Netflix, the world’s leading entertainment giant, is a household name for streaming platforms. With over 158 million registered subscribers across 190 countries, it’s no wonder that Netflix strives to provide its users the best possible streaming experience. Accessibility is a crucial aspect of this, and one of the ways Netflix achieves this is by offering captions and subtitles in various languages. This enhances the viewing experience for those with hearing impairments and allows viewers to choose the language they prefer, making the platform more accessible to a broader audience. Additionally, captions and subtitles help to improve the overall quality of the streaming experience by making it easier for viewers to understand dialogue, sound effects, and music. By taking these steps, Netflix continues to cement its position as the go-to choice for quality entertainment.

Closed captions vs. Subtitles

Closed captions are text representations of the audio of a program and are in the same language as the audio. They can be turned on or off with a button, while open captions are a permanent part of the production. On the other hand, foreign subtitles are a translated text version of the audio and typically accompany foreign films. They help viewers understand the audio in a language they are familiar with.

Closed captions and subtitles play an essential role in making media accessible to a broader audience, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. In addition, closed captions can also be used to improve comprehension for viewers who may struggle to understand the audio due to accents or background noise. Foreign subtitles are also helpful for learning a new language, as they can help improve vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Closed captions and subtitles are not only beneficial for accessibility purposes, but they can also enhance the viewing experience for everyone. They can provide additional context and information not conveyed through the audio alone, such as sound effects or speaker identifications. This can add an extra layer of immersion and engagement for viewers.

With the increasing demand for accessible and inclusive media, closed captions and subtitles are becoming increasingly important aspects of media production. It is crucial for media producers and distributors to include closed captions and subtitles as a standard part of their production process. This ensures that their content is accessible to a broader audience and can help break down language barriers.

Subtitles and Captions: Netflix’s History

Netflix highlights the recognition of its worldwide audience and its efforts to make its content accessible to all viewers, regardless of location, through this statement in 2012,  when they partnered with the National Association of the Deaf:

“We need to change how we think about subtitles and closed captions. They are no longer secondary assets in a world where content knows no physical borders.”

That being said, a commitment was made by the streaming platform to ensure that all streaming content on the platform would have closed captions by 2014.

Netflix’s Captioning and Subtitling Standard

Netflix’s Captioning and Subtitling Standard

Given the crucial nature of the task, the platform has established a set of strict and meticulous standards for subtitles and captions. These standards ensure that all content on the forum is accessible and readable for all viewers, regardless of location, language, or hearing ability.

Subtitles or captions must be included in the delivery package if you want your project picked up by Netflix. The platform’s Timed Text Style Guide outlines all requirements, from frame gap specifications to file formats. Here’s a summary of some essential elements of the guide:

  • Duration: Subtitle events must last between 5/6th of a second to 7 seconds.
  • Glyph list: Only specific characters listed by Netflix are allowed in the timed text.
  • File format: Subtitle files must be in either the TTML (.dfxp or .xml) format or the Videotron Lambda Cap format for Japanese.
  • Line treatment: Text should be limited to one line, but if two strings are necessary, they should break after punctuation marks, conjunctions, or prepositions.
  • Positioning: Subtitles must be centered, placed at the top or bottom of the screen, and not overlap with any on-screen text.
  • Consistency: Translations should use the same level of formality throughout the production, as specified by the formality table.

Professional Captioning and Subtitling

Creating captions and subtitles that meet Netflix’s high standards involves many intricate details, making it a complex and demanding task. Attempting to handle this in-house can be challenging, as even small mistakes can result in time-consuming and costly corrections. Furthermore, it may jeopardize the chances of your production being accepted by Netflix.

Given the critical importance of having accurate and compliant captions and subtitles, it is recommended to seek the services of a professional post-production company.

The Daily Transcription Advantage

The Daily Transcription Advantage

Daily Transcription specializes in captioning, subtitling, translation, and other related post-production transcription services. With a commitment to accuracy and quality, we strive to deliver our outputs with precision and attention to detail. Our team has a wealth of experience working with various networks, production companies, and broadcasters, allowing us to offer unparalleled expertise in the industry.

Our team of experts is also equipped with the skills, experience, and expertise to ensure that your content meets Netflix’s stringent standards, and we can help you to avoid costly mistakes. Additionally, we have the tools and resources necessary to create captions and subtitles that are consistent and accurate, thereby enhancing the overall viewing experience for your audience – all in compliance with Netflix’s standards.


Netflix, among other streaming platforms, strives to provide its users the best possible streaming experience. Accessibility is one of the critical aspects of this goal, and one of the ways that Netflix achieves this is by offering captions and subtitles in various languages.Whether you’re producing a film or a TV show for Netflix, outsourcing this aspect of the production to a professional provider like Daily Transcription is a wise investment. For the subtitling and captioning needs in your film or TV project, please feel free to contact us here. We are here to help.