Businesses produce a massive amount of audio and video content in the form of presentations, investor meetings, and conference calls. Documenting these recordings is a time consuming process. More and more industries are now relying on professional business transcription services and technologies to ensure proper maintenance of such data associated with their clients, vendors, and stakeholders. Business transcription includes transcription of video or audio content such as from webinars, interviews, workshops, tele-seminars, seminars, meeting notes, personal notes, presentations, conferences, and other professional or commercial interactions. Though transcription is important, it is a time-consuming process.
According to a new Emergen Research report, the global business transcription market size is expected to reach USD 6.73 billion, at steady CAGR of 14.4% during the forecast period 2018-2028. Key factors that are driving this market growth include
- Rapid digitalization requirement
- Automated workflow capability
- Rising demand for transcription solutions
- Rising focus on more effective documentation
- Solutions to language banners
- Ease of business transcript files
- More and more enterprises dealing with vast volume of content and data
- Demand for more efficient time management solutions among business organizations
Generation of large number of videos by various organizations as well as increasing access to accurate, well-written, and complete records is also creating rising demand for transcription solutions and the trend is expected to continue going ahead. Business transcription converts recorded or live speech into electronic format. Business transcription ensures that businesses have a written record of all conversations relating to the company’s most important financial, marketing and legal decisions. Accurate transcripts make it easy to access the data for future referencing and record keeping. Audio transcription services also help with SE0 and internet visibility.
One of the biggest barriers in the business transcribing market is a lack of competent workers. Other technical challenges include background knowledge, possibility of software and network failure, linguistic style, and tone.
The market is segmented on the basis of component, procurement type, enterprise, end-use, and region.
On the basis of procurement type, the market is segmented into outsourcing and off-shoring. The outsourcing segment accounted for a significantly large revenue share in 2020 and is projected to increase at a steady rate during the forecast period, as outsourcing transcription tasks can save significant amounts of money and time in training or hire staff. Businesses can also access services from expert transcribers who are specialized in different subjects which ensures high transcription accuracy. Reliable business transcription companies provide the services of highly qualified transcribers who are adept at dealing and recognizing various accents and pronunciation aspects and they can complete tasks within a specific time frame.
On the basis of component, the market is divided into software, services, and tools. Services segment revenue is estimated to increase at a steady rate during the forecast period. Tools are sub-divided in to technology-powered and human-powered. Technology-powered segment revenue is expected to expand at a rapid rate, as Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (Al) continue to empower a variety of business organizations with more efficient and advanced capabilities and outcomes.
Region-wise, the market is divided into North America (U.S., Canada, Mexico), Europe (U.K., Germany, France, Spain, BENELUX, Rest of EU), Asia Pacific (China, India, Japan, South Korea, Rest of APAC), Latin America (Brazil, Rest of LATAM), and Middle East & Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, Rest of MEA). North America accounted for largest revenue share in 2020 and is expected to continue to account for robust double-digit revenue CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of this region is due to factors such as – high investment in advanced IT infrastructure and continuous innovation, rise in popularity of video conferencing tools in the US and increased investment to integrate more advanced functionalities such as transcript feature. Business transcription market revenue in Asia Pacific is also expected to register a rapid growth rate, owing to rapid digitalization in developing countries, high demand from countries such as Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and China, emergence of a number of IT companies in developing countries and increasing use of video and audio conferencing solutions.
By Enterprise, the market includes both large enterprises and small & medium sized enterprises. End-users include IT & Telecom, Media & Entertainment, BFSI, Retail & Consumer Goods, Manufacturing and Others.
In addition to quality transcripts to meet the needs of various industries, professional business transcription companies have stringent security measures in place to ensure that data they are entrusted with stays safe.
Whether you’re a lawyer, business executive or journalist, keeping track of interviews, meetings, and conferences can be a challenge. Professional audio transcription service providers ease this challenge by converting the audio and video recordings of these interactions into text. Transcripts provide an immediate hard copy account of events that are easily accessible and can be referred to at any time.
When it comes to transcribed audio, professionals look for quality in the shortest time possible. An online transcription company would be focused on meeting your deadlines, but it’s important to have proper understanding of the time needed for transcription, such as how long it will take to transcribe one hour of audio.
