Transcription Costs & Rates [Guide + Calculator]

Transcription services can be a valuable investment for businesses. Whether for marketing purposes or internal communication, transcripts can ensure better brand visibility and operational efficiency.

But, like most services, the question of cost is bound to come up. 

“How much does transcription cost?” is frequently asked, and the answer is not always straightforward. 

Employing professional transcription services indeed requires an investment of time and money, but the good news is it doesn’t have to be a budget-busting expense.

While many factors can impact transcription rates, there are also ways to get the most value for your money.

This blog post will guide you through the world of transcription services cost, helping you to find a solution that best fits your needs and budget. 

So ready to get started?

Let us dive in!

Why Transcription Services Matter

The dynamics of business communication are constantly evolving, driven by advancements in technology and changes in consumer behavior. Static words on flat pages are being replaced by moving images and sound.

Videos have emerged as the powerful new language of business, a language that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of consumers, with their ability to convey even the most complex ideas with stunning simplicity. 

Now in 2023, 91% of businesses rely heavily on videos as an impactful marketing tool.

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However, video content is only effective when it can be indexed, searched, and distributed across different platforms. With the help of transcription, the key messages and information in videos are captured and organized for searching, sharing, and analyzing.  

While video marketing has been reported by 96% of marketers to improve user understanding, 95% to increase brand awareness, 91% to drive traffic, 90% to generate leads, and 87% to boost sales, transcription has the potential to bolster these outcomes even further.

Let us find out how.

Transcription Increases Your Videos Accessibility

Transcription can ensure greater accessibility for your videos. Captions provide a complete, word-for-word representation of the audio content, making it easy for individuals to read and understand the information being conveyed. So who benefits from captioning in terms of accessibility?

1. Individuals who are not fluent in the language spoken in the video.

2. Individuals who may prefer or have to read the content rather than watch captions in case they are in an environment where audio cannot be played out loud

3. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The World Health Organization estimates that currently, 430 million people, or over 5% of the world’s population, suffer from hearing loss. This number is projected to increase to 700 million people,  or 1 in every 10 people, by the year 2050.

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However, ensuring accessibility for individuals with hearing impairment is not an option like the rest. It is obligatory in many countries around the world.

In the U.S., for example, the Americans With Disability Act (ADA), prohibits disability discrimination in places of public accommodations, which also covers websites. It requires videos displayed within or distributed by these places to be captioned.

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Transcription Improves Videos Visibility In Search Results 

Transcription improves your video’s searchability throughout the web by providing text-based content that search engines can crawl and index. So how?

Search engines rely on text and code to understand the content of a webpage since they cannot watch a video. Instead, search bots crawl the site, analyzing the text and code to determine the web page’s topic and relevance to users’ search queries. 

When you add transcripts with relevant keywords and phrases, you provide search engines with the necessary text-based content to understand the information presented in the video. And this, in turn, improves your videos’ visibility in search results.

Transcription Boosts User Engagement

Adding video transcription to your website can also result in increased visitor engagement and longer time spent on your site. By providing transcripts, visitors can quickly and easily find the information they are looking for, resulting in a better user experience and lower bounce rate.

Not only this but captions also help you to provide your audience with more control over how they consume video content. With captions, viewers can follow along with the video’s content more easily, even in noisy or quiet environments, or simply in situations where they do not want to play audio out loud. 

According to Meta, 80% of viewers react negatively when video ads with sound unexpectedly play loudly. But. on the other hand, captioned video Ads showed an increase in viewing duration by an average of 12%.

Transcription Costs

So, ensuring that your videos do not require sound to communicate their message through transcription is a great way to ensure a positive viewing experience and better engagement.

Transcription Service Costs: Basic Structures & Average Pricing

With the variety of pricing models available, it can be challenging to calculate costs and determine which service best fits your needs.

And so understanding these different models available and their associated costs can help you make informed decisions about which transcription service to use.

Below are four of the most common pricing models and some average costs for transcription services.

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This is the most common pricing model for transcription services. And in this case, you will be charged per minute for transcriptions of your audio or video file.

The transcription rates per audio minute are a good option since you will know how much you will be charged upfront.

Generally, rates for clear audio (per recorded minute) for up to two speakers range from $1.25 to $3.50, depending on the many factors discussed in the sections below. For three or more speakers, transcription services can cost from $2.50 up to $5.00, with the cost rising as the number of speakers increases.

Per line is another pricing model that some transcription services use. With this pricing model, the customer is charged per each text line of transcription produced. 

A text line is typically defined as 65 characters including spaces. This is usually around 12 to 14 words in total.

Usually per text line rates work best for shorter transcripts with fewer than 500-1000 lines while a per-page or per-hour rate may be better in terms of cost for longer transcripts.

Per page is also a common pricing model for transcription that provides customers with a transparent quote. However, it works best for shorter transcripts, especially those under 10-20 pages. 

A standard page is typically assumed to contain 300-350 words, and don’t worry because all transcription services providers often specify the assumed word count per page in their pricing.

Another simple and straightforward pricing plan for transcription is per-hour pricing. It is the amount of money transcription services charge for each hour of audio or video transcribed.

This model makes it easy for customers to know exactly what the base cost will be for a given amount of transcription time. And the average cost of transcription services per audio/video hour most typically ranges between $25 to $50. Other transcription projects may cost you up to $100 per hour.

