A woman speaking to a microphone.

Podcast Transcription: Why & How to Get a Transcript in Simple Ways

2023-10-309 mins

Podcasts have gained massive popularity in recent years, becoming a go-to source of information and entertainment for many.

With this growth, the request for podcast transcription for creators and listeners is also on the rise. As a podcaster, you may need to generate a transcript to improve accessibility; and as a listener (like me), when I find a podcast I really like, I want to download the text transcript for further reading.

So after doing research, I'd like to share the common available ways to transcribe a podcast, making the process efficient and approachable for everyone. So, let's get started!

What is a Podcast Transcript?

A podcast transcript is a written version of your episodes. You or a third party can create an online document that includes everything that was said on the podcast so listeners can have a visual and textual understanding of what you're saying.

Podcast transcripts are more like reading a dialog than listening to a broadcast. If your podcast is audio only, the transcript can significantly benefit your audience by allowing them to follow along as they listen. If you have a video podcast (videocast), your audience can peek at the transcript for greater context while watching your broadcast.

What Are the Benefits of Podcast Transcription?

Transcribing podcasts offers benefits for both creators and listeners. Here are some of the biggest benefits:

  • Accessibility for people who are hard of hearing: Transcribing podcast to text enables those with hearing impairments to equally access and enjoy your content. Providing a text alternative, therefore, creates a more inclusive experience, reaching a wider audience.

  • Improved SEO and online visibility: It's never too early to start thinking about optimizing the SEO for your podcast. Search engines can't "listen" to audio content but can crawl and index text. By transcribing your podcast, you enhance its search engine visibility and increase the chances of attracting more listeners.

  • Enhanced user experience and engagement: A podcast transcript allows your audience to quickly skim through the content and find specific information. It also helps non-native speakers follow along more efficiently, improving the overall listening experience.

  • Easily repurposable content: With a podcast transcript, you can easily repurpose your content into blog posts, social media snippets, or even infographics. This diversification can help you reach new audiences and strengthen your brand presence across various platforms.

Three Proven Ways to Transcribe a Podcast to Text

Podcast transcription can be approached in several ways, each with pros and cons. In this section, we'll compare three popular methods to help you choose the one that suits your needs and preferences.

Way 1: Transcribe a podcast automatically with Notta

Way 2: Pay a transcriptionist

Way 3: Transcribe the podcast manually by yourself

Way 1: Transcribe a podcast automatically with Notta

With its super fast turnaround time and high accuracy rate, Notta is our top recommendation for podcast transcription.

It is an innovative platform that excels in providing automatic transcription services using cutting-edge AI technology. Notta can transcribe various kinds of video and audio content, including podcasts, meeting recordings, interviews, and more, and offers a free trial.

Notta understands the priorities of its users and offers features that address their most critical concerns:

  • It covers a wide range of podcast formats: wav, mp3, m4a, avi, rmvb, mp4, mov, etc.

  • Support for over 100 languages to cater to a diverse user base.

  • Notta comes with built-in editing and a media player that allows you to review the transcript and make edits easily.

  • The platform is 100% secure to use with compliance with international standards.

  • Accessible on the Web, Android, and iOS devices.

Notta interface

Simple steps to transcribe a podcast using Notta

To get started, sign up for Notta free and access it on the Web or download it from your app store. This process is quick and straightforward. Once you've signed up, you'll have instant access to Notta's transcription services.

Step 1: Upload your podcast audio file

On the main dashboard, click the ‘Import Files’ button on the right panel. Then select the transcription language and upload your audio from the device.

select transcription language

Step 2: Wait for the AI to generate a transcript

Notta will immediately start uploading and transforming your podcast into a written transcript. 

The transcription process may take a few minutes, depending on the length of your podcast. Usually, transcribing a 200MB file will take about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Review the transcript

You can now access the generated transcript and make any necessary edits. 

