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Congress Makes Captioning a Requirement for Online Video with Passing of Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act and 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009


New legislation increases access to Internet video content as Americans with Disabilities Act marks its 20th Anniversary

(SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.) – August 9, 2010 – The U.S. Senate voted last week to pass the Equal Access to 21st Century Communications Act, a bill that requires captioning of online video content, amongst other points. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a similar version of the bill, entitled the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2009, the week before.

July 26th of this year marked the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a trail-blazing piece of legislation that banned companies or individuals from discriminating against persons with disabilities. Now, two decades later, Congress has passed new legislation that provides accessibility in the age of the Internet.

Though the bill contains various points related to making Internet content accessible to all citizens, a few main points include:
• Requiring captions for television content that appears online
• Mandating mobile phone companies make Web browsers, text messaging and email on smart phones fully accessible
• Providing $10m in funding each year for assistive technology for deaf-blind individuals
PLYmedia, a leading enhanced video solutions provider based out of Palo Alto, California, has been extolling the value of online video captioning through its SubPLY product solution for the past three years and they have been offering the innovative captioning technology Congress is putting into law long before it was part of the collective conscious.
“We congratulate the U.S. Congress in passing this landmark legislation, as well as the various grass roots organizations who helped with its passage,” said Matt Knopf, VP of Business Development at PLYmedia. “Not only will deaf and hard of hearing audiences have access to online television programming, but now these online video publishers will enjoy the business benefits of captioning that our customers have been enjoying for years. We can help these publishers get up and running in a matter of weeks.”

Online video captioning is advantageous for several reasons:
• It makes available content previously inaccessible to the 36 million deaf and hard of hearing Americans
• It benefits broadcasters who can easily translate captions into foreign languages and reach wide and varied new audiences. PLYmedia can provide subtitles for both live and on demand online video.
• It drives web traffic and increases natural search rankings for video content publishers since transcripts allow content to become discoverable
• It helps to reach even those audiences who are without disability - most online video viewing takes place at work, where people can’t or won’t use audio and would rely solely on video captioning.
• Statistics have shown that people watch online videos 38% longer when using captions, as opposed to those who didn’t, so it encourages longer viewing times.
The SubPLY technology works with online publishers’ existing video players and has partnership agreements with some of the leading online video platforms such as Brightcove, Ooyala, Kaltura, Kit Digital, Delve Networks, Livestream, thePlatform and others.

For more information about SubPLY, visit

About SubPLY
SubPLY by PLYmedia is the leading provider of subtitling and captioning solutions for online video. SubPLY’s web services cater to live and archived online video, providing turnkey solutions that include subtitle creation in over 50 languages, delivery and reporting. Subtitles and captions increase accessibility, viewer interest and the overall size of a viewing audience, while also ensuring a longer time of engagement.
SubPLY provides solutions and services to anyone with online video content including major Fortune 500 companies.
The company, founded in 2006, is funded by Greylock partners, with offices in Palo Alto, CA and a R&D facility in Israel.


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