8 Factors Determining Transcription Rates

secretary agency for transcriptionOne of the most common and important questions about outsourcing transcription is transcription rates and costs.

Transcription service providers take into account different factors for determining transcription rates.  If you are looking to outsource transcription, it is important to understand these factors affecting transcription rates.

Factors affecting transcription rates

One of the main reasons you want to outsourcing transcription is to save cost. You want to know for sure that outsourcing will save you or your business money rather than building and maintaining an in-house transcription department. Therefore, it is important to know what factors affect your transcription costs.

Major factors affecting transcription rates when outsourcing audio transcriptions:

  1. Audio length – Audio length is the main criteria that determines transcription rates.  The longer your recording is the costlier your transcription will be. This is because it takes more time to type a 60-minute recording than say, a 5-minute dictation, obviously.
  2. Turnaround time – The deadline for delivery is another important factor to determine transcription rates. Daily delivery may cost twice as much as, say, a standard turnaround time that most transcription agencies have. This is obviously because more resources and priority have to be dedicated to such requests or customers.
  3. Number of speakers – The number of speakers or participants in a recording affects transcription rates.  One person recordings, or dictations, are usually priced lower than one-on-one interviews or 5+ persons in a focus group. This is so because it’s easier to discern who is saying what when there is few number of speakers. In dictations, of course, there is only one speaker and therefore, the transcription rates are generally lower.
  4. Transcript Style – Different transcription styles determine different transcription rates.  Generally, most transcription service providers have a default style.  Styles other than their default style will attract more cost.

These four factors are generally taken into account when determining transcription rates by transcription agencies.  Here at TranscriptionPro, we take into account the above factors in determining transcription rates.

Other factors determining transcription rates are:

  1. Audio clarity/quality – the better the quality the less you pay because it will take less time to transcribe.  Make sure you record your audio in a quiet place as best as you can.  Audios that are deemed difficult will be charged more.
  2. Accent of the speaker(s) – if you have a difficult accent you may have to pay more.  If your audio has a speaker who speaks English as a second language, your audio may be deemed difficult audio and cost you more.
  3. Subject matter of the recording – sometimes if the subject or content of the recording is highly technical or specialized in nature, transcription companies may charge you more simply because they will be spending more time researching and searching.
  4. Editing & proofreading – additional time spent on editing and proofreading will lead to more charges.
  5. Industry – Legal transcription and medical transcription usually command higher transcription rates than general transcription.  Podcast and sermon transcription rates are usually lower than say, media transcription.

It is also true that transcription companies in USA, UK, Canada and Australia will charge more than those in India or Philippines. Simply because it is very costly to live in these developed countries and not necessarily because they deliver better quality transcripts.

Ultimately, your contract with your transcription service provider determines your transcription cost.

Asking for a same-day delivery when you don’t actually need the transcript that fast is a waste of money.  Asking for a 5-day delivery when you require the transcript back within 2 days is impractical.

It is therefore important to take some time understanding your requirement before you sign a transcription contract or place an order.

At the end of the day, you’ll get what you pay for.  That’s true in the transcription field too.  There are some transcription companies that market their service as being low-cost and cheap. Perhaps they don’t spend enough time on transcripts to fully proof quality and content integrity.  To get quality services you have to pay for it.  There’s no two ways about it.  Looking for the cheapest transcription service is not good for an professional company that’s looking for quality transcription services.

I hope this article helps you understand how transcription rates are determined and how they might affect your cost and level of service.

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