5 Podcasts With Transcripts to Check Out

August 24, 2017 BY SOFIA ENAMORADO
Updated: March 16, 2021

Back in the good ol’ days when the internet didn’t exist, transcripts helped librarians and other specialists navigate and archive content. Today, they do so much more. Podcasts with transcripts have great SEO, user experience, and are more accessible to all.

With so much content to navigate, transcripts help make content more accessible, searchable, shareable, and digestible… Particularly when it comes to podcasts.

Podcasts have become image-less theater productions, full of sound effects and music to immerse the listener in the story.

So while podcasts are meant to be heard, that doesn’t mean the transcript has become dispensable.

Quite the opposite.

When we are deciphering mysteries along with the reporter, transcripts can help us catch the important details we may have missed.

Or, when we don’t have time to listen to a full episode, transcripts can help us skim the content.

And if you are a podcast producer, transcripts are even more valuable because they can help boost SEO.

 Discover The Benefits of Closed Captioning ➡️ 

How Transcripts Help Boost SEO

Since the hard-working bots at Google can’t exactly hear your audio, transcripts tell them what your podcast is about so they can index and rank accordingly.

In 2011, This American Life decided to transcribe all their episodes.

Note: this is a podcast show that began in 1995. In other words, this was a major project.

Then, they decided to analyze the effects of adding transcripts to podcasts.

For 27-months, they used Google Analytics to record the number of unique visitors and page views. The results proved the value of transcripts, as more unique visitors (6.28%) came from organic search traffic, and the number of inbound links attributable to transcript pages also increased (by 3.89%). In addition, user engagement increased, as proven by the number of clicks on the transcript pages.

5 Podcast Doing Transcripts Right

This American Life

this american life
This American Life is a weekly radio show that focuses on a theme, which unveils through a vivid, theatrical story. In one episode you should expect to experience a rainbow of emotions.

While This American Life emphasizes that every show is designed to be heard and not read, they never fail to provide a transcript because they recognize their value.


StoryCops’ mission is to tell people’s stories, preserving these treasures through recordings and transcripts.

Anyone can participate, that’s the beauty of the project. Everyone has a story to share, and StoryCorps gives them the chance to tell it.

Stories are short, diverse, and full of wisdom and real moments. In addition, every story has an accompanying transcript for readers to browse, read, or download.


John, a peculiar resident of a small town in Alabama, hates living there. So he decides to ask a reporter to investigate a rumor involving a supposed murder committed by the son of a wealthy S-Town resident.

But then, an unforeseen death quickly unravels new mysteries and feuds hidden in the depths of S-Town, Alabama.

For those who enjoyed Serial, this podcast will satisfy your disenchanted season two hopes.

Every episode comes with a transcript, empowering users to take copious notes as, they too, try to decipher the mystery (and follow John’s train of thought).

Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty

mogul the life and death of chris lighty
What do Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, and LL Cool J have in common (other than being hip-hop artists)?

Two words. Chris Lighty.

Chris Lighty was a giant in hip-hop, managing the biggest names in the industry. But in 2012, he was found dead in his home.

Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty tells his story, “from his first breakbeat to the last heartbeat.”

All podcasts can be found online with an accompanying transcript so that you can literally hold onto its every word.

Freakonomics Radio

Life is full of riddles, and Freakonomics Radio is here to help unriddle them.

If you are ever wondering about the inefficiencies of standing in line, there’s an episode for that. If you are ever wondering what makes you boring, this episode can help you figure that out. They can even tell you the stupidest thing you can do with your money, so that you don’t do it.

One great thing about this show is that it can be enjoyed both through listening and through reading. Every show is accompanied with a transcript, and every transcript is “modified for your reading pleasure.” So they look, feel, and read like a story!

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