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3 Groups Who Need Your Podcast to Have Transcripts

Tech

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Transcription may not be at the top of your podcast to do list, but we’re making a case that perhaps it should be.

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We hear it often: a podcast host or guest lamenting the fact that something they want to show, or that is happening in the room, doesn’t translate “in this audio medium.” And it’s true: while podcasts have opened up our world in so many ways to new knowledge and experiences, they have their limits.

Consistently crafting and sharing transcripts of your podcast episodes can, in a number of ways, close some of those gaps. It might seem like a luxury that your team can’t afford – in time, money, or resources – and yet we know of a few reasons you might win out for making the effort. Who needs you to transcribe your podcasts?

The Deaf and Those with Hearing Loss

Many of us don’t think much of throwing earbuds in or a headset on to consume our favorite podcast episodes. But for the 466 million people around the world who identify as deaf or who live with hearing loss, such a practice isn’t always as easy. Sharing the insight, hilarity, or crucial information that you feature on your podcast in more than one medium is a way to confirm and convey your understanding.

Making a transcript available at the same time the episode is released can reduce stigma around a prospective listener having to ask for one; any way that we can lower the barrier for entry in a crowded landscape (540,000 as of 2018) matters. Particularly when a market is crowded, those that can make an experience seamless and stigma-free will rise to the top. Believe it or not, adding a transcript link to your show notes can make a difference in that regard.

Journalists, Reporters, and Scholars

As data and information are disseminated in ever-evolving ways, we’re called as a society to find new ways to reference them. Podcasts are one such tool that once elicited a “how do I reference this?” grumble but now have their place as a viable resource.

With that said, however, podcast creators can also make it easy to refer back to material in their shows by using transcripts. As anyone who’s edited a podcast can attest, it can be tedious to advance and rewind a recording in pursuit of that golden tidbit of knowledge (or, in the case of an edit, that weird noise in the background or co-host sneeze). But by placing your podcast’s contents in a reviewable document, you make their job easier…and perhaps endear your show to them as a source in the process.

Search Engines

Okay, so search engines aren’t exactly a group. But adding a transcript to your podcast provides them data that can move your show up in the rankings for a search term. As SEO continues to move away from “keyword stuffing” as a viable or acceptable practice, it instead looks for natural, frequent occurrences that can show a page’s relevance to a search term. Incidentally, regular speech does this well. Especially as you consider that Google prioritizes exact matches to keywords as well as natural synonyms and naturally co-occurring phrases, podcasts and other recorded conversations can easily provide this…if a search engine has a way to find them.

In a lot of ways, audio struggles to achieve virality because it’s not as easily shareable as other forms of media (although podcast apps like Swoot are working to change the “easily shareable” challenge). But creating a transcript can do more than just make your content easier for people to find, digest, and understand; it can make it easier for search engines to find and boost your valuable content.

It’s not always easy to produce a transcript for a podcast. It can often feel more worthwhile to spend that time ensuring quality sound, getting high-profile guests, or making deals to support your show with ads. But we promise, there are benefits to adding transcription to your to-do list, and a few corners of the internet that will be much happier you’ve made your show accessible to them.

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