Should You Transcribe Your Podcast?

August 17, 2022 BY ABBY ALEPA
Updated: August 30, 2023

Tips For Creating an Accessible Podcast [Free Guide]

If you’re a podcaster trying to expand your audience or create a larger online presence, you may be wondering: Should I transcribe my podcast?

While there are many benefits of transcription, from accessibility to discoverability to repurposed content, it’s helpful to back up our reasoning with numbers. This blog post will reference our findings from a 2021 3Play Media customer survey to help answer the question of whether you should transcribe your podcast.

The Current State of the Podcast Industry

In 2006, only 22% of the adult population in the United States was aware of podcasting. Now, the industry is projected to generate $4 billion by 2024. According to these statistics, podcasting is the place to be. As the industry continues to grow, so does the importance of podcast accessibility. 

According to the World Health Organization, there are over 430 million people with hearing loss worldwide. The podcasting industry in its current state is not prepared to provide this population with the tools necessary for easy consumption.

Because podcasts are audio-only by nature, it is not always possible for those who are D/deaf or hard of hearing to enjoy podcast content. As of March 2022, only 1% of today’s podcasts offer transcripts. That means 99% of podcasts are exclusionary to the 37.5 million Americans who have trouble hearing.

If you’re wondering whether you should transcribe your podcast, accessibility is the number one reason to do so. In 2022, the number of American podcast listeners is projected to grow to 125 million. The need for accessibility in the industry will only continue to grow. Consumers use podcasts as a source of news and entertainment, and the trendy medium is quickly becoming a significant part of our media landscape. For all consumers to access this space, content creators must produce accessible podcasts with accurate and comprehensive transcripts.

As the podcast industry thrives, legal action surrounding podcast accessibility is also making headlines. Three leading podcast platforms were recently sued for not providing transcripts on their mobile applications. These lawsuits could have major implications for the industry and pave the way for a significant increase in podcast transcription.

FREE Guide: Tips For Creating an Accessible Podcast  

Meeting the Demand for Accessible Podcasts

Curious if there is a demand for podcast accessibility? In a 2021 3Play Media customer survey, we found that podcast accessibility is very important to 52% of our customers with podcast content. The survey also reported that accurate podcast transcription is a priority to 44% of said customers. These findings prove that podcast accessibility should not be overlooked.

For a podcast transcript to be accessible, it needs to be at least 99% accurate and include formatting conditions such as non-speech elements

A 99% accuracy rate means that there is a 1% chance of error or leniency of 15 errors total per 1,500 words. WCAG-compliant transcripts are very difficult to achieve without a human correcting ASR-generated captions and transcripts.

Automated speech recognition (ASR) software is a great tool for many different tasks. However, using ASR exclusively when creating captions and transcripts makes for worsened quality and lower accuracy. At 3Play Media, we use an innovative approach that combines artificial intelligence and human editing to guarantee at least 99% accuracy on all files.

Watch this clip to understand the importance of highly accurate transcription:


Still Wondering Whether You Should Transcribe Your Podcast?

As previously mentioned, transcribing your podcast episodes is a good idea to avoid legal issues. But if you are still wondering whether you should transcribe your podcast, here are some benefits to publishing transcripts apart from legal compliance.

Boost Your SEO

This case study about This American Life, a popular weekly public radio program and podcast, highlights the positive impact that podcast transcription can have on listenership. By transcribing its library of radio shows, This American Life increased the number of unique visitors to its website by 4.18%, and 7.23% of listeners used at least one transcript provided by This American Life. Transcribe your podcast and find your audience!

Repurpose Your Content

Make the most of your podcast content by repurposing it and reaching new audiences. Just one podcast episode has the potential to be so much more. With a transcript, it is easy to grab quotes to post on social media, create blog posts for your website, and more. 

create accessible podcast content today. download the guide


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