Rev Transcription Review: Is It Worth It?

In this Rev transcription review, I explained who it’s for and if you can use this service for your business.

I've been a Rev customer since 2016. I've used the transcription service, on and off to transcribe articles, book chapters, interviews for articles and podcast episodes. I even interviewed Rev founder Jason Chicola

Transcription services like Rev are useful for small business owners, researchers, writers, podcasters anybody who wants to get accurate transcriptions of the written word relatively fast.

Who is This Rev.com Review For?

Rev transcription review

Most Rev.com reviews relate to working for this service to make money on the side as a transcriber. This review focuses on how end-users, that is freelancers and business owners, can use Rev to get transcriptions.

Fear not, if you’re still interested in making extra money online, check out our list of side hustle ideas.

Common Transcription Use Cases

Rev.com services
You could use Rev to get a transcription of a podcast recording that doesn't require much editing

Rev.com serves many different types of customers, including researchers, journalists, businesses, and even law officials. Its primary use cases are:

  • Transcriptions (by a human or AI)
  • Rough drafts (by machine)
  • Captions
  • Foreign subtitles
  • Live captions for Zoom

Rev has several other use cases. 

Firstly, if you're a content creator firstly, you could use Rev to get a transcription of a podcast recording that doesn't require much editing and publish that with your podcast. Secondly, you could use Rev to get a transcription of a relatively polished article and book chapter drafts. Thirdly, you could use it to get transcriptions for digital courses and interviews. 

How to Use Rev

Rev.com dashboard
You can share access with team members in your business so they can place orders on your behalf

Rev accepts all sorts of files for submission including:

  • Audio files
  • Video files including links i.e. YouTube
  • Recordings via their mobile app 

You can also share access with team members in your business so they can place orders on your behalf and or edit transcriptions.

Accuracy

Rev.com customer support email
When I rated the quality below three stars, a customer support rep reached out to me via email

Rev promises 99% accuracy. That’s been my experience for the most part. I've submitted more than a hundred recordings over the years. I had issues with three recordings, where the transcription quality was lower than expected and some typos and grammar errors were present. 

When I rated the quality below three stars, a customer support rep reached out to me via email. They offered to re-transcribe the file at no extra cost. I was also able to specify that I wanted to work with another transcriber in the future. 

Rev has no problem with multiple people speaking. If the transcriptionist spells your name wrong, something that's happened to me, you can change it across the entire document with a click.

When submitting a file to Rev, it's also possible to add additional notes to your transcript, about dialect, speakers, etc. that help the transcriptionist. 

In short, expect accuracy… as you’re paying for it. That brings me to:

Pricing

When I started using Rev.com, it cost $1 per minute. Today, Rev.com costs $1.25 per minute for transcription by a human. You can pay $0.25 for automated transcription. 

Zoom captions cost $20 per host and foreign subtitles cost $3-7 per host. I didn’t test these two offerings.

Users can also pay extra and get timestamps for their work and ask the transcriptionist to include filler words. 

They’re unnecessary, except for edge cases. Timestamps are a handy feature if you want to jump to relevant sections quickly and easily. 

In comparison:

Scribie costs $0.80 per minute.

Temi, also owned by Rev, costs $0.25 a minute.

Otter.AI costs $8.33 per month if you pay annually or $12.99 per month.

Dragon Anywhere costs $150 for the year or $14.99 per month.

The cost of a freelancer who provides transcription services varies, although expect to pay $1 or less per minute. My files averaged between ten and thirty minutes of audio. That means I spent about $20-40 per file. In short, Rev is one of the more expensive transcription services on the market.

Turnaround Time

Rev promises to deliver transcriptions in 24 hours or less. You can pay extra if you want them to transcribe your files faster. When I sent audio files between three and 10 minutes long, I got these back in an hour or two. When I sent podcasts and interviews, usually around 30-40 minutes long. I received these transcriptions after several hours. 

Ease of Use

Rev.com editor
Using the Rev.com editor, you can adjust formatting and edit the results

It's easy to submit a voice recording of any type to Rev. You can use a voice recorder on your computer or phone, upload the audio file for transcription and add notes about accent and your style guide. It also accepts links to an audio file or video recording i.e. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.

