Podcasts and Transcripts: How to Transcribe a Podcast to Text With Transcription Services

Have you ever listened to a podcast episode only to realize you zoned out and missed a critical insight? Roughly 70% of Americans are podcast listeners, with the typical listener tuning in for more than 7 hours per week on average. What if you could instantly search a transcript to rediscover what was said? Or copy and paste meaningful quotes to post on social media? That’s where podcast transcription comes in—converting podcast audio into text documents that make episodes more discoverable, shareable, and downright useful for hosts and listeners.

In this article, you’ll learn how: 

  • Podcast transcription turns audio episodes into text documents so listeners can search, share, and absorb content more easily.
  • Transcripts make podcasts more accessible for people with disabilities, help boost SEO, maximize user engagement, and allow hosts to repurpose content.
  • There are 3 ways to transcribe podcasts – using AI transcription services, doing it manually yourself, or hiring professional human transcriptionists for the most accurate results.

What is Podcast Transcription?

Podcast transcription converts an audio episode into a written text document capturing everything said—creating a transcript. It transforms casual spoken dialog into an article-like format, making the content easily scannable and searchable.

Adding a transcript to an audio or video podcast allows listeners to visually follow along, dive deeper into key sections, and absorb insights more thoroughly. It makes episodes more accessible for different learning styles while enabling useful features like copying impactful quotes to share on social media for engagements. 

Common Types of Content That Require Transcriptions

Before we tackle the main subject, let me show you some examples of content where transcriptions can be essential. Perhaps you’re dealing with one of these.

Type of ContentWhy Transcription is Important
LecturesCreates searchable transcripts to find key info; enables sharing and reusing knowledge.
SpeechesPreserves historical audio in text form for analysis for posterity.
MeetingsProduces accessible minutes for attendees; improves productivity by allowing quick review.
InterviewsEnables editing to refine quotes; simplifies curation and sharing of key soundbites.
Court HearingsProvides official legal record and ensures accountability and transparency.
Conference CallsAllows participants who missed call to read the transcript and catch up on discussion.
AudiobooksMakes books more accessible to people with visual impairments or reading disabilities.
Social VideosCreates editable transcripts for repurposing content; increases findability in searches.

Benefits of Podcast Transcripts

Think of it this way: converting your podcast to text can unlock the full potential of podcast episodes. Converting audio to text makes content discoverable through search engines. Visual learners can scan transcripts to efficiently navigate topics, while accessibility features give those with hearing difficulties access. Translations can also allow non-native speakers to enjoy episodes.

There are a lot of benefits in transcribing your podcast episodes; let’s take a look at some of the major ones.

Boosts Podcast’s Accessibility

Written transcripts of podcast episodes create an inclusive listening experience for all audiences. While audio-only formats pose challenges for those with certain hearing impairments, supplemental text opens up content to a wider readership. Providing this accessibility measure allows more individuals to engage with the podcast based on their needs and preferences.

Boosts Your SEO

Boost your SEO by making episodes discoverable not just via listening but through written content. While search engines can’t index podcast audio, transcription creates text for algorithms to crawl and analyze, and that ranks highly. Turn episodes into content powerhouses by enhancing text-based signals around topics and themes.

Maximizes User Engagement

Offering a written supplement to your podcast allows listeners to fully engage with the material on their own terms. Readers can easily scan for key passages, grasp complex points through re-reading, or follow along uninterrupted. This accessibility empowers audiences to tailor their experience, optimizing comprehension. 

Repurpose Simplified

Transcripts open creative doors for repurposing podcast content across platforms. You can strategically excerpt quotes, statistics, or discussions for social media posts. Or compile key insights into a blog article or visual graphic. This amplification spreads your message to new audiences in digestible formats.

How To Transcribe Podcasts

Let’s get straight to the point: there are three ways to transcribe podcast episodes–using AI, transcribing manually, and opting for a transcription service like Ditto. 

Let’s consider the pros and cons of each.

Using AI-Powered Automatic Transcription

Automated transcription uses artificial intelligence to quickly convert audio into text–seemingly an easy shortcut for podcast episode needs. Services like Welder, Sonix, and Descript employ algorithms to churn out transcripts.

