How Much Does Transcription Cost in 2024

How Much Does Transcription Cost in 2024


Transcription, the process of converting speech into text, is crucial for capturing the nuances of conversations and making content more accessible and easier to analyze.

However, one question that looms large for many is: how much does a transcription service cost?

The answer isn't straightforward. This is because transcription costs can vary widely depending on several factors, including the complexity of the audio, the required turnaround time, the language, and the level of accuracy needed.

In this simple guide, we'll delve into these factors, explore the different types of transcription services available, and provide insights into the current pricing models to help you make an informed decision.

Let's get started.

What is AI Transcription? Everything You Need to Know
AI transcription software can automatically record a conversation and convert that into text. It can detect emotion, intent, accents, recognize multiple speakers, pull up action items, and more.

Understanding transcription services

Before we dive into costs, it's important to understand the types of transcription services available.

Transcription services can be broadly categorized into manual transcription and automated transcription:

  • Manual transcription: This involves human transcribers listening to audio/video recordings and accurately typing out the spoken words.
  • Automated transcription: This involves using transcription tools to quickly convert audio to text. These tools leverage advanced AI and machine learning technologies and offer many benefits, including faster turnaround time and cost-effectiveness.

Factors influencing transcription service costs

Factors influencing transcription service costs

The cost of transcription services can vary significantly depending on several factors. Here are some of them:

1. Audio quality

The quality of the audio or video recordings being transcribed is a critical factor. Clear, well-recorded audio with minimal background noise typically requires less transcribing effort.

Conversely, poor audio quality, characterized by background noise, multiple speakers talking over each other, or heavy accents, may demand additional time and resources, leading to higher transcription costs.

2. Turnaround time

Urgency often comes with a price tag. A standard turnaround time, which could range from 24 hours to a few days, is generally the most cost-effective option.

However, if you require the transcripts more urgently, service providers will charge a premium for expedited delivery.

3. Specialization required

Transcriptions that require specialized knowledge or terminology, such as medical, legal, or technical fields, generally cost more.

This is because these transcriptions not only require the transcriber to be fast and accurate but also to have a specific background or training in the relevant field to ensure correct terminology and formatting.

4. Length of the recording

Most transcription services charge per minute of audio transcribed.

Longer recordings will naturally incur higher costs, so you need to consider the length of your audio files when budgeting for transcription services.

5. Additional services

Some transcriptionists offer supplementary services such as timestamps, speaker identification, verbatim or edited transcription, custom formatting, or translation.

Requesting these additional services can increase overall costs but may provide added value depending on your specific requirements.

Common pricing models for transcription services

Common Pricing Models for Transcription Services

Transcription service providers offer several pricing models to accommodate diverse needs and preferences:

  • Per-minute or per-hour pricing: This model charges customers based on the duration of the audio/video content being transcribed.
  • Per hour of the transcriptionist's time: This pricing model charges clients based on the amount of time a transcriptionist spends working on the audio/video file rather than the length of the file itself.
  • Subscription-based pricing: Subscription-based pricing involves paying a recurring fee for access to transcription services on a monthly or annual basis. This model is usually provided by transcription software.
  • Per line: Medical transcription pricing is typically based on a per-line structure, with each line comprising 65 characters, including spaces. Standard rates for medical transcription services range from $0.07 to $0.15 per line.

So, how much do transcription services cost in 2024?

Given the diversity in pricing models and influencing factors, estimating the exact cost of transcription services can be challenging.

However, manual transcription costs typically range from $1 to $3 per audio minute or $15 to $40 per hour. Expedited services, poor audio quality, or specialized requirements can push these costs higher.

On the other hand, automated transcription tools can charge as little as $0.10 to $0.25 per minute of audio. These tools can also offer monthly subscription plans which can start from $10 per month.

What's more, some offer free plans that allow you to transcribe a limited amount of minutes per month at no cost.

Create accurate transcription with

Create accurate transcription with Fireflies

While it's more accurate and effective, human transcription often takes longer and tends to be pricier.

However, with an AI-powered transcription tool like Fireflies, you can get accurate transcripts of your meetings and audio/video recordings and enjoy fast turnaround times.

What's more, Fireflies offers affordable pricing plans, so you don't have to break the bank to access top-notch services.

Here's how this tool can streamline your transcription workflow:

  • Generates transcripts with over 90% accuracy in mere minutes. These transcripts contain timestamps and speaker labels.
  • Transcribes meetings and files in over 60 languages (and 3 English accents), including PortugueseSpanishFrenchArabicGermanDutchKoreanRussianJapaneseHindi, and Italian.
  • Can transcribe files uploaded in four formats: MP3MP4M4A, and WAV.
  • Allows you to export your transcripts in PDF, DOCX, SRT, VTT, or JSON formats.
  • Allows you to playback your recordings at five different speeds: 1x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 1.75x, and 2x.
  • Lets you edit your transcripts with its user-friendly transcript editor.
  • Stores all your transcripts in a centralized location to keep them organized and easily accessible.
  • Offers Smart Search filters to help you search and quickly retrieve important information from your transcripts.
  • Provides AI summaries that contain bullet point notes, action items, and more. You can also customize these summaries according to your preferred use case.
  • Offers a ChatGPT-powered chatbot, AskFred, that can help you generate emails, tweets, or even blog post drafts based on your transcripts.
  • Fireflies takes your meeting security seriously by upholding the highest security standards. It is GDPR, HIPAA, and SOC 2 Type 2 compliant and encrypts all your data at rest and in transit.
  • Allows you to collaborate on your transcripts with others using soundbites, comments, and reactions.
  • Further simplifies your workflow by integrating with 40+ tools, including h video conferencing apps, collaboration tools, CRM software, and more.

Best of all, Fireflies offers a flexible and scalable pricing model that suits both small-scale users and large organizations.

You can get started for free and get 800 minutes of storage. To access more features and storage, you can explore any of its plans, which start at $10/user/month. What's more, you can also try out a 7-day free trial of its highest pricing tier.

90% Accurate transcripts In 60+ languages with Fireflies

With this tool's intelligent AI-powered features, you can make your transcription process as seamless as ever!

Try Fireflies for free!

How to lower your transcription fees

One of the most straightforward ways to reduce transcription costs is by improving the quality of the audio recordings.

High-quality, clear audio with minimal background noise and clear speech allows transcriptionists to work more efficiently, which in turn reduces the time and effort required for accurate transcription.

Before recording, consider using high-quality recording equipment, choose quiet locations to minimize background noise, and conduct sound checks to ensure all speakers are audible.

Another way to enhance audio quality is by instructing speakers to articulate clearly and avoid talking over each other.


The cost of transcription services in 2024 varies widely based on the type of service, audio quality, and several other factors.

By understanding these factors and the available pricing models, you can make an informed decision that balances cost with your specific needs.

So, whether you opt for the speed and efficiency of automated transcription offered by a tool like Fireflies or the precision of manual transcription, there's a solution out there to meet your requirements and budget.

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Convert YouTube to Text in 3 Easy Steps
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