Transcribing one Hour of Audio: Expectations vs. Reality
Transcription is an exhaustive, time-consuming task, especially when done with the highest level of accuracy. Depending on several factors, it can take anywhere from 3 to 10 hours to transcribe one hour of recording. Knowing the components that affect audio transcription time will help you get a better understanding of how long it may for your service provider to complete your file.
- Quality of the audio recording: Good quality audio recordings take less time to transcribe. Audio quality can be affected by a poor microphone, echo in the room where the recording was done, and random noises.
- Microphone: Poor audio is usually the result of an inferior quality microphone or recording device. For e.g., podcast transcription would be much easier and quicker if you used a low noise amplified system with a great microphone was used record it. Choose a high quality microphone or test your microphone for audio clarity before you begin recording.
- Echo: All surfaces reflect sound waves to some extent and hard surfaces amplify the problem. The way around is to put up obstacles that absorb sound waves and cut down on echoing. For e.g., if the recording is made in your office, books can be used to cover hard surfaces. Books lessen the echo effect and also absorb extra sounds.
- Ambient noises: For good audio and quality transcription, your recording environment should be as quiet and controlled as possible. Depending on where you’re recording, your microphone may register outside noises such as traffic, fans, people talking, mechanical sounds, dogs barking, etc. Choose a quiet room to record your audio, and if that’s not possible, apply filters and effects like noise removal to ensure your audio sounds good.
- Multiple speakers: The quality and complexity of the recording is a major factor impacting transcription time. Audio recordings that have multiple speakers take longer to transcribe. A typical example is audio from a telephone call with two or more voices. Speakers don’t always identify who they are and may speak over each other. The audio transcription service provider would need to identify who speaks and at which times. Regional accents or thick accents can also make manual transcription difficult and reduce speed.Speaker recognition is built into today’s software tools like Google Cloud and Zoom. Google Cloud Speech-to-Text features speaker diarization that detects when speakers change and labels by number the individual voices detected in the audio.
- Custom transcription needs: Special requests and level of detail required can increase time needed for transcription. For instance, researchers doing interview studies may need to have the exact words the participants use transcribed if they want to publish their findings in scientific journals. Transcripts that are primarily used to select quotes and sound bites may not need the same level of details as transcripts which will be systematically reviewed, grouped into themes (usually through coding), and analyzed for content. More time is needed for verbatim transcription to capture every filler word and utterance (well, you know, ahs, ums, hmms) as well as for syncing audio with timestamps on every paragraph. Finally, transcription that requires translation from one language to another is an especially complex, challenging and time consuming.
- Research: Do you know that transcriptionists usually need to do a lot of research for each piece of content they deliver? They may have to look up the following:
– Industry specific terminologies and jargon that speakers are using
– Words spoken are unclear due to influences such as noise in the audio
– Uncommon words and slang and unfamiliar places
Producing accurate transcripts would usually involve researching these aspects to get their correct words. For instance, legal transcription requires the highest level of accuracy and can involve more research time.
- Experience: The experience and skill of the transcriptionist is a major element influencing both the quality and time for transcription. Experts can deliver high quality transcripts in quick turnaround time. Both typing and listening skills matter. In fact, experienced transcriptionists know how to balance speed with accuracy and can deliver complete documents to meet client expectations.Generally, a professional transcriptionist would need about 2-3 hours to transcribe one hour of audio.
Choose a Professional Online Transcription Company
Leading business transcription service providers have expert teams with the skills required to provide accurate transcripts for clients in various industries. They work with the latest online tools to provide transcripts in quick turnaround time. Every transcription project is unique and the timeline involved can vary based on this. If you have high-quality audio, you can get your work transcribed quickly. Costs can be higher if audio is poor.
The bottom line: Choosing a professional audio transcription service provider can ensure speed and accuracy and save you time and money.
The transcript of a podcast makes a significant impact on how people will perceive your podcast. Furthermore, a well-written transcript can boost your SEO rankings and help you get more listeners. Transcribing podcast has become easier with the help of voice recognition software and other technological tools. However, outsourcing transcription of podcast to a reliable audio transcription service is the best solution as they provide timely and accurate transcripts. They work round the clock to ensure that they deliver your transcripts on time so that you can have them ready for your listeners. Outsourcing transcription gives you access to professional transcriptionists who are well-trained and experienced.
