DailyMotion call themselves the world's largest independent video entertainment website (so does Metacafe). However, we have found out that they have just added the ability to put subtitles right into any videos you upload which might propel them into that position. The new feature allows uploading and input of subtitles directly from the video edit menu. Additionally, they support multiple languages as well.
The subtitles can also be used in a more interactive sense as they can link out to your website, other videos or even email or a "Buy Now" page. The new interface allows viewers to turn subtitles on and off directly in the video player just by going to the menu tab.
We have been talking a lot about how important subtitles are going to be not only in regards to search engine optimization but also in getting your content out to a larger audience. It seems many others have either been listening or have come to the same conclusion. The major benefit to the DailyMotion subtitle system is that you needn't upload tons of extra files to get the subtitles in place; you can do it right from the video editor itself. Adding subtitles is as simple as pausing the video in the editor and typing in the subtitle you want to display.
Additionally you can have subtitles in multiple languages though you will need to translate them yourself either by hand or through an online translation package like Google Translate or Babelfish at Yahoo. At first it had appeared that the functionality was built into the video editor which I thought would have been a fantastic idea, but it is not and must be done manually.
The subtitle languages are currently restricted to:
- Austria (should be German)
- Poland (Polish)
- Greece (Greek)
As this new feature is still in beta there are probably some issues that they need to continue to work on. I would like to see the system tie directly into several freely available online translation services and then just require the user to proofread the translations. I think that would make for an immensely more useful and popular subtitling system.
The subtitles themselves are quite easy to edit once they are in place. You can easily time shift them with a click of a button to get them synchronized with great detail. This is quite a good feature and doesn't require you to manually edit time codes which can be burdensome.
The subtitles accept standard HTML which means if you want to put in a link to your site, email or other videos it's as simple as adding an <a href></a> tag with the necessary information. The subtitles can also make use of bold, underline, and italics and other HTML tags such as changing the size and color via the <font> tag.
There is very little help available on the system at present but it is still in beta so over time I am certain the help guide will grow to incorporate all of the features. I found the HREF linking and font size and color by simply testing to see if it would accept it. There was no help available on these features. I even managed to stick in a table with colored backgrounds and 3 clickable buttons which basically allows for the creation of full-on built-in menus in the subtitles. Now THAT is some useful functionality right there.
As I said, much of it is trial and error at present since the system is still in beta and the help file is eight lines long. But overall this is an extremely useful option for video marketers and publishers. It gives the ability to quickly and easily insert not only subtitles but multi-lingual, dynamic and interactive subtitles that could lead to huge amounts of click through and cross-referencing of your videos online. From what I've seen you could create an entire video catalog of products and have categories that are highlights of each product. From each of those highlights you could link to other videos that are specifically about each product. For example if you have a real estate agency. You could make a quick highlight reel based on number of bedrooms (2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom, 5+). When the viewer clicks the subtitle button on 2-bedroom homes it opens the video showing all the 2-bedroom homes you have available.
Dailymotion has a ton of traffic from what I see. They have an Alexa rank of 57, a reach of around 1% and an average pageview of between 8 and 10. This all means a lot of people are looking at a lot of videos on this site right now and it could potentially be a very good way to get your message out to millions of people in multiple languages with potential for subtitle interaction and a high amount of click through.