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      Why we are campaigning for subtitles

      There are 7.5 million subtitle users in the UK, but the regulator’s latest report tells us that 76% of on-demand services remain inaccessible to people with hearing loss due to a lack of subtitles.

      We know how popular subtitles are: 16% of content watched on linear TV is done so with subtitles and over two million programmes (20%) are watch with subtitles on the BBC iPlayer every day.

      However, our Progress on Pause report (2015) demonstrates that a lack of on-demand subtitles is excluding and isolating people with hearing loss:

      • 87% have started to watch a programme on-demand and found that it had no subtitles.
      • 71% feel they’ve missed out on, or been left out of, conversations with their friends or family because of a lack of subtitles on on-demand services.


      The provision of subtitles hasn’t kept up with technological developments, and while broadcasters are required to meet quotas for subtitles on their traditional television channels, as yet there are no such quotas for video-on-demand services and the level of provision is patchy and extremely poor – although there is hope that this will change following our Subtitle it! campaign win.

      I just want to watch TV like everyone else
      ''Thousands of people like me rely on subtitles to follow dialogue and plot. On demand and streaming services are now becoming more and more the normal method of viewing TV, but almost all of this is not accessible.
      And we aren’t just missing out on subtitles. We’re missing out on cosy nights in with our friends and family.Conversations in the office and on social media. ‘Binge watching’ the latest series that everyone else is talking about. So it’s not just the subtitles we’re missing – we’re missing out on what everyone else takes for granted."
      Kim, hearing aid user

      Progress on pause report

      A new report about the needs of people who rely on subtitles and their experiences of using on-demand services.

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