While Notta's AI technology is quite accurate, reviewing and editing the transcript is essential to ensure it captures your podcast content perfectly.

review a podcast transcript in Notta

The editor is user-friendly and features various tools to help you correct and polish your transcript:

  • Playback controls: Play, pause, and adjust the speed of your audio file to facilitate transcript review.

  • Timestamps: Easily navigate through the transcript using the timestamps, which correspond to the audio file's timeline.

  • Keyword search: Look for a specific keyword within the transcript easily.

Step 4: Export the transcript

Once satisfied with your edited transcript, you can export it to various formats like TXT, PDF, DOCX, SRT, etc. (for paid users only)

In all, Notta is an excellent choice for creators seeking a user-friendly, cost-effective podcast transcription solution.

Way 2: Pay a transcriptionist

Consider a professional transcriptionist if you are requesting a nearly 100% accurate transcript without your interference and don't mind spending a little extra. 

A professional transcriptionist service will cost around 1.5$ to 3$ per audio minute. 

These experts are well-versed in turning audio into text and can provide exceptional results. Here is a step-by-step process of working with a paid transcriptionist.

1. Finding a transcriptionist

There are several ways to find a transcriptionist to suit your needs:

  • Freelance platforms: Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer offer a vast pool of transcriptionists with varying skill levels and rates.

  • Transcription agencies: Companies specializing in transcription services can provide a dedicated team of professionals to handle your project.

  • Personal recommendations: Ask your network for referrals or recommendations to find trusted transcriptionists.

2. Evaluating transcriptionists

When selecting a transcriptionist, consider the following factors:

  • Check their portfolio, work samples, or client testimonials to gauge their proficiency in transcription.

  • Inquire about their typical turnaround time for similar projects and ensure they meet your deadlines.

  • Compare the transcriptionist's rates with industry standards and your budget to determine the cost-effectiveness of their services.

3. Collaborating with a transcriptionist

Once you've chosen a transcriptionist, maintain open communication and provide clear guidelines to ensure a smooth working relationship.

  • Share your podcast audio and specify formatting requirements like speaker identification or timestamp preferences.

  • Upon receiving the transcript, thoroughly review it and offer feedback for any necessary revisions.

Podcast transcription example - Move your DNA

Pros of hiring a transcriptionist:

  • High-quality transcripts: Professional transcriptionists have the expertise to create accurate and well-formatted transcripts.

  • Time-saving: Outsourcing the transcription process allows you to focus on other aspects of your podcast or business.

  • Customization: Transcriptionists can tailor transcripts to meet your unique requirements, such as specialized formatting or terminology.

Cons of hiring a transcriptionist:

  • High cost: Professional transcription services can be expensive, especially for long or ongoing projects.

  • Turnaround time: Depending on the transcriptionist's workload, you may need to wait for your transcription to complete. Urgent work requires an extra cost.

Paying a transcriptionist to transcribe your podcast is an effective way to obtain high-quality, accurate transcripts. While this option may be more expensive and time-consuming than automatic transcription tools like Notta, it can provide a level of customization and quality that suits your needs. 

Way 3: Transcribe the podcast manually by yourself

If you prefer a hands-on approach and have the time and patience, creating a podcast transcript yourself can be cost-effective. While manually transcribing your podcast can be time-consuming, it offers you complete control over the quality and accuracy of the transcript. Here is how to go about it.

Step 1: Prepare for transcription

Before you begin transcribing, ensure you have the following tools and resources: an audio player, noise-canceling headphones, and a computer with a word processor.

Step 2: Develop a transcription workflow

Firstly, familiarize yourself with the content, speakers, and specialized terminology. Then divide the podcast into manageable segments and listen to each section multiple times, pausing and rewinding to capture the dialogue accurately.

Step 3: Format and refine the transcript

Once you've transcribed the podcast, ensure the transcript is reader-friendly and professional:

  • Identify and label each speaker in the transcript to provide context for the reader.

