Cost of Transcription services

Getting to the cost of transcription can be varied. It can be determined by the material, the time taken to transcribe, piece rate or bid by the job as per customer request. Other determining factors include quality of the recording, editing required and technical content .Not every service provider will cost the same way. Transcription wave considers all these and determines what will be the best for you as a customer. However, depending on the material and the consistency of the audio files and tapes, only a particular method can be used transcription.

The following information gives details that may determine transcription cost.

Length of Audio & Transcription time

Several things determine how long it takes to transcribe. It can take between two to six times the lengths of the audio. The length mainly depends on type of material, pace of talking, quality of audio, how many speakers are there and how clear they are. Transcription wave takes about 2.5 to four times the audio length. Transcriptions that have only one speaker or are interviews that have clear audio take less time.

One can choose to pay per hour of labor. We have professional typist who type fast therefore reducing the hours.

Length of audio and transcription pages

In single speaker audio, the approximate range of transcription is one page per minute. An average page for most transcription services has 22 lines with 65 characters that are single spaced across. Transcription wave has 25 lines per page and this will cut your transcription bill by 12%. With an interview or one speaker transcriptions they may amount to less that one page per minute. As for multi- speaker audio and fast speakers, it may become more than a page per minute.

Technical content

This is another factor that determines cost of transcription. Also the amount of editing and technical knowledge required is a cost determinant. Some cost more like medical transcriptions. This is because they need more skill, tools and references; these are needed to ensure that the transcript is logical and usable.

Cost is also higher in business transcriptions as they require a lot of grammar corrections. The amount of time taken by your staff for special requests, rush requests and inquiries will also determine the cost.

As for legal transcriptions they are quite similar to business transcriptions, this is because court proceedings are varied in content. Costing is done per page in such jobs as it shows the work and transcription involved clearly.

Verbatim & Editing Transcription

This factor can add or reduce your costs. Transcription wave edits many documents as they transcribe them. This means that the end product is not verbatim and it will require little editing once it finished. This will reduce ones cost as charging will not include the lines, words, pages that are edited out. The editing is included in the total cost. As a customer, you may require some documents in verbatim which Transcription wave do.

Not all companies edit and they provide only verbatim transcripts, in the end this will end up costing you more. This is because you are also paying for what will end up being edited out. That will mean that have to edit it yourself or do it yourself. Transcription wave transcriptions will cut you these costs as they have secretarial skills.

Costing per line or word

You have to know what a line is when you are considering the cost of words verses the lines. In transcriptions, a line is not determined by the lines in your original work. It is defined as the number of characters across. Some, like medical transcriptions, are charged per page and interviews are determined by pages. However this is not fixed and can be converted if requested.

Paying by line and word can be a good deal. However some documents may have short lines and will be more expensive if the rate is done per page, line or minute rather that per word. Paying per line requires careful consideration as you will end up paying for empty space. Documents like this are best charged per word. This is good as it can be easily verified and billing is made easier.

Cost Per Minute

Many transcription services offer per minute rate. Most consumers go for this as the cost can be quickly easily determined even before you hand over the raw content. There is a catch though as one may end up paying more. You may have a slow speaker who will increase your minutes. In this instance you may prefer per page rate. This rate is better for verbatim transcription rather than edited work.

Conversion summary

Here are some of the rate conversions that can help you understand the charging of the transcriptions. These are only approximations and may vary for your documents.

Pages (standard page*) & audio length

  • 0.5 to 0.75 pages / audio minute for slow speakers, some single-speaker presentations
  • 1 page / audio minute for single speaker regular dictation
  • 2 to 4 pages / audio minute for multiple speakers or fast-paced dialogue

Lines per page (standard page*)

  • 22 lines / page (normal)
  • 25 lines / page (Transcription wave – 12 % savings)

Hours labor to transcribe audio

  • Usually 2.5 work hours per audio hour to 4 work hours per audio hour
  • Up to 6 work hours per audio hour for difficult audio (that requires listening multiple times)

Words per line (standard line of 65 characters including spaces)

  • About 8 to 9 average words per line depending on number of blank lines in document

Characters per word

  • About 5.5 to 6 characters/word on average, depends on word complexity

Standard Page

  • 65 characters (including spaces) per line (usually 12-point mono-spaced font)
  • 22 lines per page (Transcription wave uses 25 lines per page – 12 % savings)

Rush transcription

Cost can also be determined by the turn around on a rush basis. Transcription wave is available for rush services that can go to up to 24 to 48 hour. For regular and high volume clients standard rates will be kept standard for rush work. However, for unscheduled rush work cost will be higher than standard rate.

Transcription wave are at hand to give rushed services depending on customer needs and the company’s ability at that time.

Be cautious of other companies that have unlimited rush offers. This is because the work may end up being done outside the country and therefore reducing the standards of your work. To avoid this situation, test them first by sending work that you are really not in a rush with.

Best cost to transcribe

To find the best cost you can contact Transcription wave and you will get to figure out the rate you will be charged for your work. It is also good to sample other companies; you can get their rates by sending a sample of the work you want to be done. This will help you decide the best way to go. More on transcription services cost

Jessica Miller, Marketing Head in Transcriptionwave, General Transcription Services Company in the US.

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