To avoid confusion, you can request a free transcription service quote from your transcription company before you begin the project.

Are You Looking for MT Post-Editing Services? Need Help Calculating Rates?

We created this client’s guide just for you and your partners.

The 7 Factors That Influence a Transcription Cost

Many factors can affect a transcription service’s final price, including your budget available for the service. For this reason, when calculating the transcription fee, you should consider the following:

Audio quality is one of the first factors that can have an impact on transcription pricing. If an audio file has poor quality, it can be more difficult and time-consuming for a transcriptionist to accurately transcribe the content. 

This can be effort-consuming and might necessitate reliance on specialized equipment or software to improve the quality of the audio, resulting in higher transcription costs compared to high-quality or clear audio files.  

For example, while the average transcription cost for clear audio is between $1.25 to $2.5 it ranges between $2.75 to $5 for a low-quality audio file

But what are the factors that deem an audio file as a low-quality one?

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Transcribing technical audio files, such as those containing scientific or engineering terminology, may require a transcriptionist with specialized knowledge or expertise in the subject matter.

And generally speaking, technical translation rates tend to be higher. As an example, the cost of medical transcription services may be more expensive than that of standard interview transcription services cost.

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The type of transcription service you need also determines the amount of money you will pay. There are different types of transcription services available, each differing in terms of the level of detail provided and the amount of time and effort required to complete the transcription.

it’s a complete record of an audio/video file. It involves capturing every spoken word and sound in an audio file, including filler words, repetitions, and pauses, which is more time and effort-consuming, and definitely more expensive.

It’s the edited version of the verbatim transcription. It refines the transcriptions and ensures a well-structured text, removing filler words and restructuring sentences for better readability. It’s slightly lower in cost compared to verbatim transcription.

This type strikes a balance between verbatim and clean transcription. It omits most filler words and repetitions but retains nuances like speaker hesitations and significant background information. Since this is a more nuanced approach to transcription, it can cost slightly more than clean transcription.

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Transcription services with rush deadlines, such as same-day or next-day delivery, may be more expensive than those with a longer turnaround time.

This is because shorter turnaround times mean prioritizing your project to complete it quickly,  which involves allocating additional resources and potential overtime payments.

On the other hand, transcription services with longer turnaround times may be less expensive, as transcriptionists have more time to complete the project, allowing for a more flexible schedule and less pressure to complete the project quickly.

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Another factor that affects transcription cost is the length of the audio or video file. Generally, longer audio or video files take longer time and more effort to transcribe than shorter files, which can result in higher transcription costs. This is because longer files

  • May contain more content that needs to be accurately transcribed, which can require additional time and attention to detail. 
  • May require more breaks for the transcriptionist to rest their ears and maintain accuracy, which can further increase the time required to complete the transcription.
  • May contain more variations in accents and background noises which increases the complexity and effort required for the transcriber to accurately capture everything that is said.
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Transcription methods can also affect the cost of the service. Human-generated transcription services are typically more expensive than machine-generated transcriptions but they are your safest option. So why?

Human-generated transcription requires a transcriptionist to listen to the audio file and accurately transcribe the content, which can be time-consuming and requires a high level of skill and expertise.

Machine-generated transcription involves using automated speech recognition software to transcribe the audio file, which can be completed quickly and at a lower cost.

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Now you must be wondering why you should go for the more expensive option. 

Machine-generated transcription is often less accurate and poor in quality than human-generated transcription. And this means that you will eventually need to opt for human post-editing to maximize the overall quality of your transcripts, which is an additional cost. 

And while human-generated transcription services may be more expensive, they provide a higher level of accuracy and quality, so they are worth the additional cost.

Add-on services are additional services that may be requested in addition to the transcription service and may incur a slightly higher charge due to the additional time and effort demanded from the transcriptionist.

Transcription Costs and rates

If the audio file you want to transcribe is used for legal or research purposes or will be translated into another language, you might need edited transcription where grammatical and linguistic mistakes are corrected for ensured accuracy.

If your transcripts will be used for subtitling or closed captioning, you might need to add timestamps to the transcripts for accurate synchronization of the audio with the corresponding text. 

If you need machine-generated transcripts or subtitles, you might need Machine Translation Post-Editing MTPE, where a team of professional editors and proofreaders make sure the transcribed and translated content reads accurately in any other language.

If you need audio or video-to-text transcription for presentations, for instance, you might need Desktop Publishing DTP to ensure the text is formatted and displayed correctly in the final product. These additional services can lead to higher transcription costs.

MT Post Editing rates, as well as DTP Translation rates, must be calculated separately and added to the overall cost. Nevertheless, opting for a professional translation and transcription agency is the best cost-effective option for you where you will find all the services you might need in one place, offered by professionals and with the highest quality.

A Translation Agency Is The Right Partner

Maybe you’re still wondering why you should contact a professional translation agency. We summed it up for you:

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Choosing a Language Service Provider that Offers Top-Notch Transcriptions in Any Language

Searching for a high-quality transcription service? Look no further!

With nearly two decades of experience, bayantech provides transcription services in a wide range of industries. So far, we’ve handled a wide variety of transcription projects, from patient records to court proceedings. 

Our team of language professionals guarantees that your translation project will meet (and exceed) your expectations. On business days, you can contact our customer service department with any questions you may have.

Contact us now! We’d be delighted to discuss your transcription project with you.

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