A good quality transcript will help your audience relive the experience you shared on your podcasts. However, transcribing podcasts is not an easy task and most people do not have the time or skills to do it on their own. Therefore, outsourcing podcast transcription is a wise decision if you want accurate transcripts of your podcasts. Here are some of the benefits of outsourcing podcast transcription:
- Helps to meet deadlines for publishing podcasts: When you invest time and money into creating a podcast, you are not going to record just one or two episodes. To acquire traction with listeners, podcast episodes must be released on a regular basis. As technology advances, podcast transcriptions have become more accessible. Podcast transcription is just as difficult as producing a high-quality podcast from editing clips to fine tuning. It is highly time-consuming. Consider outsourcing your podcast transcription as it helps to meet your podcast publishing deadlines without losing the quality of your production. Most assignments can be completed in as little as 24 hours with reliable transcription services, and ensure that you never miss a deadline.
- Ensures the accuracy of transcription: Outsourcing podcast transcription will give you access to a team of professionals who are entirely focused on providing accurate and timely transcription. You are more likely to get sidetracked by other duties and make mistakes if you are hurrying to finish a podcast transcription before your deadline. When it comes to accurately transcribing crucial information, this can be costly. Unlike artificial intelligence transcription technology, transcriptionists will structure and format your podcast transcription to your specifications.
- To produce show notes: Show notes are often the most time-consuming task. Podcast show notes are a key component of your show’s discoverability and accessibility, so pay attention to them. However, producing compelling, SEO-friendly show notes is challenging. By outsourcing podcast transcription, you can get unique show notes as you’ll need them for each new episode. Many full-service production companies include thorough show notes in their packages; but, if you’re on a budget, resort to affordable transcription companies that specialize in this service.
- Save money: If you have employees or subcontractors and are looking for a way to create podcast transcriptions, you might want to consider employing dedicated staff to handle the administrative work. Hiring in-house, on the other hand, might be a huge financial burden for your company, as well as a risk if you’re new to the podcasting platform. You may also not have room on your plate for additional responsibilities, and may be unable to assign additional work to your current employees or subcontractors. You can outsource the podcast transcribing workload to avoid rising overhead costs and paying another wage.
- Benefit from customized solutions: Outsourcing podcast transcription to a reliable vendor enables you to benefit from a tailored solution that is just right for you. Transcription services aid in the conversion of files in any format, including dss, mp3, wav, mov, mp4, aiff, mpeg4, wma, and ra. Simply provide them the files to be transcribed in their original format, and they will do the rest.
Transcribing podcasts makes the text searchable, resulting in increased visitors to your website. It would help your podcast to be found by someone looking for something comparable to the transcribed podcast. Moreover, keywords from video or audio are not picked up by search engines, but from transcripts. It also aids in reaching a larger audience, particularly those who have difficulty in hearing. Even though there are numerous audios and movies available on the internet, some individuals still like to read, and podcast transcription allows them to do so.
Podcast transcription seems like a simple task, but it can be time-consuming and complicated if you don’t have the right tools. If you are creating a podcast for your business, you need to focus on the quality of your content, not on the process of transcribing it. Outsourcing this task to a reliable audio transcription service will allow you to get back to producing high-quality content that engages your audience.
Findings of forensic evidence can significantly impact the outcomes of family, immigration and criminal law cases. Today, forensic evidence constitutes samples not only from the conventional source the human body but also information from smartphones, laptops, CCTV footage, and more. When audio and video evidence collection is done following industry best practices, these recordings can provide important forensic evidence. Forensic transcription, a category under legal transcription services, plays a key role in helping lawyers analyze the data within court proceedings to determine if a crime has been committed, what that crime is, and who could be guilty.
Audio Forensic Expert defines forensic audio transcription as “the scientific observation of words under controlled conditions derived from an enhanced audio recording”. Audio enhancement involves reducing unwanted sounds and enhancing the dialogue and other wanted sounds within an audio evidence recording. Audio transcription services are used to interpret the dialogue in the recordings and obtain forensic transcripts to identify what was said.
