The Human Cost of Cheap Transcription Services

For those involved in the professional audio transcription world – like us – last week’s news that Rev.com was slashing minimum pay rates for freelance transcriptionists was quite the topic of conversation, both online and off.

Rev is well known as a cheap transcription provider that charges a flat rate of $1.00 per audio minute – a rate very few of us in the industry can even come close to matching, and especially those of us that care about paying our freelance transcriptionists a living wage.

Transcription is time-intensive work that requires skill and keen attention to detail, and for every one minute of audio, it typically takes a transcriptionist four minutes to transcribe. Rev previously paid $0.45 per audio minute, so a typical worker would earn the equivalent of $6.75 per hour. At its new rate of $0.30 per audio minute, that same worker doing the same work would earn only $4.50 per hour. According to the company, this new structure dropped the lowest per–minute rate while at the same time increasing its highest rate for more complex audio; however, how this will average out for typical workers and typical projects is yet to be seen.

Being a transcriptionist is a great option for those looking for a flexible career, as it can be done when you want and wherever you want – from home, from a coffee shop or from the beach (as long as there’s a good wifi connection!). And for some people in some regions of the world, Rev’s new rate floor still provides reasonable compensation and continues to be a compelling option. But for many transcriptionists, in particular, those based in the US, this is just untenable.

When I talk to clients who are looking for affordable transcription services for interviews, focus groups and conference calls – whether market research companies, video production companies or academic researchers – one of the first questions they often ask is if we’re as cheap as Rev. My stomach does a little flip…and then I answer no, and that we don’t try to be. I know we lose business to low-cost transcription providers like Rev with massive online marketing budgets, but fairness to our workers and the need to ensure quality come first.

At Multilingual Connections, we care about the relationships we build with our clients, but we also care very much about the relationships we build with our high-quality transcriptionists and translators – and we believe in paying them fairly for their work. We’re a certified woman-owned company based in the Chicago area that provides English and foreign language audio transcription, as well as translation, transcreation, subtitles, and voiceover in 75 languages.

If you’re interested in learning more about the services we provide and the relationships we form with our partners – reach out!

Linguist spotlight: a role of making intercultural exchange possible

October 21, 2020

At Multilingual Connections, we work with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription, subtitling, and more. When we pair each project with the best linguist for the job, we take into consideration their native language, region, and area(s) of expertise to achieve the highest quality of linguistic accuracy and …

Linguist spotlight: a role of making intercultural exchange possible Read More »

Linguist Spotlight: “Translation is a constant challenge to improve what you do”

September 8, 2020

At Multilingual Connections, we work with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription, subtitling, and more. When we pair each project with the best linguist for the job, we take into consideration their native language, region, and area(s) of expertise to achieve the highest quality of linguistic accuracy and …

Linguist Spotlight: “Translation is a constant challenge to improve what you do” Read More »

Multilingual communication in the remote learning world

August 31, 2020

In the COVID era, schools are scrambling to identify the right path forward for their students, teachers and staff – and ultimately for their families. With pivot after pivot, from in-person to virtual, from wait-and-see to hybrid and back to 100% virtual, there are so many factors for elementary schools, high schools and universities to …

Multilingual communication in the remote learning world Read More »

Linguist Spotlight: Getting to Know Rema and Takafumi

July 22, 2020

At Multilingual Connections, we work with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription, subtitling, and more. How do we pair each project with the best linguist for the job? We take into consideration their native language, region, and area(s) of expertise to achieve the highest quality of linguistic accuracy …

Linguist Spotlight: Getting to Know Rema and Takafumi Read More »

Leading a Successful Global Team

June 29, 2020

This month we would like to introduce Mariela, a Team Lead at Multilingual Connections. Mariela joined our team as a Transcription Project Manager with many years of experience in multimedia and translation under her belt. And over the last six years, she has worked on hundreds of creative projects and has contributed immensely to our …

Leading a Successful Global Team Read More »

Black Lives Matter: Amplifying Global Voices

June 12, 2020

Multilingual Connections is committed to being an inclusive environment and helping global voices be heard. We stand in solidarity with the Black community against systemic racism, oppression and police brutality, and we are committed to amplifying the voices of those who have long been unheard and working to affect positive change in our country and …

Black Lives Matter: Amplifying Global Voices Read More »

“Translation is a Combination of Variety, Novelty, and Challenge”

June 2, 2020

At Multilingual Connections, we work with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription, subtitling, and more. How do we pair each project with the best linguist for the job? We take into consideration their native language, region, and area(s) of expertise to achieve the highest quality of linguistic accuracy …

“Translation is a Combination of Variety, Novelty, and Challenge” Read More »

How to Record Virtual Calls for Transcription

May 21, 2020

As a result of the pandemic, many companies have moved their employees from office workspaces to working from home indefinitely. So, instead of hopping into a company conference room for a department meeting or a manager’s office for a one-on-one check-in, team members are now going virtual with their meetings and other workplace needs.

Building Language Quality at Multilingual Connections

May 11, 2020

At Multilingual Connections, all of our team members bring their perspective and experience to the process  – both professionally and personally. This month we would like to introduce Osvaldo de la Torre, a Language Quality Manager at Multilingual Connections. Osvaldo joined our team as a Spanish editor and has worked on hundreds of projects over …

Building Language Quality at Multilingual Connections Read More »

Becoming a Translator: More Freedom and Opportunity

May 6, 2020

Multilingual Connections works with hundreds of talented linguists across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription, subtitling, and more. To reward the linguists who go above and beyond, we recognize one “Linguist of the Month” based on their exceptional quality, reliability, and their general amazingness. 

Our Clients

Your Success is Our Success

We succeed when we help you understand, engage and grow your audience – and accomplish your business goals.

Relationships, Not Just Transactions

Sometimes you’re going to want to pick up the phone with questions, schedule a video chat or meet in person, and we welcome it!

Let us be your trusted partner

We believe in building long-term partnerships and finding the right solutions for your needs. We value our clients as partners and appreciate the trust they place in us.

radio-flyer-client
google-500
client-logo-barilla
client-logo-nbc
client-logo-fs
Major_League_Baseball
client-logo-nu
client-logo-cc
client-logo-prc

Office Location

Multilingual Connections
847 Chicago Ave Ste 250
Evanston, IL 60202, USA

Tel: +1-877-292-5264
Tel: +1-773-292-5500
Email: contact@mlconnections.com

Scroll to Top