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More on-demand platforms offer subtitles, but audio description and signing drop

More content now available with subtitles

A report by Ofcom has found that the number of on-demand video platforms offering subtitles on their content reach 63.8 per cent during 2020, up from 58.1 per cent in 2019.

However, fewer offered audio description (16.7 per cent down from 17.4 per cent) and signing (11.4 per cent down from 12.8 per cent).

Among on-demand services which provided access services, there were small increases in the proportion of content made accessible: 58.1 per cent of programming hours were subtitled in 2020 (up from 51.2 per cent in 2019), 14.2 per cent were audio described (up from 9.7 per cent) and 2.4 per cent were signed (up from 1.5 per cent), said Ofcom.

There is currently no legal requirement on providers of on-demand programming services to make their content accessible to people with hearing or visual impairments.

This differs from broadcast television services, where broadcasters must achieve specific accessibility targets.