Cost-effectiveness of audio description production process: comparative analysis of outsourcing and ‘in-house’ methods
International Journal of Production Research
Year of publication
The need for audio description (AD) is growing rapidly due to the increasing number of people who suffer vision loss. Unfortunately, the producers of movie, shows and other TV programmes view AD as a costly service with no revenue potential. Since cost-effectiveness of AD was never argued, the producers hesitate to expand the service beyond mandatory requirements imposed by the regulatory agencies. This paper develops a cost model and a decision support system that can be used to examine the cost-effectiveness of AD production. AD expansion is examined using a case study, in which the three types of producers: a production studio, an independent film and a broadcaster audio, describe a 30-min TV show. The expansion is analysed under the following conditions: (1) the descriptions are produced by a full-time AD crew instead of being outsourced to a third party, (2) AD production is supported by technology to reduce the time required to record and synchronise narrations and (3) a rich programming mix that includes: shows, movies and other TV programmes is described. The results are promising. For example, if a rich programming mix is described by a broadcaster, AD expansion will become feasible.