How Much Does It Cost to Transcribe Interviews?

How Much Does It Cost to Transcribe Interviews?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Interview transcription is converting spoken interview responses into written text. This service plays a crucial role in various fields, like academic research, police investigation, legal proceedings, and analysis. 

For example, research transcription allows for accurate documentation and analysis of qualitative data, enabling researchers to understand the nuances of interviews better and extract valuable insights. 

In legal contexts, transcription helps record witness testimonies, court proceedings, or interview statements, offering vital evidence and facilitating effective argumentation.

Likewise, in the analysis field, transcribing interviews aids in identifying themes, patterns, and trends, facilitating a more comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. 

Though interview transcription is deemed important, you might have questions about whether it is beneficial and affordable. 

To help you make an informed decision, let us explore the benefits of interview transcription and how much it costs.

Benefits of Transcribing Interviews

Transcribing interviews offers the following benefits:

  • Improved Accuracy - By transcribing audio or video interviews into words, you can document every tone, word, accent, etc., ensuring a precise record of the original conversation.
  • Assured Quality – Interview transcripts are an effective tool to check the accuracy of the interviews, detect inconsistencies or errors, and verify standardized processes.
  • Facilitates Analysis and Research - Transcribed content can be easily referenced and quoted, helping analysts search specific terms, keywords, or ideas, making the data analysis process more efficient.
  • Improves Communication - Transcribed interviews are an unbiased source to sort out conflicts and ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the interview.
  • Eases Content Repurposing - Transcribed interviews can be used to create other forms of content, such as articles, social media posts, blog posts, etc., increasing the accessibility and inclusivity of the information.
  • Saves Resources and Time – You do not have to listen to the recordings repeatedly if you have transcribed content in hand, and you can also retrieve the information quickly, saving your time and effort.
  • Improved Accessibility - Interviews can be transcribed in various formats, such as text, audio, and braille, to cater to different audiences.
  • Easily Shareable – Interview transcripts are generally small and easily shareable among your team members, enhancing collaboration and enabling them to share their insights and interpretations conveniently.
  • Easy to Translate - Non-native speakers can translate the transcribed interview into their preferred language. This makes information accessible and inclusive to different individuals.

Also Read: Benefits of Transcribing Interviews: Why Is It Crucial Across Industries?

How Much Does Interview Transcription Services Cost?

Several factors can influence the cost of interview transcription services, including the number of speakers, the level of accuracy needed, the turnaround time, and more. Also, the actual cost will depend on unique factors within your interview or if you have any specific need for the transcription, including customized formatting.

In the case of GMR Transcription, interview transcription prices typically range from $1.25 to $4.00 per minute of audio. This translates to around $75 to $240 for one hour of interview audio.

It is important to understand that these figures serve as rough estimates. Understanding these factors and figures allows you to make informed decisions when choosing a provider. 

GMR Transcription offers competitive pricing and a range of options to meet your specific needs while ensuring high-quality, human-generated transcripts and a flexible turnaround timeline. 

Also, it is important to keep in mind that the cheapest option is not always the best.

4 Factors Affecting Interview Transcription Rates

1. Audio Quality

The recording’s audio quality can significantly impact the transcription cost

Poor audio quality may have a noisy background or several speakers communicating simultaneously. 

So, it requires extensive editing and takes more time to comprehend and transcribe, which could result in an increased cost.

2. Speaker Identification and Verbatim Transcription

Verbatim transcription involves transcribing every word spoken as is, including the "ums," "uhs," false starts, and stutters. Such transcription can be costlier than general transcription, which involves transcribing the main ideas and key points. 

The next factor that can impact on the cost is the number of speakers. 

Transcribing multiple speakers is typically more expensive than transcribing a single speaker.

3. Turnaround Time

The cost of transcription depends on the time it takes to complete it. 

Rush transcriptions, in which the interview is transcribed urgently, can be more expensive than standard transcriptions. 

However, the turnaround time can also vary depending on the complexity of the transcription. 

For example, transcribing an interview with multiple speakers or a complex topic may take longer and be more expensive than transcribing a simple interview.

4. Customized Formatting

If you want your transcripts in custom formatting, you may need to pay more than the usual price. 

Custom formatting may include chapter markers, timestamps, or specific formatting layouts. 

These additional services can increase the overall cost of the transcription. Where and how often you need timestamps also influences the price. 

For example, requiring the inclusion of timestamps frequently or at specific points in the conversation can be more expensive.

Also Read: Interview Transcription: Is it Necessary for Qualitative Analysis?

Tips for Interview Transcription Cost Savings

  • Optimize Audio Quality

Investing in high-quality recording equipment can help reduce background noise while clearly capturing speech. 

This helps to reduce the need for transcriptionists to spend too much time deciphering unclear audio, saving you money.

  • Reduce Speaker Complexity

Simplifying your speaker interactions can minimize complexities in transcription. 

For example, encourage speakers to avoid interruptions or speaking over one another to improve transcription accuracy and speed. This facilitates easy speaker identification while eliminating overlaps.

  • Negotiate Turnaround Time

Negotiating turnaround time can help you save considerable amounts. 

If you provide ample time for transcriptionists to complete the work along with reviewing and editing, you can avoid paying more while allowing flexibility in scheduling.

Finding the Right Transcription Service for Interviews

If you seek accurate interview transcripts, look no further than GMR Transcription

With their expertise and commitment to quality, they deliver accurate and reliable transcriptions every time. 

Their experienced transcribers are well-versed in various industries and subjects, ensuring that your transcripts are comprehensive, error-free, and tailored to your requirements. 

Moreover, with their quick turnaround time and competitive rates, GMR Transcription remains the ideal partner for all your transcription service needs.

Final Thoughts

The cost of interview transcription can vary greatly depending on audio quality, turnaround time, customized formatting, verbatim transcription, and speaker identification. 

However, optimizing the audio quality, reducing speaker interruptions, and considering a longer turnaround can help reduce the overall cost of transcription. 

Besides, hiring a reputable interview transcription company like GMR Transcription can help you save time and money, as they emphasize affordability, accuracy, and quick turnaround times across their services. 

This way, you can enjoy the convenience of high-quality interview transcriptions.


1. How long does it take to transcribe a 1-hour interview?

For an efficient typist, transcribing a 1-hour interview can take 2-3 hours on average, depending on the recording length and its complexity and clarity.

2. What is the easiest way to transcribe an interview?

The easiest way to transcribe an interview is to employ a reputable, trusted transcription company. The company handles all your transcription needs, allowing you to focus on other important tasks.

3. How long should it take to transcribe an interview?

The time it takes to transcribe an interview varies depending on the length and quality of the audio/ video, turnaround time, formatting requirements, speaker identification, etc.

4. How do I turn an interview into a transcript?

To turn an interview into a transcript, you must:

  • Hire professional interview transcription services.
  • Send your recording and request customizations (if any).
  • Get your transcripts by email or download them from your registered account with the transcription company.

5. Do I have to transcribe my interviews?

Here is why you should consider transcribing your interviews:

  • Provides accurate interview documentation that can be used for future reference.
  • Eases the analysis process, helping you drive key insights and themes for research.
  • Makes the content accessible and inclusive to a wider audience.

So, with transcripts, you can better organize, analyze, and share the gathered information.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.