While the decision to caption video content is as simple as yes or no, the choice of which closed captioning service to use is less straightforward and sometimes spotted with hidden costs. To help production companies make the best selection for their closed captioning vendor, we’re continuing our series of blogs comparing our services at Rev to those of our competitors. To date, we’ve discussed the difference between Rev vs. TranscribeMe, Scribie, and GMR Transcription.

When it comes to closed captions, there are five main areas that influence the overall cost of a project. As you compare one video captions service to another, consider:

  1. What’s the price per minute?
  2. Is there an extra charge for accented speakers?
  3. Does expedited delivery cost more?
  4. Is there an extra charge for poor audio quality?
  5. How is industry-specific content handled?

Since every caption service structures pricing differently, these are the questions you’ll want to ask a vendor before contracting a project. Once you have all of the details, you can make a well-informed decision on which service best suits your captioning needs.

In this post, we’re comparing Rev’s closed caption pricing to 3Play Media’s.

1. What’s the price per minute?

Typically, the length of audio determines the cost to caption a file.

  • Rev: $1/min with a 24-hour turnaround for files under 30 minutes in length.
  • 3Play Media: $3/min for a standard four-day turnaround.
2. Is there an extra charge for accented speakers?

Because some captioning services consider audio files with accented speakers more challenging to work with, they charge a higher rate.

  • Rev: No extra charge to caption videos with accented speakers.
  • 3Play Media: No extra charge, but accuracy is subject to decline since 3Play Media creates the first round of captions using an automated software that tends to misinterpret thick accents.
3. Does expedited delivery cost more?

Most video caption companies have a standard turnaround time, but some offer rush delivery for a higher price.

  • Rev: Turnaround time is based on file length and our process is standardized to keep pricing simple. Expect 24 hours per 30 minutes of audio. For example, a 60-90 minute file takes 48 hours to deliver.
  • 3Play Media: Expedited and rush delivery are available but come at a premium for turnaround times faster than the standard four days.
4. Is there an extra charge for poor audio quality?

Whether it’s background noise or distant microphones, bad audio makes captions a challenge and some services have pricing penalties to make up for it.

  • Rev: Unlike most services, we consider tackling these difficulties part of our standard fee.
  • 3Play Media: No extra charge, but again, accuracy is subject to decline since 3Play Media creates the first round of captions using an automated software that tends to misunderstand poor audio.
5. How is industry-specific content handled?

Oftentimes, caption work for a specialized industry with lots of complicated jargon require special attention for accuracy’s sake.

  • Rev: Industry-specific content is handled with care for no extra fee. Our transcriptionists have over 30 million minutes of combined experience across hundreds of industries.
  • 3Play Media: Not ideal for specialized fields. Users can upload a technical glossary for a substantial commitment of $750.00.
Let’s compare pricing on an actual project

Suppose you’re an independent filmmaker who needs to caption a 30 minute short for a film festival. You also need the captions completed within 24 hours. One last thing: your documentary is about highly specialized scientific research that includes a lot of jargon.

  • Rev: $30.00 for the project described above.
  • 3Play Media: $150 for the project described above.

At Rev, all captions are created by humans with industry knowledge meaning jargon won’t be misconstrued by an algorithm. We translate difficult content without compromising our commitment to low costs. The total price for captioning this file would be $1.00 multiplied by the length of the file, equaling $30.00.

3Play Media’s offerings come in an “express” pay-as-you-go option as well as a “pro” plan. With the standard package, consumers are unable to include a technical glossary to support jargon-heavy content. They must upgrade to a Pro Plan for a $750.00 commitment or cross their fingers that 3Play Media’s algorithm effectively interprets this jargon. Then, for a 24-hour turnaround, they tack on an additional charge of $1.50/min. To calculate your costs, you’d add the $3.00 baseline fee to the $1.50 fee for quick turnaround and multiply that by the file length, equaling $135.00.

The Takeaway

When selecting a captioning service, choose a provider with quick turnaround times that doesn’t compromise accuracy. This will allow you to integrate your captions in a timely manner. At Rev, we believe in offering comprehensive service that meets all of your needs effectively and gets your video 99% of the way there. As for that other 1%? Our Caption Editor gives you the power to handle the fine tuning and get your video online and captioned in no time.

Have another question about captions? We’re here to help. Check out our Caption FAQs or contact us directly.

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