However, accuracy issues persist compared to human transcriptionists, who can better interpret context and nuance. AI transcriptions are only 86% accurate at best. On top of that, they only perform well with studio-quality audio when only one person is talking without any background noise. 

If you’re happy publishing content that’s “kinda accurate,” AI might be the solution for you. If you need to bump up accuracy to >99%, you could always edit the AI’s output. However, that will take time—which makes you wonder, why did you use AI to begin with?

For flawless results, the human touch easily outpaces AI.

DIY Manual Transcription

Creating your podcast transcripts by hand is possible if you have the time to dedicate to it. The process starts—gather an audio player, a comfortable pair of headphones, a quality foot pedal, and a laptop or desktop computer to type into a document. Then begins the meticulous relistening, rewinding, and typing up of the podcast dialogue, bit by bit. Expect to spend at least 8-9 hours transcribing for every 1 hour of audio content.

Though manual transcription is time-consuming, the upside is full creative control, familiarity with your content, and highly accurate capture of every spoken word. As you manually carve out this transcript, you’ll likely improve your typing abilities, attention to detail, and transcription techniques with practice over time. 

Bottom line: Manual transcription works well if you have lots of spare time or don’t have the budget to outsource the work to a professional service like Ditto Transcripts.

Outsource To Professional Transcriptionists

Paying for an experienced transcriptionist saves time while ensuring accurate, polished results. Ditto Transcripts guarantees 99%+ accuracy. This is the most practical option since transcription companies provide dedicated professionals with transcription tools and are trained in podcast transcription. 

When going for this option, you’ll need to clarify your expectations upfront—provide your account manager with the audio files (via our secure upload link), formatting preferences, deadlines, and review protocols. This collaboration sets your transcriptionist up to meet your exact needs responsively.

As for Ditto Transcripts, our rates vary based on speed and audio quality. For a standard 3-5 day turnaround, expect to pay $1.75 per audio minute, while faster service runs slightly higher. Rush delivery options are also available with premium pricing. Finally, if time isn’t of the essence, you can opt for 6-10 business days turn-arounds starting at $1.50 per audio minute.

What To Do With Your Podcast Transcripts

Making transcripts easy to access is a win-win—it lets more folks enjoy your show while directing hungry listeners your way and potentially bringing more profits to your business. 

Host Full Transcripts Without Restriction

Upload your podcast transcripts freely on your website, allowing more people to discover your show. Listeners can download the text to read later or share it with friends. You can consider this as a value-added way to build your audience. As you design your site, enable visitors to easily find transcripts alongside audio episodes without any gates or hoops. The simpler the access, the better.

Sync Text Alongside Episode Media

Some podcast hosts let you embed full transcript text directly on the episode page. Review options to sync transcripts seamlessly with audio or video. How might this boost engagement? You want listeners focused on the content itself, not navigating issues. As you explore hosting plans, keep the transcript-to-episode linking capability in mind. Will visitors struggle to move between media? Streamline their experience.

Email List For Transcript Access

Offering transcripts in exchange for email signup helps you build a more invested audience. Consider translating transcripts into languages your listeners speak, too. As you design the opt-in, make accessing transcripts easy after they signup. PDF downloads, accurate text, readable formatting — these details create value and trust. Segment transcripts to only engaged subscribers, establishing exclusivity.

Sell Complete Set for One Payment

Creating high-quality transcripts requires an investment on your end. But transcripts also significantly elevate the listener experience. Consider bundling all transcripts from a given season or year into a package to sell. This lets serious audiences deeply engage with episodes as text while helping you offset production costs. With the bundle, offer searchability within transcripts and other extras that show the effort behind the curtain. 

Monetize Per Episode Text

Charging a small fee for each transcript lets audiences invest incrementally while generating revenue for you. Consider outsourcing transcription if subscriber interest and payments exceed in-house capacity. As your audience grows, what opportunities emerge to enhance the transcript experience? Think searchability, engaging visual elements, or audio syncing. The more value you build, the more reason for them to purchase.

Let Ditto Transcripts Transcribe Your Podcast Episodes

Transcribe a podcast easily with quality transcription services to help grow your podcast and revenue. With over 14 years of experience and industry-leading accuracy, Ditto’s transcribers use modern tech to deliver seamless transcripts.

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

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