in your video, even without sound!

As you can see, even though captions and subtitles are similar, they are not the same! Subtitles assume that your viewers can hear the audio but need the dialogue to display as text. Captions allow you to provide a detailed description of everything that is happening without hearing the video.

The Importance of Subtitles

So, why are subtitles important? Let’s review three of the most valuable reasons you should add subtitles to your videos: accessibility, engagement, and reach. 


If you are posting video content online, adding subtitles and captions allows you to accommodate those with hearing impairments.

Per the World Health Organization, over 5% of people around the world have a form of disabling hearing loss. These numbers include over 430 million adults and almost 35 million children – which is a huge audience!

Failing to make your videos accessible means that these individuals would not be able to enjoy your content. Adding subtitles and captions is an easy way to be inclusive and ensure that your entire audience has the same great experience. 

Some countries like Spain have legislation that requires some organizations to include subtitles in their media, so learning how to add subtitles to a video is essential to remaining compliant.

Boost Engagement

Another reason that subtitles are valuable is that they help capture the attention of your audience. This is especially important since almost 80% of people watch videos without any sound.

Think about it – if you are in a public place, you are likely still scrolling through social media and browsing videos – but with the sound off! If you come across a video that doesn’t have captions while you are doing this, there is no doubt that you will move right along to the next one.

Simply put, adding captions to a video boost engagement since those viewers who can’t, or are unwilling to, turn on their sound can still enjoy it. 

Not only do consumers prefer to watch videos without any sound, but studies have also shown that subtitles allow them to have a better understanding of the content. 

Individual viewers will have their unique learning styles. Some will learn best by listening, but many need visuals to increase their comprehension of the subject. Regardless of how your viewers prefer to learn, a video with captions will meet all of their preferences!

Connect with a Broader Audience

Embedding subtitles in your videos also allow you to connect with a broader audience. There are so many languages spoken across the world, and the best way to connect with someone is in their native tongue. 

For instance, what if the characters speak in English, but you have customers that prefer Spanish? Adding subtitles lets you translate the video with ease.

Providing subtitles in various languages will help viewers understand your videos, which encourages them to engage with your brand. 

Similarly, captions can boost the SEO performance of your video. SEO metrics look for high-quality content that adds value to viewers, and your subtitles can do just that. 

As a result, a video with captions will secure a better position on a search engine when compared to a similar video that does not include subtitles. Boosting your SEO rankings also helps you have a broader reach since more viewers will find your video from a Google search. 

Adding Subtitles to Videos Using Milk

Now that you understand the importance of subtitles and captions, let’s answer the question at the top of your mind: how do you embed subtitles in a video?

Adding subtitles with Milk is about as easy as it gets. All you need to do is follow these basic steps:

  1. Upload any video of your choosing
  2. Highlight the section you would like to clip
  3. Subtitles update automatically!

The only thing you need to worry about is uploading your video, and our programs will automatically transcribe them for you. If you choose, you can opt to have the content edited by professional copywriters to maximize its effectiveness.

You can add your finishing touches to the content to, so you will end up with the perfect subtitles, captions and transcriptions!

The best thing to do is to sign up for Milk Video to see how it works for yourself – one of our expert team members can walk you through the process and answer all of your questions too.