New Apple Podcasts Transcripts Are Changing the Way Users Consume Podcasts

February 9, 2024 BY REBECCA KLEIN

Attention, all podcast creators! Get ready for a shift in podcast accessibility and listener engagement. Apple is taking an industry-defying leap forward with transcript support in the next iOS update, set to be released in March 2024.

Apple will provide automatically generated transcripts in multiple languages, including English, French, German, and Spanish. 

While other platforms have dabbled in transcript support, most have only tested it out on their original content and only with ASR. Apple, however, is changing the game by allowing transcripts for all content and allowing creators to upload their own transcripts (more on this later!)

Here’s why we’re excited about Apple’s podcast transcripts:

  1. Interactive and Searchable Transcripts: No more jumping around to find specific moments in your favorite podcast. Apple’s transcripts will be integrated seamlessly into the listening experience, making it easier than ever for everyone to follow along. 
  2. A New Standard for the Industry: Most hosting platforms and podcast apps don’t support transcription, an accessibility barrier that prompted a lawsuit in 2021 against SiriusXM, Stitcher, and Pandora. Apple’s move will undoubtedly set the bar for podcast accessibility across the board. Expect other platforms and hosting providers to follow suit, making transcripts a ubiquitous feature for all podcasts.
  3. Creator-Driven Quality Control:  Apple will allow creators to upload their own transcripts , putting the power (and responsibility) of accuracy in your hands. It should be noted, that user-uploaded transcripts will be subject to quality standards and must be free of spelling and punctuation errors.
  4. Elevating Accessibility: This update is a huge win for people who are D/deaf and hard of hearing, many of whom rely on transcripts to access and enjoy podcasts. However, it is important to note that Apple’s transcripts will be auto-generated, which means the quality will not be as high as human-edited transcripts. Additionally, the standard for fully accessible transcripts is to include speaker identification and non-speech elements, which may not be captured by auto-generated transcription. Still, Apple’s podcast transcript support is a major step forward for podcast accessibility.

How 3Play Media Can Help You Take Advantage of Apple’s Podcast Transcript Support

While Apple will offer auto-generated transcripts, the company sets a high bar for the quality of user-uploaded transcripts, emphasizing that any user-provided transcripts must be free of spelling and punctuation errors and include all segments of the episode.

To meet Apple’s quality standards, user-uploaded transcripts need to be:

  • Free of spelling and punctuation errors: Typos and missing commas can be more than just a frustration for listeners who rely on transcripts; they can disrupt understanding and enjoyment.
  • Complete and accurate: Ensure every segment of your episode is captured, leaving no information behind.

If you choose to upload your own transcripts to Apple, 3Play Media offers a simplified podcast transcription process and provides 99% accurate transcripts. Simply upload your episode, and we’ll deliver a downloadable transcript file to add to your podcast’s RSS feed through your podcast hosting platform (here’s Apple’s list of transcript-compatible podcast hosting providers). Each file goes through two rounds of professional transcription editing to ensure the highest accuracy rate, and you can download and choose from multiple transcript output options, including plain text, SRT, VTT, HTML, and PDF.

Why choose 3Play?

The future of accessible and podcast consumption is here. But who can you trust to provide accurate, well-formatted transcripts that seamlessly integrate with your Apple Podcasts workflow? Look no further than 3Play.

Here’s why you should choose 3Play for your Apple Podcasts transcript needs:

  • Superior accuracy: Our transcription process, which involves automatic speech recognition technology and human editors, ensures near-perfect transcripts—even for complex audio with multiple speakers.
  • Punctuation perfection: We get the commas right so your listeners can focus on the content instead of missing punctuation.
  • Effortless workflow: Uploading and downloading transcripts is simple and intuitive.
  • Fast turnaround: Apple notes that automated transcripts will be available within 24 hours of new episodes being found in the Apple Podcasts directory. This means that for up to 24 hours, D/deaf and hard of hearing individuals will not be able to consume the content. If you upload your own transcript and include it in the <podcast:transcript> tag in your podcast’s RSS feed when publishing, the transcript will be available immediately for all Apple Podcasts users.
  • Full access: To truly make a podcast accessible to D/deaf and hard of hearing listeners, it’s necessary to include more than the raw words. Depending on the particular show, a podcast can contain music, soundbites, and other non-speech elements important to understanding the program. 

Beyond technical expertise and top-notch accuracy, we at 3Play are passionate about accessibility and helping creators reach wider audiences.

Learn more about how to make your podcast content accessible at every stage – from pre-production to publishing and promotion. ✨

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