Young people prefer watching TV with subtitles, study claims

Young people have "far more acceptance of subtitles" compared with older people

New research has claimed that young people are far likelier than older viewers to use subtitles when watching TV.

That’s according to a Stagetext survey, which found that 80 per cent of 18-24 year olds use subtitles some of all the time watching content on any devices.

That’s compared to 23 per cent of those in the 56-75 age group, despite those in this age group being around twice as likely to say they are deaf or hard of hearing.

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“I think there’s far more acceptance of subtitles by young people because it’s the norm, whereas with an older age group, it isn’t necessarily the norm,” said Stagetext’s chief executive Melanie Sharpe (via BBC News).

squid game netflix korea
‘Squid Game’. Credit: Netflix

She went on to suggest that older people tend to view subtitles as requiring an “extra concentration level” when watching foreign-language content, while young people “can take in far more information quickly because they’re used to it”.

The use of subtitles has become far more ubiquitous in recent years, especially on social media with the use of clips that can’t always be viewed with sound in certain situations, as well as the success of foreign-language projects such as Squid Game.

Stagetext’s research also revealed that 31 per cent more people would go to live events more often if they had captions, with 45 per cent of 18-24 year olds agreeing compared to 16 per cent of those over 56. Young people said that captions could help them understand what was going on, while many older people said they were distracting.

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Meanwhile, Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk recently confirmed that a second season is in the works following the record-breaking success of the Netflix series’ first season.

“There’s been so much pressure, so much demand, and so much love for a second season. So I almost feel like you leave us no choice,” he told AP News. “But, I will say that there will indeed be a second season.”

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