All the common questions regarding transcription services answered in one guide. Your ability to effectively use automatic speech recognition software will be dependent on your willingness to spend time editing the transcript and the quality of your audio file. If you go to the effort beforehand to create an immaculate recording, ASR might serve you well.
But, they do not produce transcripts that you can count on ((⇨ view some video transcription services)). Human transcription services have a much greater tolerance for challenging audio. The human brain is still far better at linguistics understanding than the best machines on the market. Human transcription services also generally make proofreading guarantees. Effectively, you can count on a quality outcome.
Most commonly, this means editing out stutters, repetitions and the ‘umming’/‘ahhing’ that can make reading natural speech difficult (intelligent verbatim), or the inclusion of all of these specifics in addition to added notes on pauses, tone and laughter (verbatim). Lastly, some transcription companies offer ‘notes’ or ‘summary’ options that forego detail to summarise the major points of a recording — allowing for the quick digestion of information - transcribe footage.
Most companies offering human transcription services charge around £2 per minute of recorded audio and a standard turnaround time of 24 hours. Some are cheaper, but lower starting prices are often accompanied by additional fees that increase the end price. This can include additional costs based on the number of speakers, audio quality, timestamps, accents or turnaround times.
However, this comes with security risks that you should consider if having sensitive material transcribed. On average, it will take a trained transcriptionist 1 hour to transcribe 15 minutes of audio. Think about that when assessing prices and turnaround time. But, you still need to know which company to pick.
Each has a speciality. Your specifics will impact which is best for you. In no particular order, let’s get started! Take Note has a team of 600 UK-based transcribers and offers 99% to 99.9% accuracy. Their investment in data security makes them the safe choice for security-conscious transcription users who need to ensure their client data is controlled under the tightest compliance standards.
Specialising in high volume projects, Take Note’s service options have been designed with the end-user in mind with varying levels of detail available depending on the purpose of the desired transcript and final project budget constraints. As well as the option to remove umms, errs and false starts from their verbatim service, they also offer a great detailed notes service, which starts at £0.79 per minute.
This is a far more efficient way of transcribing meetings because you only keep the necessary information and get rid of anything else. Not many transcription services give you this option, so if you want efficient transcriptions that capture the basic information in an easy to digest format, Take Note are a great option.
Another popular service that Take Note provides is the creation of closed captions and subtitles for online video content, so you can be sure you’re getting high-quality results if that’s a service you’re after. Take Note guarantee turnaround times for all projects and offer speeds from 12 hour to 7 day.
They have become one of the largest players in the transcription service space. They provide transcriptions, captions, foreign subtitles and translations. Foreign subtitles cost $3-7 per minute, and translation $0. (⇨ learn more about video transcription).10 per word. Like most services, they use a distributed network of transcriptionists. They have low rates and simple pricing, but fewer options.
This is a flat fee and is not impacted by audio quality, the number of speakers or turnaround times. It costs an additional $0.25 per minute for timestamps and $0.25 for a verbatim transcription. Their standard service is ‘intelligent verbatim’ — although without grammatical fixes, simply the removal of filler words.
They guarantee 99% accuracy for audio files that are clearly audible and are willing to work with clients to correct discrepancies. They offer a standard turnaround time of 12 hours, although that can be longer for files over 30 minutes. But, for all files, they state the possibility of quicker delivery.
Scribie is another California based transcription company. They are somewhat unique in offering both automatic speech to text software solutions and human transcription services. Accordingly, they have wide price ranges. The cost of their automated service is fixed — £0.10 per minute. Like most automatic services, the variable is transcript quality.
If you are willing to wait five days for a transcript, their starting rate is $0.60. Their regular fee is $1.20 (36 hours turnaround) and a ‘rush job’ (12 hours) starts at $2.40 per minute. They come with timestamps by default. There are, however, then a number of possible additional fees.
They primarily offer human transcription services. However, they offer editing, proofreading, and translation services, along with a speech to text app called Easy2Transcribe that they support for free. For their human service, they make a 99% accuracy guarantee. Their human transcription services operate on a number of different pricing options.
Their ‘standard’ service is $1.50 for a 3-5 days turnaround. Fees continue to rise for increasingly quick delivery until you reach £3.50 per minute for same day turnaround. Difficult audio quality triggers an additional $0.50 per minute of audio. More than two speakers will cost you between $0.25 and $0.50 depending on the turnaround.
GMR fees are slightly higher than other companies. However, they offer access to transcribers located solely in the US. They stress that this adds to the quality of output, security of your data and the delivery of customer service. They use SSL encryption and maintain a private network only accessible by GMR transcription web applications - transcribe footage.
TranscribeMe is able to get large jobs done quickly. Like a few other services, they offer both automated and human-based capabilities, ranging in starting prices of $0.10 to $2 per minute of recorded audio. Their most popular service is called ‘rough draft’. This is a somewhat unique service that trades accuracy for speed and cost savings.
However, this gets you a starting rate of £0.79 per minute of audio for guaranteed 1-day delivery, regardless of the project size. For long projects, TranscribeMe uses a ‘micro-task’ service in which they disperse your file across a number of transcribers, allowing them to make much more specific turnaround guarantees, regardless of the project size.
For all other transcription types, this micro-task service will cost extra, and the guaranteed turnaround time is extended to 48-hours. Their fees then scale up on a large number of variables, including the technical nature of the recording, the number of speakers, timestamps and the type of transcript. They do, however, make a 100% accuracy guarantee for their strict verbatim transcripts.
TypeOut is a UK based company founded in 2008 to help inventory clerks in the letting industry. They have since expanded to service clients across the world. They pride themselves on customer service, claiming to answer all incoming phone calls in person. All of their management and transcriptionists are based in the UK, making a guarantee that they never offshore work.
This high attention to quality and security is complemented by relatively cheap starting fees. Their standard turnaround is 2-4 days, ranging in price from £1.20 per audio minute to £1.85 depending on the number of speakers. You can get a price break starting as low as £1.05 per minute if you are willing to wait 3-5 days for your transcript.
Like most services, they levy additional fees for verbatim transcripts, poor audio quality and storing accents. There are also fees for the identification of speakers. However, all of these fees are less than £0.40 apiece. Transcription Panda is a newcomer, founded in 2016, they offer quality human-based transcription services. Primarily an American company, they have grown their client base across the globe with a standard service starting at $0.95 per minute of audio.