Forensic Transcription Process
The forensic transcription process involves the following steps:
- Audio enhancement: Background noises in the recording are a challenge for any type of transcription. The first step in forensic transcription is audio enhancement — improving the audio recording’s clarity without compromising its integrity. Forensic audio enhancement is “the process of using various software programs and expert filtering to remove unwanted sounds and increase the volume and intelligibility of the wanted sounds, normally conversations. Background noise includes noisy furnaces, air conditioners, buzzes and hums, traffic, and wind (www.primeauforensics.com). Experts follow best practices set forth by the scientific community to perform thorough enhancement services.The aim of forensic audio enhancement is to remove unwanted noise and if needed, improve the quality of the dialogue or speech enhancement. This is important to arrive at conclusions about the events within the recorded forensic evidence.
- Transcription: The next step is transcription. Leading digital transcription service providers have skilled legal transcriptionists on board who can ensure accurate and reliable representation of audio and video evidence in quick turnaround time. Verbatim transcription is provided that captures speech word-for-word, including stutters, pauses and other noises. Facts, dates, and quotes, will be provided faithfully in easily accessible in text format. The term “unintelligible” will be used in the transcript if the transcriptionist cannot discern what specific people are saying. A reliable service provider will also handle these recordings with confidentiality, the most important consideration when it comes to legal evidence.
- Quality assurance: Any type of transcription requires a detailed quality check before delivery. Reputable transcription companies have stringent quality assurance processes in place to ensure consistent, high quality transcription with an accuracy rate of 99% or higher.
How Transcription Overcomes the Challenges of Audio and Video Evidence
When performed by professionals, forensic transcription can ensure accurate evidence for criminal cases.
- Captures information correctly: Forensic analysis involves listening to or reviewing audio and video evidential recordings. However, according to a www.frontiers.org report, the two main challenges are:
- understanding what is being said, and
- identifying the speaker in multi-speaker recording
This can lead to unreliable evidence that can misinform the jury and lead to errors in the judicial process.
Accurate digital transcription of the recordings will clarify names of speakers, as well as what was actually said. It ensures that the evidence is captured correctly for review by judges, juries and legal professionals.
- Supports precise audio and video redaction: Accurate transcripts are also important for audio and video redaction. Redaction involves removing sensitive information from audio files and videos and other data. The most common use of redaction is hiding the faces of those persons who appear in a video and should not be seen or identified, according to law or by preference.
Today, Artificial Intelligence (AI) based facial recognition tools have enhanced the capability of redaction tools by allowing users to recognize, track, and redact faces or entire bodies from video. With AI, audio recordings can be edited by a linked transcript of the audio data, which also enables keyword searches within the transcripts. When the linked transcript is accurate it will enable very precise redaction of audio files (www.digitalmountain.com).
- Supports audio/video evidence in the case: Forensics is the most important tool in medical malpractice litigation as well as insurance claims and cases involving product liability and paternity. Accurate transcripts of depositions and courtroom testimony by expert witnesses are necessary for peer review and also for review by audiences outside of the courtroom.
- Language transcription: Foreign language recordings often form part of the evidence in criminal proceedings. Audio or video, analog or digital recordings of the speech of limited or non-English speaking individuals, when transcribed verbatim by a forensic transcription expert can preserve translation accuracy and the integrity of the evidence. Transcriptionists with highly developed listening skills and proficiency in both languages can transform oral speech into its written equivalent, while accurately capturing all aspects of speech including tone, register, and intent.
When it comes to forensic and legal transcription services, adherence to the appropriate standards and procedures when handling audio and video evidence is crucial to ensure accurate transcripts and translations that will assure reliability of evidence for evaluation by the judge and jury.
Technology is transforming every industry and legal sector is no exception. With shifting market dynamics and rising competition, tech adoption has become a necessity rather than a choice. The legal industry is keeping pace with these changes and today, legal technology is transforming the way law firms operate. As a leading provider of legal transcription services, we keep track of these trends to serve our clients better.
