Are there companies that pay better than Rev for transcription work?

Okay, based on what I’ve seen, there are four different ways to run a freelance transcription business.

There are those that work in the software industry and create computer-generated transcripts.
There are crowdsourced agencies that have a large number of non-scribes on their payroll. (Crowdsourcing pays well for platform builders, but they often take advantage of the crowd.)
There are agencies where scribes are the majority of the staff, with an accountant and a project manager thrown in for good measure.
Private clientele, where whatever mutual agreement works is acceptable.
Because you’re a human and they’re probably not interested in human scribes, Group 1 isn’t going to pay you.

Rev is in Group 2, and they pay up to $1 each audio minute.

Group 3 has a smaller overhead, is less expensive for the client, and pays better scribe rates. The base pricing for audio minutes is frequently over $1. I’ve seen prices as high as $2 each audio minute.

It’s impossible to have just enough work in Group 4 and not too much. However, having a small number of private clients allows us to work out whatever arrangement works best for both of us.


Consider it as if you’re looking for a personal assistant. You can quickly see what the clients are willing to pay if you can scribe.

They act as a liaison between you and the paying customer.

Some agencies employ a large number of individuals, whom you will compensate with your efforts. You can also discover your own clientele and handle everything yourself.

Rev is constantly busy, but you’ll have to pay for it.

I could get $.80 per audio minute from Rev and $1.50 from a Group 3 agency for the same quality audio — and it appears the client will pay the same (I have no clue what each client pays, just speculating from the price sheets.)

My company does not have a physical location. We’re all freelancers who work from home. There is no corporate office space to rent, and there is little to no marketing budget, among other things.

The owner, who is based in New Zealand, his accountant, and project managers at regional ‘offices’ are all present. I’m based in the United States but work out of Canada’s ‘office.’ (Hello, twenty-first century!) It’s like a strange global franchise… it’s a little creepy.

The majority of the money that the client pays goes directly to me. And the bits that go to the agency are quite understandable.

The disadvantage is that steady work is not always available. When more scribes are hired during busy times, there are fewer scribes available during slack times. There’s a lot of waiting around for someone to upload a file…two slow months in a row is depressing.

That’s why, during the sluggish times, I try to have private clients — or just volunteer for things. When the ‘agency costs’ are removed, it appears that both my people and I are satisfied with the transactions. (Probably because I’m cheap and do a lot of things just for the sake of doing them.) It doesn’t matter how much money you have.)

There are a couple of reasons why I won’t name the firm with whom I work. Scribes, it appears, are a secretive group. It’s like combining HIPAA and OPSEC. Nobody talks about work once you’ve gotten in and learned the secret handshake.

Rev is a fantastic place to start. Consider it as if they’re paying you to study — but it won’t be much in exchange for your efforts. At some point, I believe every scribe who continues with it has worked for a company like Rev, Amazon Turks, GoTranscripts, or anything like.

Rev, in my opinion, is at the top of the crowdsourcing approach, but their fees for scribes might be much higher.

And, yes, there are a plethora of better agencies available.

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