Transcription is a commonly used way the authors write their books, and transcription is also commonly used in many other industries. Today, we are taking a look at one specific transcription service in particular: Rev.com.
If you want the bottom line early, here are my two cents: Rev.com is one of the best transcription services around, especially given the price of transcription. While it is not perfect, and there are some more cost-effective ways the authors can use to dictate their books, those that have the money would do well to spend it at Rev.com.
If you want to know how I got to that determination, continue reading.
- How authors can use Rev.com to their advantage
- The core features of Rev.com
- How to use Rev.com as a freelancer
- Whether Rev.com is worth it
Table of contents
- What is Rev.com and How Can Authors Benefit?
- Rev Pricing: How Much Does it Cost
- Core Features
- How to Use Rev
- Is Rev Safe?
- Freelancing With Rev.com
- Verdict: Is Rev Worth It?
What is Rev.com and How Can Authors Benefit?
Rev.com is a transcription company, founded in 2009, that specializes in transcription, translation, and close captioning services. They have been used by prestigious companies such as PBS, Viacom, Yale, Stanford University, Legal Zoom, and Comcast.
Rev.com is a popular destination, not just for those who need transcription work done, but those looking for side hustle revenue. If you are unemployed, or just need some extra income, it has great earning potential.
The company's services are used by a range of customers, including podcasters, YouTubers, researchers, media organizations, and businesses.
Use Cases for Authors
Since Kindlepreneur is a author-centric website, let's talk specifically about what Rev.com can do for you. Ultimately, I identified two primary use cases the authors can benefit from when using Rev.com.
- Dictation: the obvious benefit of Rev.com is the ability to transcribe dictated text. If you don't like using a transcription service that makes you speak the grammar, you can simply dictate into an audio file, send that to Rev.com, and have a Rev transcriptionist do the work for you. This might be especially useful for authors who dictate in an uncontrolled environment, such as while hiking, or on a road trip.
- Interviews and podcast episodes: if you have some kind of podcast, YouTube channel, or other form of audiovisual content that you use for your marketing, transcription may be a necessity for you. It is common to transcribe podcasts and include those in the show notes, or on your website. You could even take that transcribe text and use it elsewhere, such as on social media, or marketing materials.
Rev Pricing: How Much Does it Cost
Rev.com has several standard rates when it comes to their services. These include:
- $1.50/minute for human-transcribed audio/video, as well as English Close Captions
- $0.25/minute for AI-transcribed audio/video (with lower accuracy)
- $5-12/minute for Global Translated Subtitles
Let's say you have recorded one audio hour, and you managed to dictate 3000 words in that hour (this is not uncommon for dictated text).
With a human narrator, that would cost $90 for the full hour. If you wrote a whole book this way, that would scale to $1800 for a 60,000 word novel.
So this can be kind of expensive for long-form transcription.
With the automated transcription narrator, that same hour of transcription could be done for $15, or $300 for the full 60,000 word novel, assuming you write 3000 words per hour. This is obviously much better than the human transcription, but you are likely to spend a lot of time catching errors, and there are much more cost-effective ways to get AI dictated text.
And most authors won’t have to worry about foreign subtitles, but suffice it to say, that is very expensive as well.
Is there a free version of Rev?
Rev.com does not offer a free version of their tools, but you can get the first 45 minutes of AI transcription free to test if you like it or not. Note this is ONLY for automated transcription, not human transcription.
While transcription sounds fairly straightforward, there are a few features that I want to highlight:
AI or Human Transcription
It is nice to see that Rev.com has embraced AI transcription as a viable alternative, and much more affordable one, for transcription. The fact that you can do both is a great plus.
Furthermore, the human transcription tends to be remarkably good, with very few errors. AI transcription still has a ways to go, especially if you want proper punctuation and grammar, but the affordability makes it a viable option as well.
Web Editing Features
Rev.com has a useful web interface that allows you to view and modify your transcription as needed. This is especially useful if you are using the AI transcription features.
Ease of Use
So far I have found Rev.com to be incredibly intuitive and easy to use. The web interface in particular is remarkably simple. Navigating through the different sections of the website feels effortless, and the instructions are clear and concise.
The web interface allows you to quickly and easily edit any errors that the AI transcription may have made. You can easily pause and rewind the audio or video file to ensure that the transcription is as accurate as possible.
Fast Turnaround Time
While we expect AI transcription to be near instantaneous (which it is), I'm also impressed with the quick turnaround time that you will see with human transcription.
Rev.com boasts a five hour turnaround time for its human transcription, which is absolutely wild. I haven't tested longer form transcription, and I would guess that several hours of audio would take longer than five hours to complete, but that is still impressive.
Quality of the Transcription
So far, in my experience, the quality of human transcription through Rev.com is exceptional, equally matching the 99 percent accuracy that they boast on their website.
The AI narrated text is also fairly accurate, although I have seen better. The 90 percent accuracy listed on the website is about right.
If you are looking for more accurate AI tools, I would recommend looking elsewhere, such as Dragon Dictation or OpenAI’s dictation services.
How to Use Rev
Getting started on Rev.com is straightforward. Start with the following:
- Create an account using your email
- Find one of the many “place your order” buttons
- Choose the service you want
- Upload your file
That's it! You will receive an email when your transcription has finished. From there, you will be able to see the transcription in their web app, download it, share it with others, edit as needed, etc.
Is Rev Safe?
Yes, Rev.com is a safe and secure website. They are not a scam.
In fact, Rev.com claims that any uploaded files are protected by end-to-end encryption.
They are also very open with their privacy practices, so you can easily see if their standards align with your own.
For freelancers looking for work, Rev.com is a legitimate employer, although some of the rates may seem low for many people. Nevertheless, everything they do is legal and by the book.
Freelancing With Rev.com
Although this website is mostly devoted to authors, there may be some who want to earn a little additional revenue. If that is you, read the following questions and answers related to freelancing on Rev.com.
How much does Rev.com pay you?
Reports suggest that most transcriptionists earn about $0.40 per video/audio minute, and it can take as much as an hour to transcribe a 20 minute clip. That brings the revenue up to approximately $8 per hour, which is very low pay. However, fast typist have been known to earn anywhere between $8-15 per hour, which is less than minimum wage in most states.
Is Rev.com work easy?
Transcription work is relatively easy, but does take 100 percent of your attention. If you need a job that allows you to think about other things while you work, this might not be the job for you.
Is it better to work for Rev or TranscribeMe?
While some transcribers are able to earn a bit more (but not by a lot) with TranscribeMe, Rev has higher employee approval ratings (via Glassdoor) in almost every category. So we would recommend going with Rev instead of TranscribeMe.
Is Rev freelancing worth it?
This question is relative. If you are unemployed and need every dollar you can spare, then Rev.com might be worth it for you. Additionally, if you are not in need of huge funds, but have some extra time you want to make a few bucks along the way, Rev.com might be a good option for you. It pays better than a lot of similar side gigs in the same realm.
Verdict: Is Rev Worth It?
Here is my pros and cons list for Rev.com.
- Affordable pricing for human transcription
- Both human and AI transcription
- An easy to use web interface
- Lightning fast turnaround times
- Accurate transcription
- Costs add up for long-form content
The Bottom Line: Ultimately, Rev.com is one of the best transcription tools on the market, especially if you need human transcription. There are few other tools that equal it. However, if you’re looking for AI narration to save costs, I would recommend Dragon Dictation or OpenAI’s dictation tools for more accurate and most cost-effective transcription.