With the rise of online video, it’s surprising there aren’t more conversations on the benefits of transcription. Most people have seen captions or subtitles on television shows, or at least know what they are. What they might not know, is that the initial act of turning audio into text is called transcription.

Transcription has been with us for a long time. Imagine the bard of long ago, Shakespeare or Byron, pacing and dictating new work to some humble scribe. This is the same concept as transcription and the reasons why we still do it are simple, transcripts:

  • Improve turnaround time
  • Boost the value of your content
  • Help employee focus
  • Increase accessibility

Here’s more on the benefits of transcription listed above:

Improve Turnaround Time

In fields where audio or video material plays a prominent role, transcripts can really speed up a video editor’s workflow. With a written document, editors can mark sections where revision must be completed all at once and then return to editing. Switching between tasks is a serious productivity killer. With the advantage of a transcript, editors won’t have to move between watching and editing constantly throughout the process.

Boost the Value of Content

Many businesses use transcription services to make video content easily searchable. Search engines can’t watch a video or listen to audio. If a video is transcribed or captioned, Google bots can read the transcriptions and know exactly what content is contained within the video.

Depending on the length of the videos you produce, there may be valuable information on a number of different topics contained within a single video. Transcripts of these longer videos may reveal some natural breaking points between different topics, so each transcript could be broken up into several distinct pages or blog posts on your website.

Help Employees Focus

In all industries, transcribing meetings and speaker events gives employees scannable records without forcing someone to take notes. This can help with everything from project management to repurposing a transcript into marketing content. Research has proven that visual memory is vastly stronger than auditory memory. If employees are given transcripts of all auditory or visual training content, they’ll retain that information much better.

Increase accessibility

In 2011, President Obama expanded the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to include a stipulation for public audio and visual material to be accessible to all viewers. This means it’s illegal for audio and visual content creators or distributors who work in the public sector to not include captions or transcriptions in their material. But, you shouldn’t do something just because you know you’ll get in trouble if you don’t. Including transcripts for all of your audio and visual material is kind and respectful of any and every potential viewer.


If you’re looking for a transcription service, you have options. Depending on your budget, you might opt to use an automatic transcription service, like Temi, for 25 cents per minute. Or, hire a human-powered service, like Rev, to do the work for $1.25 per minute. Regardless of your budget, the days of transcribing material yourself are over — but the benefits of transcription remain plentiful.

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