Podcasting and online video have entirely changed the media and entertainment landscape. There will likely be 850,000 active podcasts in 2021. There are over 2.5 million podcasts available as of 2022. Podcasts and video material on Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok are becoming increasingly popular as essential sources of knowledge and entertainment. Nevertheless, these novel media should be more widely available.
Around 30 million Americans over 12 are thought to suffer hearing loss in either one or both ears. Additionally, 12 million more people have vision impairments. These groups would have previously been excluded from podcasts and online video content. However, significant attempts to increase digital accessibility have been made recently.
A leading proponent of internet accessibility, the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative (W3 WAI) introduced the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in 1999. (WCAG). Although these recommendations were initially focused on website design, they are now a priceless tool for content producers considering the accessibility of internet videos and podcasts.
How to improve the accessibility of a podcast?
It can be challenging to consider how to make a podcast more accessible to the hearing impaired because, even though an increasing number of podcasts now include video, they are traditionally an audio-only format. However, it’s surprisingly simple to modify podcast production to improve accessibility. These accessibility improvements may also have a variety of other advantages.
- Make sure the artwork for your podcast is readable.
Promotional materials should be considered when deciding how to make a podcast more accessible. Accessibility for podcasts extends beyond the audio files themselves. To make everything accessible to every user, artwork, and marketing material must all be customized.
WCAG offers some helpful guidelines for producing accessible podcast artwork. Use a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1 as a general rule for large text. The ideal contrast ratio to utilize when adding text to a picture or colored background is 4.5:1. When making decorative artwork elements, contrast ratios are insignificant. However, it’s a good idea to incorporate these recommended practices into image design for optimum accessibility.
Content producers can use free picture color and contrast checker programs like WebAIM and UserWay to make their lives easier. You can ensure that the most significant audience always has access to podcast visuals by using the resources at your disposal.
- Transcripts improve the accessibility of podcasts (and SEO)
For everyone thinking about accessibility and podcast creation, transcripts should be a top priority. You are closing off a significant audience, including those who are hard of hearing, by refusing to transcribe podcasts.
A complete transcript immediately increases Google and other search engine’s ability to find your information.
The ideal situation is to devote time and money to hand transcription. This guarantees that nothing is left to chance and that the entire context is available. A different option is Google Bard AI software, albeit the automatically produced transcripts will need to be edited for correctness. The best option is to get a qualified expert to handle your transcription needs. This guarantees accuracy and consistency while enhancing the user experience across the board.
- Make a website accessible.
It’s great to know how to make a podcast accessible, but don’t discount the significance of an accessible website. The expertise of seasoned developers is crucial if you want to create a website that is as accessible to consumers as feasible.
An average user with little knowledge, however, can perform various accessibility checks to get things started.
Aiming to analyze features like headings and page titles, alt text, captions, contrast ratio, and more is a good strategy for content authors. For individuals wishing to make rapid changes to websites’ accessibility, the W3 WAI offers some helpful advice.
- Availability on social media and podcast promotion
Without a doubt, the most crucial instrument for promoting podcasts is social media. However, accessibility standards must be followed when disseminating updates and publicizing fresh podcast releases.
Apply the same accessibility guidelines for podcasts as you would for web content to maintain consistency. Alt text can be used to enhance accessibility for users with vision impairments. Most social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, permit the addition of alt text to photographs.
Additionally, pay attention to transcripts. Users can publish transcript files to websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. By doing this, it is feasible to enhance and make as many users as possible available to even the shortest audio or video snippet. Instead of using this functionality, just incorporate transcripts into your video uploads when publishing material to a platform that doesn’t allow it.
- Utilize the proper podcast hosting software to increase accessibility
It’s critical to select hosting software and video players with a wide range of accessibility capabilities if you want to improve accessibility in podcast production. Sadly, accessibility differs significantly between pieces of software. Looking around for anything that checks all the boxes is worthwhile if you still need to choose a service provider.
It’s worthwhile contacting suppliers directly if content producers have been using the same software for some time and haven’t noticed any accessibility enhancements. Features to increase accessibility may be in the works. In addition, content producers can share their software experiences and offer suggestions for improving it to be more podcast-friendly.
- Multilingual content will broaden your audience.
With over 117 million Americans listening to podcasts each month, the United States dominates the world regarding podcast listenership. Although podcasts are popular worldwide, the largest audiences are typically found in nations with a large population of English speakers. You must provide services for non-English speakers to broaden your audience and target as many people as possible.
The good news is that you can prepare from scratch when creating multilingual podcasts. You may easily reach worldwide audiences by using post-production audio and localization services.
The best podcasts and videos all begin with a brilliant idea. But even a good idea needs to meet high production value standards. Additionally, it’s becoming more and more crucial to make podcast content as accessible as possible.
Want to upgrade the quality of your video and podcast content? Wavel’s professional in-house production studio, audio engineers, and multimedia specialists support our transcription, voice-over, and subtitling services, ai dubbing which is offered in more than 120 languages. Furthermore, some of the top voice-over talents in the industry are available through our broad network. Are you prepared to increase your audience and embrace digital accessibility?