How Much Content Gets Transcribed Per Hour

Think about listening to a piece of audio then afterwards writing, or typing, the content out verbatim. It seems like it would take an eternity! Luckily, our team of highly-skilled transcriptionist have all the right tools to do so, freeing up your time to spend on other projects. Meaning you won’t have to slog through hours and hours of work you aren’t trained to do. Our people who transcribes per hour at a rate at least 8 times faster than you can get your project done much faster and more accurate.

Typically, one hour of multi-speaker audio or video will take our team three to five hours to type out. Someone without these tools or skills can take three to four times longer! You may be asking, “Why is that?” How much content our staff transcribes per hour depends on a few things.  The number of words per minute one can type is a small part of the overall speed.

Subject matter

One factor that plays a part in how much content our staff transcribes per hour is the subject matter of the audio. An experienced legal transcriptionist will complete a piece of audio quicker than an academic transcriptionist who is transcribing a focus group involving highly technical bioengineering terminology. This has to do with the time it takes them to research words, acronyms, and phrases they aren’t familiar with. In a sense, familiarity is the key to efficiency and decreasing the turnaround time of a transcript.


We have two styles of transcription: verbatim and cleaned-up verbatim. Verbatim transcription is a full transcript of everything said including ums, uhs, stutters, partial words…. This is different from cleaned-up verbatim which, we can transcribe much faster. This type of transcription does not include details like laughter or ambient sounds. All things considered, one hour of clear non-technical audio can take up to 4 hours. Audio that is more complex – meaning it has background noise or technical content – can take us as much as six hours.

Audio quality and how it affects how much our people transcribe per hour

Overall audio quality varies from file to file. A recording of an indoor lecture will take less time to transcribe than a recording of a reporter on a busy city street. Distracting noise in the audio will require several rounds of listening, slowing down the process a bit. The better the audio quality, the quicker a transcriptionist can work.

Clarity of the voices

Along with having audio with little background noise, the amount of content that gets transcribed per hour depends on the clarity of the voices in the audio. For a speaker with a thick accent, it takes time to get used to their pronunciations of words. Similarly, if a speaker is talking a mile a minute, that will require extra attention to be sure that the transcript includes every word said. A transcriptionist having all the right tools and software makes it so even the softest of speakers are transcribed accurately.

Experience – it counts for a lot

In transcription, it takes more than amazing typing skills to push out content quickly. It also comes down to the number of years of experience within a subject matter, transcription style, and the tools to make the audio quality better. Our customers say we are a great value because we are on time, accurate, and affordable. While there are factors that can interfere with how much content gets transcribed per hour, our transcriptionists always make the project go smoothly and error-free.

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Ditto Transcripts is a U.S.-based HIPAA and CJIS compliant company with experienced U.S. transcriptionists. Learn how we can help with your next project!