What is Video Transcription?

Video transcription is the process of translating/converting your video’s audio into text. Transcripts are added to a video in numerous ways – through automatic speech recognition technology, with the help of human translators, or both. Any audio-visual content with a video transcription is helpful in numerous ways. It makes the material more engaging and conveys information seamlessly.

Types of video transcription

There are mainly three types of video transcription – verbatim, intelligent, and edited transcription.

  • Verbatim video transcription It’s a word-to-word transcription of every sound in the video. It not only transcripts the conversations in the video but also transcribes every noise. Videos that include laughing, shouting, and any background noises in the transcription are termed verbatim transcription. For instance, such transcripts use words like *dog barking*, *audience hooting*, *applause*. These are also termed closed captions. It’s one of the most expensive forms of transcription due to the extent of preciseness involved in the process. Such transcriptions are thus predominantly used in films, movies, and video commercials. Verbatim transcription is helpful for those who are deaf, and the detailing helps them understand the audio in the video holistically.
  • Intelligent video transcription It’s a more precise form of video transcription. It does not contain any mumbled words, background noises, or half sentences in the transcript. The transcription is pretty straightforward, enough for the viewer to understand what is being said and happening in the scene. Such type of transcription is usually performed by experienced transcribers. The one who understands the right use of words to convey what the speaker is saying. Such a type of transcription requires less transcription and more editing.
  • Edited video transcription This type of transcription can be used for content where the transcriber can omit parts of the audio file without altering the meaning of the recording. Any unimportant parts are edited from the transcription. Such transcription is utilized for seminars, conferences, and other educational purposes.

Video transcription is a crucial service offered by clickworker, leveraging the capabilities of a global workforce. This process transforms spoken words in video content into readable text, crucial for accessibility, SEO, and data comprehension. clickworker ensures swift, accurate transcription for large volumes of video data. These transcriptions can help in machine learning projects, particularly those focused on zero-shot learning by providing data in a different, more accessible format. By availing clickworker’s services, businesses can generate high-quality transcriptions at scale, accelerating the development of AI models and the understanding of the embedded content in videos.

Video Datasets for Machine Learning

Rise of Video Transcription

Before video transcription became popular, transcription was about turning speech into text. The transcription services preserved court hearings, medical, and other business purposes. The transcriptions were also used for security purposes. Moreover, the transcription was done solely after hearing the speech. This was in the 1970s. Fast forward, the use of speech recognition and the advent of recording video and audio has made the task much easier. Though manual transcriptions are still popular, transcription has come a long way.

When talking of video transcriptions today, the first thought isn’t its usage involved in security, legal or medical purposes but more in entertainment. Now, transcriptions are used in every field, predominantly for seminars, conferences, films, shows, YouTube videos to lot more.

Need of video transcription

The need for video transcription has increased immensely for businesses with an online presence.

Suitable for Those With Impaired Hearing

Every video should have a transcription to make it suitable for viewers with impaired hearing. As per WHO, there are more than 466 million people worldwide with some sort of hearing disability. The impaired hearing could be age-related or genetic. No matter the viewer’s age, videos with transcriptions allow such people to watch and understand the context very clearly. Even viewers with no hearing impairment find catching up on misheard words and sentences useful.

Suitable for non-native viewers

Transcription has allowed viewers to view their favorite shows in any language. Non-native viewers can view Spanish, French, Korean shows, and more because video transcription is available in multiple languages. This, in turn, has increased the viewership of the shows and videos, acting as a profitability measure for media companies.

Conducive to viewing content without audio

Another usefulness of video transcription is that it enables users to watch without sound. As per GWI research, users spend an average of approximately 7 hours daily online. People use the internet while commuting, eating lunch, standing in a queue, or whenever possible. Not every environment they are in is conducive to watching videos with sound. Video transcription, in such cases, allows viewers to view videos without any headphones on and without turning the sound on. This results in low bounce rates.

Enhances user experience

A transcripted video is known to enhance user experience. Every user has a different grasping power. A viewer can pay better attention to the content with video transcription. Video transcriptions also have a feature through which users can search throughout the video for a given keyword. In this regard, two features in transcription have contributed to enhancing customer experience:

  • Allowing playlist search

    Such a feature makes it convenient for viewers to search within the video for any dialogue or hop to a specific part of the video. It can be integrated into a video using a plugin. This makes videos more searchable on search engines.

  • Adding interactive transcript

    An interactive transcript is one where the transcript is not mentioned in the video but is added as part of the interactive caption. The words are highlighted in the written transcript as they are spoken in the video. Such interactive transcript keeps the viewers engaged as they can read and hear in a go. Also, such a feature allows viewers to jump to specific parts using mark timecodes and keywords.

Optimizes video for search engines

Transcription is also needed for videos to rank higher in search engines. Transcriptions act as a means for Google bots to understand video content. When the right keywords are used in the video transcript, there are better chances of ranking in search engine results. There are no means through which Google can understand the content of the video unless it uses some form of written content. Video transcription adds to video searchability. Thus, considered a great means of SEO.

Applications of video transcription

Video transcription has made videos more accessible. Its accessibility and advantages have made many industries and businesses incorporate it. Here are some of the industries that use video transcription:

TV shows and films

Podcasts have become relatively popular in the recent past. Several tools and software can convert podcast audio into text with high accuracy rates. Podcasts usually involve a lively and meaningful conversation between hosts and guests. There are also audio podcasts that amalgamate thoughts on a particular topic in recorded audio. Any video podcast benefits largely from video transcription. It engages the audience better. It is also helpful in getting more subscribers. It also increases the understandability of the podcasts and reaches higher masses (due to SEO optimization).

