Welcome to this edition of the Real Fast Results podcast! Joining us today is the CEO of Rev.com, Jason Chicola. This is a service that is highly recommended by many successful business professionals. Many of the people who follow Real Fast Results are content creators of one form or another, and it’s a good practice to use transcribed content in your business, in general. That’s because these help people to leverage their time effectively. In this interview, Jason brings forth insights on how to use transcription services in your business. Jason, welcome to the show…
Our promise is really simple. We transcribe audio for $1 per minute, we return it within 24 hours, and the accuracy is 99% or higher. That’s it. It’s that simple. I can give you more detail on all of that, but we want transcription to be really simple.
If you go out and look into the market, you’ll find people that make it complicated. They will charge you based on how many speakers you have. They’ll charge you extra if you want it in less than 24 hours. They will give you all kinds of up-charges if you want to have different formats. We do none of that. We have a flat price of $1 per minute, no if, ands, or buts, and I think we are the only place that you’ll get that.
How To Use Transcriptions in Your Business
There are probably a dozen different reasons, that are common, of why people would want a transcript. Media is a big industry that is producing writing. So, whether you are a writer, a podcaster, a consultant, or a coach, if you are regularly trying to take conversations or discussions and turn them into either insights or deliverables, you need a transcription. You’re probably taking notes and writing things down on your own. All of those people need it, and other industries need it too (market research, legal, etc.) but the value is really in the time savings.
If you’re currently taking notes and writing things out, ask yourself how long it takes. An untrained person would probably take 10 minutes to type out one minute of audio. So ask yourself, “What is my time worth?” That’s the calculation you have to do. Our transcripts are $1 a minute, so a 30-minute file, we’ll transcribe for $30. It may take you 300 minutes. If your time is valuable, you’re probably better off just going with us.
We have customers that use transcription for all kinds of reasons. Many of them are in the media, which means that they are producing deliverables (i.e. Books that they’ve sold, eBooks, blog posts, etc.) We have a number of clients that have a small stable of writers that they use for the second step of taking a transcription and editing it so that it’s more readable. It all depends on what you’re trying to create. I could think of one company, that’s a large customer of ours, that produces books for people. If you want to write a book, they will help, kind of, ghost write it for you. They get audio from their clients, they turn it into a transcript, and somebody else turns it into a book.
To be specific about this, if you are regularly producing content like this, you may want to go to a place like Upwork to find a writer who fits your style. The reason I think it’s hard to give a general purpose answer is that everyone has a different definition of what good looks like, or what the writer looks like, and so you have to find the style, the writer that works for you.
Innovative Uses of Transcription
I’ll give you a couple of examples. We see an enormous amount of use around video. Think about how much video is being captured, created, and shared around the world today. One of our customers, called Heavybit, produces video and they use our transcripts for a couple of things. If you go to their website and you watch one of their videos, it will be captioned. So, you can see their words on the screen in real time. There will be an article next to the video. So, if you don’t feel like watching a 20-minute video, you can scan the article and decide if it’s your cup of tea.
Another thing you can do, if you’re reading an article and you’re in the 20th paragraph, and you see a sentence that really intrigues you, and they seem to be talking about something that’s in the video, you can click the text of the article and the video will jump to the right position. Basically, we call that “interactive transcript”. We’ve actually built some software to let anyone with a video make their transcript interactive. That means, the video links to the text and the text links back to the video; it’s a two-way street. It’s not publicly released, but it will be out there, and we’ll make that free to all of our customers.
Think back to when you were in college. Wouldn’t it have been cool if you had transcripts of all your lectures? Now, the risk is you might not have gone to class. Okay? But, if you were cramming for a test, and you had to think back, “What did the professor talk about, mitosis or meiosis?” If you managed to have a search box to find it, the text and the video would be together. So, I think everything with video, there’s a lot going there.
I mentioned earlier, a different trend is the example of people using the transcriptions to produce books. That’s a big deal. We’ve had some famous authors that probably don’t want us to announce what they are doing, but famous authors using us. Typically, it’s their production company that’s using us, and this is typically more in the world of non-fiction. I think that’s a big trend.
There’s another big trend that we’re seeing around a new category of market research, which is called “usability research”. There are many companies out there building the apps that are on your phone. What they do is they get random people on the Internet to use these apps, and as people use them, they have them talk about their experience. “Why did you click that button? What do you think will happen if you click this button?” They’ll have people, in some cases, not very successful, and in some cases getting confused, but they will record the reactions of “normal people”, and then the people that build the app listen to the videos. And, this is being done on a large scale, and a bunch of those videos are running through us.
There are a lot of companies using video/audio recording transcripts to do their focus groups. Think of the focus groups back in the 50’s, where they put them behind the dual-pane glass. Well, the focus groups are moving to the Internet, and it’s moving to video and transcripts that are linked together.
I have to remark, Lynda.com is one of our favorite customers. They use us to caption all of their content. I think that it’s probably worth noting at this juncture that we offer two related services: transcription for people who have more dialog and captions for people who have videos where they want their words displayed on the screen. It’s another matter of the details, but if you put it on a video, you want captions.
There are probably four or five different reasons why someone making an educational course or video would want captions. The most obvious one is that you might have a listener that’s hard of hearing, but there are many others. It helps the recall, and it helps their education to be able to see the words from the screen. Most businesses have some customers who speak English as a second language. Many people, who are parents with young children, will find that they can turn the video down when their kid goes to sleep and just read the captions. Most people in America use captions now and then, and only a very small percentage is hard of hearing. In education, having a text is transformative.
We transcribe. We don’t produce the recordings; we receive them. My point was that there are many companies that are getting regular people to use their products. They are recording audio or video and sending it to us. So, we don’t provide the audience; we just provide the transcription, but it’s a whole burgeoning new industry. I know of 10 companies that are doing it at some level, and two or three are doing it to scale.
A Key Tip For Using a Transcription Service Like Rev
Clear audio. I can’t tell you how many times we get a recording that was done at a Starbucks with banging stuff in the background, and then they wonder why there are mistakes. “Garbage in, garbage out,” but if you record good audio, you’ll get a great result. I would predict that within a decade, you’re going to see speech recognition playing a major role in this kind of work, and for speech recognition to be effective, what you would want is individual tracks. That’s going to help.
Right now, I think the current state of the art of recording is pretty poor because most people are focused on mobility and convenience. That is, “do it with my phone,” as opposed to quality. I think it’s going to be a while before quality methods are used regularly.
Connecting with Jason
If you go to our homepage, Rev.com, you’ll see three offerings: Transcription, Captions, and Translation. We offer them all today. Our Twitter handle is @Rev. We have an iPhone and Android app called the Rev Voice Recorder. Go to your app store and look up Rev. The app lets you record and transcribe. It’s very convenient.
Real Fast Results Community
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