Is this governed by the author of the video and whether or not they enable or disable some transcript setting? Is there some YouTube backlog that's processing videos and making transcripts available once they finished? Are longer videos more likely not to have transcripts? Are low view count videos more likely to not have transcripts, like is the translation service giving priority to popular content?

I'm baffled by the inconsistent experience across YouTube. I can understand some old videos will lack that feature, but some new stuff seems to have transcripts available right away while others do not. Is there something client side I'm missing that displays transcripts when they're available beyond the CC button?


I have no answer based on official sources but observations and conclusions

Available facts

Observations from a sample

Tutorial video is part of a playlist. It can also be shown as video nr 59 within that playlist.

  1. Offers "English" subtitles, meaning manually created
    as opposed to "English (auto-generated)"
  2. The CC button is available and can be toggled on/off
  3. In the "…" more menu the option "Transcript" is not available.
  4. Regardless whether the video is
  • a) shown stand-alone or
  • b) as part of the playlist

Deducing: Does not look like technical limitation to me:

  • The best possible source is available (manually uploaded transcript)
  • It's a video from 07/2020, so contemporary, not from the early YouTube times
  • CC can be shown. So the data is definitely there.

My guess: It's a publisher's decision

  • There must be an option "Offer transcript"
  • But as stated under available facts, I saw no such documented option

Possible ways to get a definitive answer

  1. Get a YouTube creator, try out YouTube Studio, check all options.
  2. Try different videos in different browsers.

By falsification/verification of one or both point we will get the final definitive answer.

Or 3: We get an official answer from a YouTube/Google representative.

  • I want to say one of the videos I checked initially had no transcript and later did. I'm not positive but if I can track a few videos documenting this transformation it may be that videos land in transcribe queue and take a while to process.
    – jxramos
    Jan 14 at 18:31

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