  • Insert timestamps at regular intervals to help readers navigate the transcript and locate specific sections.

  • Review the transcript for errors or inconsistencies, and make necessary corrections.

  • Use headings, bullet points, and bold or italic text to emphasize important information and improve readability.

Pro of self-transcription:

  • Cost-effective: Transcribing the podcast yourself eliminates the cost of hiring a transcriptionist or using a transcription service.

  • Quality control: You have complete control over the accuracy and formatting of your transcript.

  • Familiarity with content: As the podcast creator, you're already familiar with the content, making it easier to transcribe and edit the transcript.

Cons of self-transcription:

  • Time-consuming: Manual transcription requires a significant time investment, especially for lengthy or complex podcasts. A transcriber takes a minimum of 4 hours to transcribe 1 hour of content The time may take even longer if you are a freshman

  • Steep learning curve: Developing the skills and techniques needed for efficient transcription may take time.

  • Potential for errors: Without professional experience, you may be more prone to making mistakes or overlooking errors in the transcript.

Transcribing your podcast yourself can be viable if you have the time and desire to take on the task. While this method offers cost savings and controls over the transcript's quality, it can be time-consuming and demands patience and attention to detail. 

Where to Use the Podcast Transcript

The best place to publish your transcript depends on:

  • Whether you want people to have to search your website to find it.

  • If you want them to be able to view it right under the audio/video.

1. Make it free on your website

People will find your show if you make your transcriptions available for free online. People can also download the text file to their phones or devices to read while on the go.

2. Put it on the page where your audio/video is posted

Many hosting platforms let you put transcripts in the description of the podcast. Some services don't allow that much text directly in the info section. Some hosting services enable users to embed them as an alternative form of media. It depends on the host if this will be possible.

3. Offer an opt-in-only version

Offering a transcript exchange for an email address helps grow your email list. You can then share the information with a more invested audience. It should include PDF downloads and offer transcripts in your audience's preferred language.

4. Charge a one-time fee

It can be expensive to create transcripts. Chances are you won't be getting sponsors or ad revenue from them. You can get professional transcripts created that offer a ton of value beyond what your audio content offers. Then you can offer your audience access to all of your transcripts for a one-time fee. It can help you recoup the cost of creating and hosting transcripts online.

5. Charge a small fee per episode

Another way to make them available is by charging a small fee per transcript. The more people invest in your podcast and its content, the more they want to listen. If your podcast does well, it would be wise to outsource the transcribing work. Then you can do more of what you're great at - creating new episodes!

FAQs about Podcast transcription

1. Does Apple Podcast provide a transcript?

Apple does not provide transcription for podcasts on their platform.

If the podcast creator has created a transcript, they will typically post a link to it in the description. You’ll have to create your own transcript or have a 3rd party create one if you want to have your podcast on their platform as well as a transcript. You won’t be able to rely on Apple to transcribe your podcast.

2. How much does it cost to transcribe a podcast?

The cost of transcribing a podcast varies depending on the method you choose:

  • Human transcription services: Prices for professional transcriptionists typically range from $1.5 to $3 per audio minute. Factors such as the audio quality, number of speakers, and turnaround time can affect the cost.

  • Automatic AI transcription: Using AI transcription software like Notta, you can transcribe your podcasts for free. Although not as accurate as human transcription, AI-powered services can save time and money.

 3. Can You transcribe a podcast on Spotify?

Spotify does not offer a built-in transcription feature for entire podcast episodes. However, you can generate a transcription of any audio segment less than 1 minute long and in a published episode through your Spotify for Podcasters account. You need the help of third-party services to transcribe entire episodes.


Podcast transcription is essential in making your content more accessible, engaging, and SEO-friendly. With various methods available, including automatic transcription by Notta, professional transcription services, and manual transcription, you can easily create a podcast transcript that suits your needs and budget.

Consider your budget, time constraints, and quality expectations before deciding on the transcription method.