Spark doesn’t seem very Sparky… ” Yes technology is changing all the time. Attitudes towards captioning need to as well.”
Spark launched on Friday.
They spent $20M on their rebrand.
One of the very first things they did on social media on Friday was to share this video. (It has no captions, not even automatic ones). We tweeted them right back and asked them to caption it, and included the link to show them how.
Progressively throughout the day they loaded more video onto their new Youtube channel.
There are now 34 of them, none of them have proper captioning. Here is the schedule
We highlighted this one in particular which has automatic captioning on it. We know for sure they really are not saying what is shown at 16 seconds, but this is what people are seeing. We even tweeted them without a specific reference to the word and they have not changed it yet. Its seconds worth of work to fix.
The most recent video published today on the channel also relies on automatic captioning and whilst the robots have done a pretty good job Spark is referred to as SPOCK. Remember this firm spent $20m on a rebrand. The video also goes on to refer to clicks as, d***s.
Youtube makes captioning very easy. There is simply no excuse for the laziness shown here.
Spark also have a swanky new website with lots of video content. Again there is no option to activate captioning.
The new brand was promoted on mainstream TV. This advert was full of lots of sparkly light sabers but no captions.
And Lightbox – the new video streaming service will not be captioning. They say its expensive and appear to be looking for NZ on Air Funding for captions.
This is from a firm with full year revenues of $1.847M and half year profits of 167m through 31 December 2013.
The model needs to change. Technology is changing all the time. We believe that legislation is required in both the telecommunications and broadcasting acts to enable access. Attitudes towards captioning need to change as well.
We understand that sometimes it is hard to change what is already in place. But to launch new ventures, without accessibility from the outset doesn’t seem like a firm of the future.
Come on Spark, you can do better than this. Captions help you connect to more consumers. Its good business sense.