Video might be the highest performing form of media, but that doesn’t mean that the written word is obsolete. Adding subtitles and captions to your videos can boost their already amazing performance and help you attract a larger audience. Rather than pay an expensive transcriptionist to do the job by hand, you now have a free way to add subtitles to your podcast videos.

What is Headliner?

Headliner is an app that makes creating promotional videos for your podcast super easy. Video is the best performing form of media universally across social media platforms, often attracting far more views, likes, comments, shares, and clicks than static images or plain text alone. The fact is, people just prefer video, whether it’s a short video advertisement over a print ad or a video trailer rather than a written review. 

Headliner is an easy way to create videos to promote your podcast without needing to have an extensive video background. We understand that you specialize in audio, but that doesn’t change the popularity of video content. To help podcast creators bridge the gap and expand their audience base, we’ve created a simple tool that practically (and literally!) makes videos for you. Also, did we mention that Headliner is FREE? 

With Headliner, promoting episodes of your podcast on various social media platforms is easy and straightforward, and you can have the videos made within minutes of new episodes being published. We offer users the chance to create short, promotional audiograms with just a few minutes of audio, or long-form videos so you can upload full episodes to video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

Why Add Subtitles to Video?

Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the SOUND OFF? Because of this, video creators are forced into the position of needing to ensure their message comes across, even if the viewer isn’t listening to your content. Graham Mudd, Director of Monetization Product Marketing at Facebook, says that as many as 40% of Facebook ads do not effectively communicate their message without captions, a key reason many podcasters and video creators have begun to include captions on their videos, and why you should too. 

Almost 30 million American adults are deaf or hard of hearing, meaning they require captions on all audible content. Many hearing individuals rely on captions to improve their comprehension of the content, and for international viewers and listeners, translated subtitles and captions are absolutely vital to allow non-native speakers to understand and consume your content, expanding your global audience. 

While visual forms of media like TV and movies are able to draw in deaf and non-native speakers with visual appeal, audio media like podcasts typically rely solely on just that, the audio. Without the addition of subtitles, you’ll be leaving a whole lot of potential audience members out and limiting your own growth potential. 

When you add subtitles to video or audio, you also increase general viewer engagement. Videos with captions are on average watched 25% longer than videos without captions, with viewers clicking away after only watching 66% of un-captioned videos. Captions and subtitles help to capture the attention of viewers, boosting that watch rate up to 91%.

Tips for Adding Captions

Make sure the text is big and easy to read on mobile devices. 16px is the common choice for the main text while secondary text should be slightly smaller, around 14px to ensure there is a visual distinction. Too small, and people won’t be able to see what you’ve written. Too large, and you won’t be able to fit enough words on the screen, and the video will feel clunky. 

Display text in short chunks of no more than two lines, and allow for a minimum of 0.3 seconds per word; this will allow for viewers reading at an average rate to complete the reading and comprehend the text before moving on to the next lines. For example: “Hi, we’re Headliner, and our app helps you add subtitles to video for free” should be on the screen for at least 4.5 seconds. If you’re feeling generous, we suggest rounding up to a solid 5 seconds.

Choosing a cool font may feel like the right way to jazz up your video, but we recommend sticking with a classic, easy to read option to increase viewer engagement. Fancy fonts might look cool, but they aren’t helpful if you are trying to deliver information to an audience. Basically, your high school teachers were right: fancy fonts do look unprofessional! 

How Does Adding Subtitles with Headliner Work? 

Headliner may be a free service, but it is a goldmine of podcast video opportunities! We basically do the work for you when it comes to captioning your videos, so all you have to do is provide a little oversight during the process. Here’s a simple guide to show exactly how the Headliner Video Transcript feature works. 

1. Choose ‘Video Transcript’

When you go to ‘Create’ a project, you’ll get to choose between five video options. The ‘Audiogram Wizard’ turns audio clips into short videos with a waveform to share on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Audiograms are perfect if you want to share 10 minutes or less of audio. 

The ‘Full Episode’ option does just that: it takes up to 2 hours of content and turns it into a long-form video for YouTube, Vimeo, etc. 

Choose ‘Podcast AutoVideos’, and you’ll be giving Headliner the necessary information for us to automatically create videos for new episodes of your podcast as they are released. Set your preferences, and Headliner does the rest. 

If you want to create a fully custom video, you can choose to go ‘Straight to Editor’. If this is more your speed, check out this guide for How to Add Audio and Captions with “Straight to Editor”.

Today, we’re gonna choose ‘Video Transcript’, that bold orange square right in the middle! 

Tips for Adding Captions

Make sure the text is big and easy to read on mobile devices. 16px is the common choice for the main text while secondary text should be slightly smaller, around 14px to ensure there is a visual distinction. Too small, and people won’t be able to see what you’ve written. Too large, and you won’t be able to fit enough words on the screen, and the video will feel clunky. 

Display text in short chunks of no more than two lines, and allow for a minimum of 0.3 seconds per word; this will allow for viewers reading at an average rate to complete the reading and comprehend the text before moving on to the next lines. For example: “Hi, we’re Headliner, and our app helps you add subtitles to video for free” should be on the screen for at least 4.5 seconds. If you’re feeling generous, we suggest rounding up to a solid 5 seconds.

Choosing a cool font may feel like the right way to jazz up your video, but we recommend sticking with a classic, easy to read option to increase viewer engagement. Fancy fonts might look cool, but they aren’t helpful if you are trying to deliver information to an audience. Basically, your high school teachers were right: fancy fonts do look unprofessional! 

