Podcast Transcriptions

Podcast transcriptions are frequently overlooked in podcast production. Transcripts take time or money, and often a bit of both. This is enough to deter many smaller start-up podcasts. However, even with a small following, it pays to have a transcript for four big reasons:

  1. A transcript opens up a podcast to people with auditory disabilities, whether it be hearing loss or an auditory processing disorder. This is a bigger market than people realize. In 2012, the CDC released a study that revealed that 15% of American adults report some trouble hearing.
  2. Having a transcript readily available improves search engine optimization (SEO). The greater SEO, the more listeners that will be exposed to your podcast.
  3. Many current listeners will benefit from having a transcript to read. They can clear up misinterpretations and allow your audience to have a closer look at your content.
  4. By having a transcript, it gives the producers of the podcast an opportunity to see their work from an outside, impersonal perspective. This objective view of what is being said can lead to improvements in the overall quality of future episodes.

With a highly-competitive market like podcasting, any opportunity for growth should be jumped on. While providing transcripts won’t revolutionize a podcast, they can offer a boost in listeners and their quality of experience.

Most podcast creators can recognize the value of transcripts, but the problem is acquiring them.

What Are Podcast Transcriptions?

A Podcast Transcription is a written document that is word-for-word identical with the audio of any piece of content. Transcriptions are most often used with podcasts, as podcast are audio, but transcriptions are not limited to podcasts.

As stated above, there are several reasons to create a transcription, but ultimately having an accessible way for all people to interact with your content is at the heart of a transcription.

How to Get a Podcast Transcript

To get a transcript, you have options. Building a proper transcript is usually done through one of three methods: independent,AI, or full-service development. Independent development is done on your own with little-to-no cost.

AI development will give you a near-finished transcript in less time. Full-service development is when you hire a 3rd party to produce your transcript in its entirety.

All options are relevant and useful in their own way, and here are some suggestions for how to get a transcript through these different methods. Independent Development (DIY) Writing or obtaining a transcript on your own is the cheapest but most time-consuming method.

Without a paid AI service, you can still get a rough transcript that you will need to edit. The first option is to simply write the transcript while listening through the episode. This will negate the need for any revisions and editing, but it is tedious.

Instead of listening to the whole episode yourself, you can use Youtube’s closed captioning or Google Docs voice typing. Both services are free and widely available.

1. To use Youtube’s closed captioning, you must first upload your episode to Youtube. Only the audio is necessary. After uploading your episode, select the option for closed captioning and Youtube will provide you with a rough transcript.

2. To use Google Docs voice typing, the first step is to pull up Google Docs. Voice typing is listed in the menu bar under “tools”. Click record, then let your episode audio play out loud. Google Docs will write a rough transcript for you.

It is important to edit and revise the transcripts received through Youtube or Google. Automated voice processors tend to misinterpret voice inflections and have improper punctuation. For example, the closed captioning might have “let’s eat grandpa” rather than “let’s eat, grandpa”. Another option is to outsource the transcript to a friend, family member, or supporter. An arrangement like this will need to be settled on your own, but keep in mind that anybody can use the methods listed above.

AI Development

To make your process simpler and quicker, you can pay for an AI program to build your transcript. The benefits of using an AI is that it will be more accurate, convenient, and timely than building a transcript on your own. The drawback is that you will still need to check for errors in the transcript before publishing. There are a lot of options for AI development, but here are three quality services.

1. Temi

Temi is a simple site with only one payment option. For $0.25 per minute of audio, Temi will take your audio file and transcribe it in minutes. They also have an easy and accessible free trial. Without providing a credit card, you can get up to 45 minutes of transcription. For somebody who is looking for a user-friendly interface and simple payment process, Temi is a great option.

2. Descript

Descript is one of the top AI processors on the market. They offer multiple different packages of services, but the base package is usually enough for simple transcription. For the base package, a yearly subscription costs about $12 a month and a monthly subscription costs about $15 a month. They both have a maximum of 10 hours of audio monthly and average out to around $0.02 a minute. In addition, they have a free trial that offers 3 hours of transcription.

Descript is the best option for a steady podcast that rolls out on a schedule. The subscription-based pay system means that the price will be cheaper if all 10 hours are used every month.

3. Audext

Audext offers two different services, one is AI development and one is full-service. If you choose the cheaper AI option, it will cost you $5 an hour or around $0.08 per minute. They offer 30 minutes of AI development and 30 minutes of full-service development for free, so you can try out Audext without paying. This is the cheapest option that is not subscription-based. The quality of the transcripts will be comparable to other AI services, but it may take an extra 5-10 minutes to get your audio transcribed.

Full-Service Development

For anyone who would rather outsource the transcript and get a finished product, full-service development is the best option. Generally, these services combine AI development and manual editing to build transcripts that can be published immediately. With a turn-around of less than a week, full-service development is by far the most convenient way to get a transcript.

That being said, the extra work being outsourced means that the prices are higher. However, If you are willing to pay, you will not be disappointed by the results. These companies and services will have less trouble with accents and can identify speakers and timestamps in your transcript.

1. Audext

As mentioned, Audext offers a full-service development option. This will cost you $1.20 a minute, but guarantees better quality than the AI option. They claim that a professional transcript will be returned in three days. While the service may seem automated and impersonal, employees of Audext will be manually revising the transcripts after running the AI voice processor. From the perspective of the customer, the process is to simply send in the audio and receive a professional transcript a few days later.

If you are looking for the simplest form of full-service development, Audext is a great choice.

2. Truth Work Media (TWM)

For a more personalized and customizable experience, Truth Work Media offers transcription creation among other services. For $350 a month, TWM will produce a transcript for four episodes of a podcast, which averages out to around $1.50 per minute. Rather than a free trial, TWM offers free consultation. Reach out through the website to connect with an employee who can offer guidance through this process.

While the price is higher, the service will be better. TWM is a smaller company that ensures transparency and frequent communication. If you are interested in building a relationship and rapport with a company, opt for TWM’s transcription service.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of which option you choose, your podcast will be better with a transcript. You should feel free to try out multiple different services. Many offer a free trial so there is plenty of incentive to shop around. Once you find the service that fits you best, stick with it. Good luck, and happy podcasting.


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