How Much Do Human Transcription Services Cost In 2024?

While AI is getting pretty good at chess, human transcription services remain the number one option when accuracy is essential. This is particularly true for legal proceedings, medical documents, or any areas where minor errors can have major consequences. Indeed, a human transcriber’s keen ear and contextual understanding are the most practical options for the most reliable and accurate results. 

However, human transcription is slightly more expensive than automated transcription solutions. 

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Transcription costs vary based on audio quality, turnaround time, and speaker numbers, with complicated projects generally incurring higher fees.
  • To deliver high-quality transcripts, human transcribers offer adaptability, contextual understanding, and industry-specific expertise.
  • Accurate human transcription is important for accessibility, historic preservation, and decision-making across various fields.

What Is Human Transcription?

Transcription means creating a written version of an audio or video recording

A person performs human transcriptions—not AI. A human listens to the recording and types out whatever they hear, relying on their ability to interpret even the finest details of human speech, like accents and context. 

Unlike automated services, professional human transcribers (like those at Ditto Transcripts) can transcribe audio with multiple speakers, background noise, or technical jargon while being highly accurate

The downside of human transcription is that it takes longer and costs more than automated ones. That said, it remains the gold standard regarding accuracy and quality.

Most Common Types of Transcription

Now that you’re past the definitions, let’s have a look at the common types of transcriptions you might encounter. 

Type of TranscriptionDescription
Verbatim TranscriptionIt captures every word, sound, and filler, including “um,” “ah,” and stutters, providing an exact record of the audio. This is ideal for legal proceedings or research requiring precise documentation.
Intelligent TranscriptionFocuses on the meaning and clarity of the content, removing filler words and correcting grammar for a more polished and readable transcript. Suitable for interviews, speeches, or content intended for publication.
Edited TranscriptionInvolves more extensive editing, such as restructuring sentences, correcting syntax, and eliminating irrelevant content. Commonly used for creating clear, concise transcripts for business or educational purposes.
Phonetic TranscriptionUses special characters to represent the sounds and pronunciations of words, rather than their spelling. This type of transcription is often used in linguistics, language learning, or speech therapy.

How Much Does Human Transcription Cost?

Human transcription depends on many factors. 

At Ditto Transcripts, the cost of human transcription starts at just $1.50 per audio minute. More on that later.

Below are some of the transcription cost factors that you might expect. 

  • Audio Quality: Clear audio requires less time and effort to transcribe, potentially resulting in a standard cost. On the other hand, poor audio quality can increase the complexity and, consequently, the price.
  • Turnaround Time: Projects with tight deadlines often have a higher price tag, while standard turnaround times typically offer more affordable rates.
  • Accents and Dialects: Transcribing speakers with heavy accents, regional dialects, or non-native speakers may require specialized transcribers and thus incur higher fees.

Transcription Rates Factors

Similar to the transcription cost, the transcription company’s pricing could also vary depending on several factors, some of which are listed below.

  • Per minute or hourly rate: Many transcription services charge by the audio minute or hour, with rates often determined by the complexity of the content or the turnaround time required. We charge per minute to get you the most efficient pricing possible.
  • Per-word: Some providers offer pricing based on the number of words in the final transcript, which can be an option for those with longer audio files containing fewer technical terms.
  • Bulk discounts: Transcription companies may provide discounted rates for large projects or ongoing work, which makes it a better option for clients with substantial transcription needs. The more projects, the more bucks can be saved. Call us for bulk discount!
  • Subscriptions: Some providers may offer subscription packages that include a specified amount of transcription at a discounted rate, which could be beneficial for those with regular transcription requirements.

Human Transcription Process

  1. The client submits an audio or video recording via email or our secure platform.
  2. We assign the video or audio recording to one of our professional human transcribers with the appropriate skills and experience.
  3. For verbatim transcription, the transcriber listens to the recorded file word for word and transcribes all utterances. If doing a cleaned-up or edited transcription, the transcriber lightly edits the text for grammar corrections and removes filler words. 
  4. The transcriber submits the transcript for proofreading – and it’s how we achieve >99% accuracy.
  5. The completed transcript is returned to the client. 

When Is Human Transcription Required?

Let’s look at the most common scenarios where accuracy is highly valuable and human transcribers are required.

Legal proceedings like court hearings and depositions often involve complicated legal jargon, multiple speakers, and challenging courtroom acoustics. For that reason, human transcriptionists are required as they can navigate these situations and capture details more accurately, which are huge factors in upholding the integrity of the legal record.

Why is it so crucial for legal transcripts to be accurate? Legal transcriptions serve as the official record of the proceedings and can be used as evidence in future legal matters. Aside from that, even the tiniest errors in the transcript can have a major consequence that will impact the case outcome.

