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If you want to avoid missing out on any potential viewers of your web series, do not put it on Yahoo at screen.yahoo.com. The reason why: Yahoo's video player does not support closed captioning. This means that your web series not only misses out on deaf and hard of hearing viewers, it also misses out on a substantial number of international viewers who like to watch web series with English captions.
(How do I know that you will miss out on a substantial number of international viewers? We have a blog, Captioned Web TV, that serves as a directory for closed captioned web series. This blog is at http://captionedwebtv.blogspot.com. According to the blog audience statistics, some days the international viewership is greater than the United States viewership! Hits are coming from all over the world. Below are the statistics for this week.)
For years the nation's deaf and hard of hearing community has been asking Yahoo to update its video player. The only response has been that they are working on it, with no definite date for when they will upgrade. Finally, we became tired of waiting for action and launched a petition at the end of July 2012. (Note: On September 30, 2012 the first Internet captioning rule, for unedited TV programming shown on the Internet, took effect.)
Since its launch, this petition has grown slowly but steadily. It is now getting closer to 1500 signatures. Almost 600 people have shared the link on Facebook. Almost 60 comments make it clear how much demand there is for this. From time to time I tweet the Yahoo CEO to make her aware but have been ignored with no response from Yahoo.
Now I am turning to you, the web series community, for support. You are the ones who need to support this petition so you do not lose out on a huge potential source of viewers, both those with and without hearing losses. You are the ones who will benefit if we succeed in convincing Yahoo that updating its video player to support closed captioning needs to be a top priority.
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