Why outsourcing transcription offshore may be harming your business

I get it.  You run your own business.

You decide where money gets spent:

  • how much
  • on what
  • and to whom

You want to save money wherever you can, right?

A YouTube video recently came across my newsfeed.  It was a panel of business owners, producing content for other business owners in the form of advice from experts in their field.  As the panel members spoke, text of their speech appeared along the bottom of the screen.  This is a pretty standard practice and generally quite a helpful addition for an audience.

But then a bizarre thing happened.  As I listened to what was being said, the text along the bottom was typed as [inaudible] and timestamped.  Only, it wasn’t inaudible at all!  It was clear as day what was being said.

I noted all the major instances where text was marked [inaudible] and typed out what was really said.  While doing so, I noticed something glaringly obvious.

This transcription was outsourced offshore.

How did I know this? These were some of the words not picked up by the transcriptionist:

  • Coles and Woolies
  • Holden
  • Adelaide
  • Doing Kokoda

The phrase ‘pipped at the post’ was used by the interviewee and ‘picked at the post’ was transcribed.

But what confirmed the fact that this Australian business owner had outsourced offshore was the use of the word Mum which was transcribed as Mom.

Now, many of you may be asking, does any of this matter?

It most definitely does.

And here is why.

Providing text for a viewer is an excellent idea.  If the text provided is incomplete and a large amount shows [inaudible] when it isn’t, it seems that saving a dollar is more important.

Frankly, it looks unprofessional.

It would be better to leave the text off the video entirely.

Your business reflects you.  You may be saving money on transcription but how much of your audience have you turned off your business completely in the process?


  1. There are more important things in business than saving a dollar.
  2. If you want to save a dollar, don’t skimp on transcription.  It is far too visible.
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