My preferred workflow involves the Rev.com mobile app. It’s available for iOS and Android. You can speak directly into the app, click submit, and pay for your transcription. 

I usually received an email after several hours saying my transcription was ready for review.

I’ve sent hundreds of files to Rev.com over the years. They've improved the interface since I started using it. You can arrange your audio recordings by folders, archive old ones, and copy and paste the results into a writing app. 

Using the Rev.com editor, you can adjust formatting and edit the results. You can also jump to sections in the manuscripts and listen to the audio playback and check if this part of the transcription is correct. This feature is handy if you're working with an assistant or editor who's cleaning up the results.

Rev Tips And Tricks

I’d recommend sharing Rev access with a full-time assistant or part-time team member. That way, they can verify the quality of transcripts and upload them wherever needed. It’s also a good idea to add notes for the transcriptionist for longer recordings about accents and spellings.

If you want to get the best value from Rev as a dictation service, create an outline of your work.

A couple of bullet points summarizing the key ideas should suffice. Use the Rev mobile app to dictate the article based on these bullet points. You can do this while walking.

Don't stop to edit yourself, just keep dictating until you get to the end of the article, or the chapter. If you're relatively happy with what you said, submit it. 

More often than not, I find my first dictation is rough around the edges. So, I'll dictate a second time. This offers an opportunity to clarify my sentences, and get a more polished and usable manuscript from transcriptionists, which I don't have to spend as much time editing. 

If this sounds time-consuming, it only takes three or four minutes to dictate over 1000 words, and it takes less than 10 minutes to dictate a reasonably good draft. That’s faster, no matter how good your typing skills!

Our Testing Criteria

For this Rev.com review, I tested the service in several different ways. Firstly, I downloaded the mobile app to an iPhone. Using a set of AirPods, I dictated a series of English articles. I also tested Rev.com by sending it dozens of audio and video files (English only) via the desktop app.

Each of these recordings ranged anywhere between 10-40 minutes. I also sent Rev.com short videos to transcribe for my online courses and other content marketing projects. Finally, I compared Rev.com against a human transcript that I work directly with. 

Rev VS AI-Transcription

I tested and compared Rev.com extensively against AI-powered transcription services, including Otter.ai and Temi (owned by Rev.). Rev also offers automated transcriptions as part of its service. 

The quality of AI or automated transcription services varies, depending on your headset, voice and audio quality. It’s a good choice if on a budget and you need a transcript to reference quickly. 

However, if you’re a researcher or writer and want to quote somebody directly, or you want a transcript that doesn't require editing, opt for a human transcriptionist. AI algorithms or voice dictation are improving but the accuracy doesn’t compare to a human.

Rev VS Speech to Text Software

Dragon Anywhere is powered by a voice dictation algorithm, and it costs approximately $14.99 a month. It’s also available on most devices.

I use this service (and Otter.AI) the most. They achieve 95% accuracy. However, this accuracy is only possible if I speak deliberately, slowly and avoid filler words. A good headset that eliminates background is also essential. In other words, it’s not suitable for podcasts or interviews.

When using Rev, I don't need to worry about these factors as much. Although on one occasion, a transcriber said background noise interfered with her ability to understand what I was saying.

Dragon Anywhere and Otter.AI both represent a good compromise between price, accuracy and ease of use. If you're going to use Rev, consider your budget, your use case, and turnaround time as well as specific requirements related to accuracy.

Why You Can Trust Us

I’ve written and published dozens of articles for newspapers, magazines, and online publications including Forbes. I'm also a best-selling non-fiction author and a trained journalist. Dictation and speech-to-text services form a key part of my writing workflow.

Rev Transcription Review: Is It Worth It?

Rev provides fast, high-quality, accurate turnarounds. It's a good service for writers, researchers, freelancers and small business owners. 

However, if you’ve fewer financial resources, or you're happy to spend more time editing a manuscript, you can save money by using AI-powered transcription services like Otter.ai or Temi. 

Author

Rev.com review

The Bottom Line on Rev.com

If you need a transcription service from a human, Rev is a good choice assuming you have a budget. AI-powered services are fast becoming a reliable, budget-friendly alternative and at a lower price point.

Pros

  • Great customer support
  • Fast turnaround times
  • Can transcribe almost anything

Cons

  • Comparatively expensive
  • Some Revvers complain about low-pay
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