Podcasts and online videos

Podcasts have become relatively popular in the recent past. Several tools and software can convert podcast audio into text with high accuracy rates. Podcasts usually involve a lively and meaningful conversation between hosts and guests. There are also audio podcasts that amalgamate thoughts on a particular topic in recorded audio.

Any video podcast benefits largely from video transcription. It engages the audience better. It is also helpful in getting more subscribers. It also increases the understandability of the podcasts and reaches higher masses (due to SEO optimization).

Organizations and businesses

Well-established organizations and enterprises are also incorporating the use of video transcription. The video transcriptions are used for employee training videos. Any videos that are part of office meetings are transcribed wherever necessary. For presenting a proposal for a job, a prospective employee also uses transcribed video to make an introductory video about himself/herself. In short, video transcription is necessary for numerous areas, even in the corporate sector.

Media industry

Video transcription has also become popular within the media industry. Transcription has become important as news isn’t only seen on live TV but recorded, and videos are posted online. Video transcription is also often used for recorded interviews or already recovered special coverage by journalists.

YouTube videos

It’s rare to find YouTube videos without an already embedded video transcript. If not, YouTube also has a feature known as ‘captions,’ which adds automatic subtitles to the video. It may not be as accurate as an already transcribed video, but enough to understand the content. Any other videos found on the internet are as well transcribed to increase their online visibility.

Legal and law department

You can also find the use of transcriptions somewhere during modern-day court proceedings. Lawyers and attorneys often use video evidence to prove their innocence. Such videos are transcribed for better results. While transcription is used for preparing police reports, witness statements, and investigations to interrogations, video transcriptions are used wherever the video audio material is needed.

How to transcribe a video?

A video is transcribed in several ways depending on its use. Video transcription can be used as a caption, subtitle, blog, social media, and more. Here are a few of the ways:

Do it use a computer/laptop

Windows and iOS computers/laptops can turn speech into text using automatic speech recognition. In Microsoft Windows, the feature can be found under Control Panel with the label ‘Speech Recognition.’ This feature turns any audio in a video into text. However, this may not be suitable for adding text to the video (subtitle).

Similarly, in Mac, the feature can be found as ‘Dictation.’ The feature is available within the ‘Keyboard’ settings. The use of an internet connection is not needed for the same. However, an internet connection is recommended for more accuracy and live dictation.

Using free online transcription services

There are many free tools available online that provide transcription services. These free tools may not be as accurate when transcribing a recorded video. However, it’s an affordable method if you can proofread the transcript on your own. An internet connection is needed for this method.

Use YouTube Automatic Captioning feature

Another affordable means to transcript a video is by using YouTube captioning. This can be done through the ‘Video Manager’ option to choose the video to be transcribed. Go to the ‘Captions’ tab after that. Use the option’ automatic translation’ with your selected language preference.

YouTube also lets you generate caption text for the video. Users can edit the transcription by clicking on the line that needs editing. Such a text file can be downloaded or added to the video as subtitles.

Doing it manually or hiring a transcriber

Transcription can also be done manually. You hear, pause, write, and repeat in this process. This method is time-consuming but affordable. A 5-minute video takes about 30 minutes to be transcribed.

Those who can’t spare time can hire human transcribers. Such transcribers are hired from freelancing websites at a lower price.

Take the help of transcription service software

Video transcription can also be done with the help of transcription software. It may be difficult to find free software that does the work. However, paid transcription tools are worth it if your budget allows it.

However, the task is done in lesser time with more precision and accuracy. The additional features available in software can also be beneficial. Such software uses AI to transcribe any audio into text. The software is also capable of providing verbatim transcription.


Video transcription has become a crucial part of digital marketing strategy. Adding subtitles/captions/transcription to videos is easy with DIY video transcription, hiring a human transcriber, and using AI software. Video transcription can also be used in multiple ways – published as a blog article, a caption for social media posts, or a subtitle.

Video Transcription – FAQ

What is video transcription?

Video transcription is the process of converting spoken words in a video into written form. It can include dialogues, on-screen text, descriptions of non-speech elements, and sometimes even musical cues. This service is beneficial for various purposes such as accessibility, search engine optimization, and learning and research.

Why is video transcription important?

Video transcription enhances accessibility for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing by providing them with an accurate text record of the spoken content. It also benefits non-native speakers, helping them better understand the content by reading along. In addition, transcriptions can increase a video's visibility online, as search engines can index the text, thereby improving SEO.

What are the methods of video transcription?

There are three primary methods of transcription: manual transcription, automatic transcription, and a combination of the two (semi-automatic). Manual transcription involves a person transcribing the video word by word, which often yields the highest accuracy but can be time-consuming. Automatic transcription uses speech recognition technology to transcribe the video and, while fast, it might lack accuracy especially in handling complex terminologies or accents. Semi-automatic transcription combines both methods, utilizing technology for the initial transcription and then having a person review and correct any errors.

How long does it take to transcribe a video?

The time it takes to transcribe a video depends on the method used and the length and complexity of the video. For manual transcription, a general rule of thumb is that it takes about four to six times the duration of the video. So, a one-hour video may take anywhere from four to six hours to transcribe. Automatic transcription, on the other hand, can be completed in less time, often within minutes, but may require additional time for editing and proofreading.

How accurate are automatic video transcriptions?

The accuracy of automatic video transcriptions depends on the quality of the audio, the clarity of the speaker's voice, and the complexity of the terminology used. With high-quality audio and clear speech, automatic transcription can achieve up to 95% accuracy. However, it can struggle with heavy accents, multiple speakers, low-quality audio, and specialized vocabularies. Therefore, even with automatic transcriptions, human review is usually necessary to ensure a high level of accuracy.