Closed Captions

What are the requirements for closed captions?

Movies for the U.S. iTunes Store must include closed captions. This includes short films and concert films, but be aware of the following special cases:

  • Movies can be delivered with both closed captions and subtitles for the deaf or hard-of-hearing (SDH). If you are delivering both, you don’t need to include a reason code.
  • Movies that are in English can be delivered with SDH if closed captions are not available and one of the following reason codes is applicable:
    • NEVER_IN_US Use this reason code for movies that have never been broadcast in the United States.
    • IN_US_NO_CAPTIONS Use this reason code for movies that have been broadcast in the United States, but never with captions.
  • Movies that are not in English and have never been broadcast in the United States don’t need captions. These movies will need either English subtitles or SDH. Use the reason code NO_CC_SDH_FOREIGN_LANGUAGE_ENGLISH_SUBS for these movies.
  • You now need to include closed captions for all promotional content. We won’t accept deliveries that include the reason code PROMOTIONAL_TV_CONTENT_PRE_JUNE_2015.
  • iTunes Extras are required to have closed captions or SDH after June 30, 2015, if your content is available with closed captions or SDH in any other format, including physical formats such as Blu-ray or DVD.

Only currently valid reason codes will be accepted. Without a valid reason code, content without closed captions can no longer be offered on the iTunes Store in the United States, and will be removed on or after June 30, 2015. Be sure that you update your content with valid reason codes before then.

If you’re not sure which of your deliveries has closed captions, you can get a status list in Catalog Reports.

Learn more in the iTunes Package Film Specification and the iTunes Video and Audio Asset Guide. You'll find both of these guides and specifications in Resources and Help.

How do I avoid problems when delivering closed captions?

To avoid common problems when delivering closed captions, read the iTunes Closed Captioning Testing Guide available in Resources and Help.