Transcription Toolset for Podcasters
People have been telling podcasters they should transcribe their episodes for years—it's often with some vague promise that transcripts lead to some special SEO bump from Google or increase in listeners.
Most podcasters are right to be skeptical about these claims, so it's common for customers to write into support to ask if they really need to transcribe their episodes.
It can take a lot of time to transcribe an episode, and after uploading to Buzzsprout many podcasters are ready to just click Publish.
But transcripts are important for a whole variety of reasons, and today we're excited to announce a full suite of tools to make it easier for you to transcribe your podcast.
Why should you transcribe your episodes?
First and foremost, podcast transcriptions are essential to making podcasting more accessible for the deaf or hard-of-hearing. According to the WHO, over 466 million people suffer from disabling hearing loss.
There's a whole spectrum of hearing loss from people who struggle to distinguish between different words in an episode, to others who can't listen to an episode at all.
Publishing a transcript makes your episode more accessible to everybody interested in your topic.
And as we discussed in a recent episode of Buzzcast, there are a lot of other benefits to transcribing your podcast:
- It's easier for people to find your episodes (though don't expect to rank at the top of Google for big keywords),
- Listeners can copy or screenshot the text to share on social media,
- And transcriptions make it easy to repurpose your episode as a blog post, video, SlideShare, or social post
Making it easier to transcribe podcasts
The podcast industry has been trying to figure out transcripts for a while.
We built our first transcript integration over two years ago, where we allowed podcasters to transcribe episodes inside Buzzsprout. Our work with transcripts brought a few more issues to our attention:
- 99% Accurate Transcripts Aren't Perfect. Automated transcription services are getting better every week, but we quickly realized that they can still include embarrassing typos. And the accuracy rapidly decreases if you didn't have crystal clear audio.
- Transcripts Should Have Timestamps. The second issue was that transcripts often didn't include timestamps. That meant that transcripts could only ever live as static text files rather than allowing listeners to find the exact section of a podcast if they wanted to consult the transcript while listening.
Importing transcripts from Descript
The next step for Buzzsprout was building an integration with Descript.
Since Descript allows podcasters to edit their audio by editing their text, podcasters would correct their automated transcripts while editing their podcast.
This allowed Buzzsprout and Descript to built an integration that provided edited transcripts that included timestamps to specific sections of the audio.
Today, we're excited to announce a full suite of tools to help podcasters publish excellent transcripts.
There are now four ways to add transcripts to your podcast in Buzzsprout:
1. Temi Integration
You can transcribe a podcast inside of Buzzsprout by using Temi.
2. Descript Integration
If you use the Descript integration, Buzzsprout will automatically import your final podcast transcript.
3. Upload SRT file
You can upload an .srt file to Buzzsprout. SRT files because they are the most common closed-caption file type and they include timestamps with the transcript. We recommend using Otter.ai or Rev.com to create your transcript in SRT format.
4. Write Your Own Transcript
You can also write a transcript yourself and copy it into Buzzsprout.
Our goal is to make it easy for podcasters to create a definitive transcript for each podcast episode.
Once the transcripts are collected in Buzzsprout, you can publish them to your Buzzsprout website (example). Your transcript is also included in your RSS Feed.
Including Transcripts in the RSS Feed
Buzzsprout recently proposed an RSS namespace extension for podcast transcripts and we're excited to be collaborating with the Podcast Index on the new podcast-namespace.
Adding transcripts to the RSS Feed makes it easy for podcast apps, directories, and aggregators to access the episode transcriptions.
Buzzsprout is currently distributing over 46,000 transcripts through podcast RSS feeds with hundreds more being published through the platform every day.
Finally, we're thrilled to announce that Podcast Addict and supports podcast transcripts inside their app. Podcast Addict accesses the transcript shared in the RSS Feed and displays the transcript as the content is playing inside the app.
We hope to announce new partners and features in the coming weeks.
If you're interested in adding transcripts to your app or directly, please reach out to Buzzsprout at firstname.lastname@example.org