One classic example is Cody DeShields, freed decades earlier than intended due to a transcription error: 36 months instead of 36 years. Although he fully served his 36-month term, he got involved in another crime shortly after being released; only then was the transcription mistake revealed.

Medical Records

Medical records, such as reports and healthcare meetings, often contain details that must be accurately documented. Some of these documents involve medical jargon that require a certain level of precision for patient care and legal compliance—the exact reason why human transcribers, not speech-to-text software, should transcribe medical records.

And like legal transcripts, accurate medical transcripts are important for effective communication among healthcare providers, supporting treatment plans, upholding medical research, etc. That said, professional transcribers understand medical practices are best suited to handle medical transcription for reliable records.

Market Research

Focus groups, interviews, and customer surveys often contain information that must be accurately captured to help create business decisions. For that reason, human transcribers are ideal as they can interpret subtleties like emotional responses or sarcasm, which can provide a better understanding of the data.

Simply put, accurate transcription of market research is crucial when analyzing customer preferences, spotting trends from a mile away, developing effective marketing starts, and more. 

Academic Research

Human transcribers are preferred for handling the challenges of academic transcription. For instance, qualitative research recordings often contain diverse accents, interruptions, and overlapping speeches yet rely heavily on accurate transcription to support research findings.

Even the smallest errors or misinterpretations in the transcripts can potentially lead to invalid research results. As a result, highly accurate transcripts are “a must” for the overall success of the research. So, human transcription services with expertese and understanding in  the specific research field can provide a final result that supports the credibility of the research.

Media Production

It might not be known to everyday folks; however, accurate transcriptions are highly important in creating subtitles, closed captions, and interview transcripts for different types of media production—documentaries, podcasts, new articles, and more. 

Fortunately, human transcription services can guarantee the reliability of these transcripts and adapt to different speaking styles or even industry-specific terms—something automated transcriptions aren’t capable of. 

Putting that aside, high-quality transcripts can improve the accessibility of media content, which means a wider audience can be reached, and these days, more audience means more money. 

On the other hand, inaccurate transcripts can lead to a diminished overall user experience—have you ever watched a movie with incorrect subtitles?

Choosing a human transcription provider with relevant expertise can deliver error-free transcripts that could improve the overall quality of your content. AI can’t do any of that.

How Much Does Ditto’s Human Transcription Service Cost?

Ditto Transcripts’ human transcription services start at $1.50 per audio minute

Get the most accurate and high-quality transcripts at a cost you can afford.

We’re happy to provide quotes for transcription jobs. Be sure to ask if you’re concerned with audio quality, number of speakers, and other required features. 

After all, transparency is the cornerstone of our operations. 

Maximize Human Transcription With Ditto Transcripts

Don’t settle for AI transcription (that’s only 86% accurate) or inexperienced human transcribers who could mess up your transcription job.

Ditto Transcripts offers the following for those who are looking for a dependable, human-powered transcription service:

  • Accuracy: We maintain a 99% accuracy rate on all transcriptions, ensuring your content is captured precisely without errors.
  • Experience: We’ve been around the block since 2010 and have gained enough experience across industries. Our team has the knowledge to handle subject matters expertly.
  • Simple Submission: You can easily upload your audio/video files through our secure online platform. No extra software or complicated steps are required.
  • Flexible Turnaround Options: Choose the delivery time that fits your requirements. Do you want a standard turnaround or an expedited 24-48 hours? Let us know.
  • Customized Formatting: You can choose your preferred transcript format. Need timestamps, speaker labels, or other requirements? We’ll deliver it exactly to your requirements.
  • Data Security: We adhere to strict confidentiality measures, with all transcribers signing NDAs. Our staff undergoes thorough background checks and security screenings. We’re also compliant with HIPAA, CJIS, and FINRA regulations.
  • Affordable Pricing: We offer high-quality transcription at competitive rates. Our prices start at $1.50 per audio minute. 
  • Trusted by many: Countless businesses and organizations across industries trust Ditto Transcripts for their transcription needs. Our customer reviews attest to our exceptional service. If you need it, we can point you to some of our satisfied clients we’ve worked with for years. 
  • Customer Service: Our dedicated customer service team is available around the clock to assist you. You’ll always reach a real person, not a robot, to address any questions or needs.

Let’s Discuss Your Human Transcription Needs

When accuracy matters, trust Ditto Transcripts for your transcription needs. We offer 99% guaranteed accuracy, expert transcribers, and a commitment to data security, so you can feel confident that your content will be captured with precision. Take advantage of our flexible turnaround options, customizable formatting, and competitive pricing. 

Ditto Transcripts is a Denver, Colorado-based, HIPAA, FINRA, & CJIS-compliant transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

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