How to Transcribe a YouTube Video

How to transcribe a YouTube video

YouTube is a popular source of information and entertainment. So popular, in fact, that in 2021 there were an estimated 2.24 billion YouTube users worldwide! There are millions if not billions of videos on the platform on just about any topic that you could imagine, uploaded by users from around the world in virtually every language.

Adding a transcription or subtitles to your YouTube video can help you to reach a global audience and expand your business on an international level. Keep reading to learn the other benefits of transcribing YouTube videos, the different tools available for converting a YouTube video to text, how to transcribe a video using Transcribe, and how to transcribe a YouTube video for free.

Note: Please bear in mind that you should only download videos from YouTube that belong to you. If you don't own the video, please check YouTube's terms of service before downloading and transcribing to ensure you aren't violating their terms.

Jump to:

Why transcribe a YouTube video?

Creating a transcription of your YouTube video has an array of benefits:

  • Global reach

Given how popular YouTube is on a worldwide scale, it makes sense to tap into that global audience. Adding subtitles to your videos can help to increase your reach by making it possible for speakers of other languages to watch and understand your content.

  • SEO

By adding a video transcription or subtitles, you'll be able to target relevant keywords and boost your search rankings not only on YouTube itself but on Google too. Appearing higher on the results page can lead to more traffic.

  • Accessibility

For viewers who might be deaf or hard of hearing, subtitles and transcripts make your content more accessible.

  • Users on the go

Subtitles make it easier for viewers to watch your videos on the go, which can boost your traffic and increase the number of views.

  • Marketing material

A transcript of your YouTube video can be used to create marketing materials for your business or brand - whether that's reports, articles or quotes that can be turned into assets for social media.

Tools to transcribe YouTube videos

  • YouTube's automatic captioning

One of the most obvious ways to convert a YouTube video to text is with YouTube's own automatic captioning service. It's free to use, however even YouTube itself warns that the quality and accuracy of the captions can vary.

  • Human transcription services

Another option is to pay a human transcriber to manually type out the transcription of your YouTube video for you. While the transcription will be highly accurate, this is a more costly method and you could wait anywhere between hours and days for your transcription.

  • Automated transcription services

The best way to transcribe YouTube videos is with an automatic transcription service like Transcribe. Our easy-to-use AI-powered software means you get incredibly fast, high quality transcriptions of your audio and video files at the best possible price.

You can import your YouTube video in a variety of formats, and export the transcript in a format that suits you. We support more than 120 languages and dialects, offer up to 500 hours of cloud storage, and there's professional support on hand if you need any assistance.

How to transcribe a Youtube video using Transcribe

1. Download the video from YouTube

Download the video (ensuring you do so in line with YouTube's terms of service). Your downloaded video will need to be in one of our supported file formats: m4v, mp4, mov or avi.

2. Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor

3. Upload your YouTube video

Import your video from your phone or computer.

4. Choose your language

Select the language of your YouTube video from more than 120 languages and dialects.

5. Start the transcription process

Your YouTube transcription will be ready in a matter of minutes thanks to our high-speed AI software. Sit back and relax, and we'll send you a notification when your transcription is complete.

6. Your transcription is ready!

Now that your YouTube transcription is ready, you can proofread and polish the text in the app, online or in your preferred file format - with or without timestamps. With our standard version you can export your transcribed text to TXT, or upgrade to our PRO service to export to PDF, DOCX, JPG and SRT.

SRT is a file format specifically for captions. It's made up of time coding and plain text, which video software reads and extracts in order to display subtitles on your video.

How to transcribe a YouTube video for free

Doing it yourself manually is one way of getting a free YouTube transcription, however depending on how long your video is, this can take a really long time. YouTube offers a free service too, however even they admit that it isn't the most reliable service in terms of accuracy.

With Transcribe, you get your first 15 minutes of transcription time for free, so if your YouTube video is on the shorter side then this could work out as a free option. Once you've used up this 15 minutes and seen for yourself whether our service meets your needs, you can buy additional credit for $5 an hour, or 10 hours for just $35. Alternatively, upgrade to PRO for $10 a month and you'll receive 5 hours of transcription time each month (that's the equivalent of two feature length films!).

Ready to transcribe a YouTube video to text? Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor to get started.

Written By Katie Garrett

Subscribe to news

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter!

How to Transcribe a Video

From YouTube videos and social media posts to conference calls and lectures, learn how to transcribe video with our helpful step-by-step guide.

11 May 2022 #6