Can Your Video Transcription Service Meet Deadlines?

August 18, 2015 BY EMILY GRIFFIN
Updated: June 3, 2019

When you’re on a tight schedule to publish your video, the last thing you want is to miss a deadline because you’re waiting on closed captions.

Transcribing and captioning video is no easy task, especially if you have a high volume of content or need quick turnaround. If you’re choosing a video transcription and captioning service, make sure to ask tough questions about delivery speed.

How Quickly Can Your Video Transcription Service Deliver Captions?

This is a critical question to pose to captioning vendors. Most captioning vendors provide a few different turnaround options: usually there is a “standard” turnaround option, as well as faster turnaround options at increased price points.

For example, 3Play Media offers a standard 4-business day turnaround for transcription and captioning — plus options for 2-day, next-day, same-day, and even 2-hour turnaround.

Do You Sacrifice Quality for Speed?

No matter how you slice it, video transcription takes time. But do you need to sacrifice transcript accuracy for speed? Not necessarily.

The more complex your content is, the more important it is for you to grill your captioning vendor about how they handle difficult content. Some examples of challenging content to transcribe: audio with multiple speakers, technical terminology, and proper names that require research to correctly identify and spell.

The best way to get quick video transcriptions is to use ASR (automatic speech recognition) technology, but ASR doesn’t perform well if the audio quality is poor, if there’s a lot of background noise, if the speaker isn’t articulating well, or if they have a thick accent.

If your transcription service can’t guarantee accuracy for such content on a tight deadline, you can cross them off the list immediately. Never sacrifice quality for speed.

How Do You Select Turnaround Options?

Consider whether your video transcription service lets you select turnaround for each file or for each project. This provides operational flexibility and greater budget control.

You’ll also want to choose a vendor with a streamlined way of specifying turnaround for transcription jobs. For instance, do you need to email the vendor with turnaround options every time you submit a request? Or do you just check a box when uploading your file? Find the transcription service that makes the process as simple as possible for you.

What If You’re Not in a Rush?

Do you rarely have time-sensitive captioning project? Or are you working on captioning an entire archive with no set deadline?

Ask your transcription service if they offer discounts for extended turnaround. This can be a great way to reduce cost at the same high level of accuracy.

Lastly, keep in mind that captioning companies are notorious for missing deadlines, so be sure to ask about their track record and policies for remedying late files.


Deadlines are important. You need to make sure that the vendor provides flexible turnaround options and that they have a high success rate of meeting deadlines (even for fast turnaround).

Need captions now?

Get started with 3Play Media’s professional video transcription, captioning, and subtitling service.

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