Benefits of Legal Technology Adoption
As in all sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic sped up technology adoption in the legal sector. With lockdowns becoming the new normal, law firms had to go digital to work remotely and communicate with their team and their clients. Automating processes allows the legal sector to operate like the business sector.
- Improved efficiency with digitization of several manual tasks: Lawyers dread tedious and time-consuming tasks. Technology has automated basic administrative work that was formerly done manually in legal firms, such as contract drafting and signing, time and expense recording, billing, client accounting, due diligence, document review and management, analytics, compliance management, legal calendaring, and even jury screening. Digital solutions make it easier for lawyers to share documents with colleagues when necessary. The McKinsey Global Institute estimated that 23 percent of a lawyer’s job can be automated with current technology. With word processors and eDiscovery software, and approaches like machine learning, AI and predictive analytics, reports say that scope for automation in the legal sector is growing.
- Equips lawyers to focus on improving the client experience: Automation is helping lawyers better meet client expectations and improve their experience. With technology and artificial intelligence, law firms now offer a more client-centric approach using chatbots, legal process management, online intake forms and payment portals. Technology also allows them to partnering with other service providers such as digital transcription agencies to provide comprehensive solutions to their clients and win cases.
- Reduces risks of errors in documentation: Legal document automation reduces risk of errors. Creating documents manually increases the chances of omissions and mistakes. Document automation eliminates these issues and results in accurate and consistent document templates. Likewise, automation also reduces the risk of errors that occur due to misinterpretation of facts and figures which can have drastic impacts on the outcome of a case. With digitized documents, lawyers will have easy access to the details and can review the material thoroughly and more effectively using analytics.
- eDiscovery automation simplifies and streamlines workflow: The exchange of electronic information between parties during litigation and investigations or eDiscovery simplifies painful manual reviews. In the manual approach to discovery, attorneys would click through those documents individually, at a rate of about $250 an hour and a total cost of almost $200,000 (www.clio.com). With digital documents, lawyers no longer to spend many hours searching through large volumes of documents to find relevant evidence when preparing cases. Automating eDiscovery is crucial as evidence could come from email, mobile devices, database archives, or IoT devices. Using advanced analytics, eDiscovery automation software searches for keywords and phrases, eliminates irrelevant documents, and speeds up and streamlines the process.
- Improves communication capabilities: The best example of this is video conferencing. With secure technologies like Zoom or Teams, lawyers can communicate easily and at any time with their staff and clients when in-person meetings are no possible. This is allowing them to get work done faster, increase productivity and maximize value. Advanced software comes with innovative features to enhance communication and collaboration such as messaging, file sharing, screen sharing, unique meeting IDs for each meeting, and end-to-end encryption.
- Eases research: Electronic legal research has revolutionized legal research. Legal professionals can utilize a wide range of legal databases to perform research, verify the law, and track the recent developments and amendments. Today, AI and analytics are on the rise and can transform legal research. For example, Thomson Reuters Westlaw, a leader in the legal research software industry, offers and intuitive and fast AI solution that delivers real value for lawyers and legal teams by providing access to current, best-in-class data.
- Increases competitive advantage and revenue: Law firms that fully harnessed technology emerged as the most resilient through the pandemic notes a www.lawyaw.com article. Technology leaders could support their clients more effectively from any location, and earned higher profits than those who did not implement technology. According to the report, “47% more technology-leading law firms saw profitability increases, while tech-transitioning firms (28% of which saw an increase profitability) and tech-trailing firms (13%) struggled”. This shows why law firms should invest in technology.
- Enhances transparency and flexibility: Tech adoption is allowing law firms to meet evolving client requirements and demands. With technology, clients can get concise information on lawyer fees as well as the day-to-day progress on their case. Legal practice management tech solutions allow clients to research and evaluate providers, engage in chat with different attorneys, and learn about basic law processes and requirement. By improving transparency, legal technology solutions allow clients to approach trusted professionals.
Need to Overcome Barriers to Tech Adoption
Legal transcription services help lawyers keep accurate reports of court sessions and other legal proceedings. Likewise, digital tools make lawyers’ jobs easier and improves legal service accessibility and quality while reducing costs. However, reports say that many lawyers don’t use AI tools and lack even basic knowledge about AI. Concerns about data security and privacy concerns and insecurities around the use of AI are the main barriers when it comes to legal technology adoption. As technology can no longer be ignored by law firms, they should reach out to experts to digitize their legal services and support their technology initiatives.