How Does Adding Subtitles with Headliner Work? 

Headliner may be a free service, but it is a goldmine of podcast video opportunities! We basically do the work for you when it comes to captioning your videos, so all you have to do is provide a little oversight during the process. Here’s a simple guide to show exactly how the Headliner Video Transcript feature works. 

1. Choose ‘Video Transcript’

When you go to ‘Create’ a project, you’ll get to choose between five video options. The ‘Audiogram Wizard’ turns audio clips into short videos with a waveform to share on social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Audiograms are perfect if you want to share 10 minutes or less of audio. 

The ‘Full Episode’ option does just that: it takes up to 2 hours of content and turns it into a long-form video for YouTube, Vimeo, etc. 

Choose ‘Podcast AutoVideos’, and you’ll be giving Headliner the necessary information for us to automatically create videos for new episodes of your podcast as they are released. Set your preferences, and Headliner does the rest. 

If you want to create a fully custom video, you can choose to go ‘Straight to Editor’. If this is more your speed, check out this guide for How to Add Audio and Captions with “Straight to Editor”.

Today, we’re gonna choose ‘Video Transcript’, that pretty little orange number right in the middle! 

2. Select an Aspect Ratio

Though video does well on every social media platform, uploading in the proper aspect ratio is one of the keys to success. Most people know that Instagram is optimized for square images and video, but other platforms like Facebook and Twitter have slightly more mysterious aspect ratio preferences. Don’t worry, Headliner has got your back! In this step, you’ll be able to choose from three options: 

  • Landscape: Best for YouTube and websites with embedded video
  • Square: Best for Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
  • Portrait: Best for Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and TikTok

3. Upload File

This is where the auto-generation begins, and it’s as simple as dragging and dropping or uploading your file to Headliner. Once uploaded, the Headliner app will automatically generate captions from the video or audio file, so you won’t need to spend hours transcribing your podcast by hand. 

The Headliner app currently supports video and audio in MP4, MOV, and WEBM formats, and allows you to upload up to an hour of content at a time. 

4. Clip Video

Before Headliner starts transcribing your video, you’ll need to choose up to 10 minutes you want us to create captions for. In this step, you’ll be able to go through your video to choose the section you want to have transcribed. 

5. Edit Subtitles in the Editor

Even though we do our best, mistakes happen, and once in a while, you’ll need to make a small change to the subtitles. To do this, all you’ll need to do is go through the subtitles in the editor to check for accuracy. You can easily change the text if necessary, and will also have the chance to review the footage before you publish. During this step, you’ll be able to choose factors like how long the text stays on the screen, special animations, different text styles, and more.

For more information on this step, check out this in-depth Headliner article on how to edit captions created by the subtitle generator. 

6. Download Closed Captions or Burn Captions Onto Video

Before you move on to export your video, you’ll also be able to choose whether you want to download your transcript for later use in your favorite video editing software to be used as closed captioning, or if you want to upload the subtitles permanently so they are always visible. 

Download Captions
Upload Captions

7. Export Your Video

Next, you’ll export your video, at which point you’ll select frame rate, video quality, and video size before Headliner prepares your video for download.

8. Download Your Video

Once you click ‘export my video’, Headliner will take a couple of minutes to generate your full video. Once ready, Headliner will send you an email notification and show you a pop-up notification in the upper righthand corner of your screen. Click ‘download here’, and you’ll be taken to the finished video.

9. Share Your Video on Social Media

Now, it’s time to share your video with the world! In this last step, you’ll get to choose from a bunch of options to share your video on social media, save it to your personal files, or upload it to the Cloud. Download your video to your computer and share it later, copy the link to video in a browser or share online, or share directly to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Though we make it easy to share your video right from our app or website, we also make it easy to share your content later or upload your podcast videos to platforms with more complicated sharing processes. If you want to check out detailed instructions for sharing your videos on social media, take a look at:

  • How to Share Your Video on YouTube here
  • How to Share Your Video on Twitter and Facebook here
  • How to Share Your Videos on Instagram and Snapchat here

Benefits of Using Headliner

Headliner is the one-stop-shop for creating podcast videos that won’t make you rely on third-party programs and companies to get the job done. Some video editing software makes it easy to create videos, but don’t include features for transcription or sharing to social media. Transcription services can be hit or miss, either charging too much for their services or producing clunky and inaccurate results.

With Headliner, you have all the tools you need to create incredible promotional videos optimized for your preferred social platforms, complete with subtitles, animations, media, and more. Best of all, Headliner is completely free, so even podcasters on a tight budget can afford to promote themselves with video!

Adding subtitles to your audio or video files is one of the easiest ways to expand your audience. Since so many people peruse their social media with sound off, it can be easy for them to overlook podcast content if it doesn’t include captions. Text combined with video and audio covers all your bases, so you can be sure you are reaching the widest possible audience.

Headliner does a whole lot more than just create subtitles for audio and video; you can use Headliner to create awesome audiograms, long-form podcast videos, and other amazing promotional content without any expensive software or experience. Headliner is available as an app, or online, and there is no installation required. In desktop form, Headliner works for Mac, Windows, and Chromebook. On mobile, you can download Headliner for Apple products in the App Store or for Android in the Google Play Store. Free to download and use, Headliner is accessible for podcasters with any budget.

Ready to start making and sharing awesome promotional podcast videos with the world, or at least your friends, family, and social media followers? Try Headliner today to get started, and be sure to check out our blog for more tips, tricks, and guides to creating amazing podcast videos.