Netflix has announced a new feature that allows its TV users to customize the appearance of subtitles and closed captions on the streaming platform. This update will enable subscribers to adjust the size and style of the text, making it easier to read. The feature offers three different text sizes, small, medium, and large, and three contrasting backgrounds, Light (black text / white background), Drop Shadow (white text / black background), and Contrast (yellow text / black background).
This new feature is a welcome update for Netflix users worldwide, especially as 70% of its content is watched on TV. Other streaming platforms such as Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime Video also offer similar subtitle customization options. This feature has obvious accessibility benefits, allowing users with visual or hearing impairments or auditory processing disorders to customize their viewing experience to their own requirements. It could also improve focus for those with cognitive disorders or who are easily distracted.
Moreover, poorly mixed audio on streaming platforms has resulted in a large portion of viewers enabling subtitles when watching TV shows and movies. A study by Preply last year found that 50% of Americans watch content with subtitles, and 62% use subtitles more on streaming services compared to regular TV. 70% of Gen Z users also admitted to enabling subtitles, suggesting that these figures don’t only consist of ageing, hard-of-hearing individuals. If streaming platforms do not take steps to improve the audio quality across their content, more viewers will have to rely on subtitles or captions to understand unintelligible on-screen conversations.
More Details on Netflix Subtitle
Netflix’s new subtitle customization feature is a great step towards improving accessibility and enhancing the viewing experience for its users. The ability to adjust subtitle size and style to meet personal preferences is an excellent feature for viewers who may have difficulty reading small text or who prefer larger fonts for better visibility.
The contrasting background options for subtitles are also a valuable addition, as they provide a way for viewers to distinguish the text from the background and make it stand out more clearly. The Light, Drop Shadow, and Contrast options allow users to choose the style that works best for their needs, making the viewing experience more enjoyable and personalized.
It is worth noting that the prevalence of subtitle usage among the general population is higher than one might assume. While subtitles were originally created for those with hearing impairments, they have become more common among those without hearing difficulties. As mentioned earlier, the Preply study found that half of Americans watch content with subtitles, and over 60% of viewers use subtitles more frequently when watching shows on streaming platforms.
Overall, Netflix’s new subtitle customization feature is a welcome addition that will improve the viewing experience for many of its users, and it is encouraging to see other streaming services following suit. As the demand for personalized accessibility features grows, we can hope to see more platforms implementing similar options to better serve their diverse audiences.