As digitization transforms industries, the demand for business transcription services is growing. Companies need to transcribe different types of audio and video interactions such as meetings, conference calls, podcasts, interviews and so on, so that the content can be stored, shared or used for reference purposes.
One of the most important challenges that transcription outsourcing companies face is poor audio clarity. Common audio problems transcriptionists have to deal with include:
- Garbled voices
- Speed of speech
- Mispronounced words
- Poor audio due to wrong positioning of the microphone
- Inaudible audio in some parts of the recording
- Overlapping and lagged conversation
- Noisy background due to exterior noises such as traffic, weather, conversation, animals, lawnmowers, keyboard clicks, etc.
- “Plosives” – the explosive sound consonants make when spoken into a microphone
- Unnatural sound effects created by audio
- Echoes from the room where the recording is made
- Slang and heavy accents
- Different languages
- Volume variations
Though transcription is a time-consuming, laborious task, audio which is clear and audible and in the same language is easier to handle, even if there are multiple people in the recording. However, an audio recording may often have multiple issues, making it extremely challenging for the transcriptionist to handle. This could affect the quality and cost of the project.
To deliver quality transcripts, teams in digital transcription agencies use certain strategies to deal with poor quality recordings:
- Using a good quality headset: Transcriptionists use headphones that connect to a computer or audio-playing device via a USB port or a 3.5 mm headphone jack to listen to audio content and convert it into text. Using high-quality headphones is essential for audio clarity. Features of that determine headphone quality include:
- the diameter of the headphone driver (the larger the driver’s diameter, the better the sound quality);
- diameter of speaker – for e.g., if it is an over-ear headset, a speaker of at least 40 mm is considered the best choice; quality of the electrical conduction;
- sound sensitivity or the ability of the headphones to detect sound, even at the smallest change/volume;
- electrical resistance
- frequency response
- noise characteristics such as noise isolation and/or noise cancellation
Using top quality headsets go a long way in helping professional transcriptionists handle files with poor audio.
- Slowing down of increase the speed of the dialogue: Transcription software programs allow you to slow down the speed of the playback of the audio. Transcriptionists adjust the speed of the audio when words are difficult to understand. Slowing down the speed of the audio:
- can eliminate background noise and help complete the files faster
- avoid the need to continuously rewind the file and listen to it multiple time to understand the difficult audio
- improve turnaround time (TAT), an important goal for most projects
- Help with accents of non-native English speakers or a speaker who has some form of speech impairment
However, in some cases, slowing down the audio playback can lead to spending more time on the file, but reliable transcriptionists work on their typing speed to avoid this problem.
- Using a sound editor to enhance audio: Another strategy to improve sound quality for transcription is to use a sound editor. Professional transcriptionists use a sound editor to recover hard-to-hear dictation. A sound editor can reduce the background noise, eliminate the echo, adjust the audio’s pitch, modify the volume level of the frequencies, and overall, make voices sound better.
- Using noise cancelling software: There are many free software tools that can clean up sound and remove noise. Audacity is a popular, easy-to-use option that is specifically designed to address noise in an audio file. Krisp, another top tool, uses machine learning to identify the voice of the person speaking, attaches to it and removes all other sounds that are not the speaker’s voice.
- Marking inaudible words: Professionals will not try to guess inaudible words in the audio recording. Instead, they will mark words that are hard to comprehend to indicate that that part of the recording was not clear. Usually, they will add timestamps to indicate the part of the recording that lacked clarity for transcription using a specific format, for e.g., “inaudible at 00:15:35”.
- Translators for multiple languages: It can happen that an audio recording has people speaking in different languages. In this case, an online transcription company would employ translators to help their team do their job.
Many factors can combine to make the transcription task complex and add to the time taken to complete the work. If using the strategies listed above cannot help, transcription outsourcing companies will inform the client about it. It’s important that clients know that poor audio and extra transcription time can add to the cost of the project. They can also provide their clients with guidance on how to ensure good audio recordings.