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It seems like everyone is getting into podcasting — creators, networks, measurement companies, ad-tech companies, and now the transcription firm GMR Transcription, which announced the launch of an audio-to-text service.
GMR Transcription specializes in high-accuracy, human-powered transcriptions, and that is the model the firm is bringing to podcasting. Pricing was not disclosed in the announcement, but podcaster requirements include episode frequency (at least two per month) and a dedicated site with episode notes.
The service is intended to make audio more searchable — a worthy ambition. As of now, podcasting is mainly a branding competition. Listeners “subscribe” or “follow” programs and podcasting personalities. typical search-engine discovery doesn’t play a much role in leading consumers to content in podcasting.
But why couldn’t that be the case, at least to some extent, for some types of programs? “Posting transcripts on your website will allow you to have content for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to crawl and index,” GMS Transcriptions states in its announcement. “When your content is indexed, your site rankings will increase and you will be able to generate more traffic and grow your audience.”
That is a sensible rationale, especially for information casts and interview shows. Transcribing informal entertainment chats makes less sense, and would be much harder to accomplish. A lively and crowded show like Rooster Teeth, for example, which features four hosts talking about whatever is on their collective mind, would not translate well to text, and would probably not result in meaningful search traffic or discovery.
Astronomy Cast is one podcast already using GMR transcripts. the program, which delves into the science behind cosmic body movements, is an apt candidate for reading, either instead of listening (it’s quicker) or to supplement it. We searched for one of the program’s sponsors, included in the transcript, and found search results for that sponsor. So transcribing a podcast can add value to an advertiser, too.
Another GMR customer, the Smart Business Revolution podcast, features transcribed interviews. One interview transcription mentions a bankrupt company without much context around the mention. We were able to productively search for more information — we would have been able to while listening to the show, also, if we could figure out the unusual spelling. On the other side of the value chain, anyone searching for that company might find the podcast, which could be useful for the searcher and obviously good for the podcast.