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Does YouTube Automatically Transcribe Videos? 3 Better Alternatives

Matt Phelps

Yes, YouTube does automatically transcribe videos - however, there is a catch: YouTube's automatic transcription is not that great.

For example, with YouTube automatic-generated transcriptions, you will see:

  • incorrectly placed words in the captions.
  • incoherent phrases that make no sense.
  • and sometimes, your captions do not appear when they should be on the video.

Because of this, your YouTube captions can be very hard for your viewers to read.

What is even worse is that you are ruining your chances of your videos ranking higher on Google. This means that more people are not able to discover your videos and even your channel.

Also, YouTube transcriptions are hard to read. Therefore, your deaf viewers are not getting the right message from your videos - thereby making your videos less accessible to more viewers.

The good news is that you have options when it comes to transcribing your videos.

In this article, we are going to discuss several available options that you can use to create overwhelmingly better transcriptions for your YouTube videos.

Why Do My YouTube Videos Need Tube Transcripts?

Screenshot with dashboard showing different statistics and graphs

Earlier, we mentioned what happens when you rely on YouTube's automatically generated transcriptions.

However, we have to ask the better half of that question: why do I need transcriptions for my YouTube videos in the first place?

Here are 3 reasons why creating helpful transcriptions is key for your YouTube videos:

  • It makes it easier for new viewers to test out "silent-watch" your videos before they decide that they want to watch your videos directly.
  • It makes it easier for your videos to crawl higher in the search results, thus making it easier for your videos to be more visible.
  • It helps to create a ranking flywheel when you build a consistent habit of adding subtitles for your videos.

Having gorgeously accessible YouTube transcriptions for your video is helpful for you to grow as a content creator and helpful for your viewers who are either "silent-watching" your videos or deaf person who is curious about what you have to say.

Overall, everyone wins with YouTube transcriptions.

Your Tube Transcripts Enhance Accessibility

Another added bonus is that your transcriptions for your YouTube help make your videos more accessible.

Currently, when you hover around a YouTube video, a slight preview of your video appears before your potential viewer even commits to watching your video.

By adding subtitles to your videos, you enhance the accessibility of your videos to your potential customers.

By adding transcripts to your videos, you can have more people watching your videos.

Of course, it always helps to have accurate transcriptions for your YouTube videos to have more people watch your videos.

The added benefit is that you can have more deaf viewers able to enjoy your content. Therefore, by adding transcriptions for your YouTube videos, you are making the world a better place.

Supports Your SEO Marketing As A Whole

One more great reason to add YouTube transcriptions for your videos is that it supports your SEO marketing campaigns as a whole.

For example, YouTube enables you to embed your videos into your website.

By adding helpful YouTube transcriptions to your videos, your videos can rank higher than your videos without helpful subtitles within your videos.

You can then add those videos to your website where your website can rank higher on Google Search with a YouTube video to help drive more traffic to your website.

The additional benefit is that videos can greatly increase Dwell Time for your website. According to Wyzowl, 82% of marketers mentioned that video has increased their Dwell Time.

Therefore, if you are serious about ranking higher with your videos and your website, you definitely need to add subtitles for your YouTube videos.

Your Videos Rank Higher

The awesome benefit to adding YouTube transcriptions for your YouTube videos is that by adding subtitles to your videos, your videos rank higher.

The more people who watch your videos, the more that YouTube recommends more videos to more people.

This is because YouTube rewards your videos based on Watch Time. The more people who watch your videos completely through versus the percentage of viewers who do not watch all of your videos all the way through. (shocking, I know.)

The best way you can have more viewers who are watching your videos is to add accurate, easy-to-read subtitles for your YouTube videos.

With accurate, easy-to-read subtitles, people can silent-watch your videos through the subtitles before they decide to watch your YouTube videos all the way through.

If you want to increase your chances of ranking higher and having more of your videos discovered by your relevant audience, then you must add subtitles to rank higher.

How Can I Get My Videos Transcribed?

Phone with Play Button in the front

By now, you should understand how you can get your videos transcribed and why it is important.

The one problem is that YouTube's automatic transcription for your videos is not the easiest for your audience to read all the way through.

Again! Good news! You have options!

Below, we go about several alternatives that you can use to help you transcribe your YouTube videos.

If you are interested in using helpful alternatives to help you create better transcriptions for your YouTube videos, then keep reading.

Paid Alternatives

Woman in front of screen transcribing a YouTube video by hand

There are 2 sets of options that you need to consider when you are transcribing your YouTube videos.

The first set of options are paid options (with some available free or trial plans). The second set of options is free options.

The free options help you save money, but eventually, you will want to use the paid plans if you are seeking to grow your YouTube channel.

Below are 3 paid options that you can use to add subtitles to your videos.

Tube Transcripts

Yes, this is us. Tube Transcripts is a tool that embeds into your YouTube Studio as you are uploading your videos onto YouTube.

Our goal is simple: make it easy and incredibly accessible for you to upload your transcribed subtitles into your YouTube video.

If you are a content creator, then you will appreciate using Tube Transcripts in your YouTube channel.

  • Pros
    • Incredibly accurate transcriptions for YouTube videos
    • Time-saving embed feature into YouTube Studio to make it easier for subtitles to be added to YouTube videos.
    • Cost-saving plans depend on your publication schedule, so you can generate transcriptions at a budget that you can control.
    • An easy-to-use tool with one 1-click button to generate transcriptions for your YouTube video.
    • Optimized for YouTube content creators who are interested in saving time in adding subtitles to their YouTube videos.

  • Cons
    • Not optimized for meetings or live recordings.
    • Only works with YouTube.


Rev Transcription Logo

Founded in 2010, Rev offers speech-to-text services for its customers.

First, it started out by using over 50,000 independent contractors to help translate audio into transcriptions for its many customers. While it still offers that service, they are now adding an AI-based transcription service to help transcribe audio and video into text.

If you need transcriptions for anything, Rev is the best well-known transcription service for whatever you need.

  • Pros
    • Established company around offering transcriptions
    • Can use the transcription service for videos, audio content, and meetings
    • General quick and immediate turnaround times for transcriptions - with both human-generated and AI-generated transcriptions.
    • For streaming content, its AI-based speech-to-text service supports 9 languages

  • Cons
    • The turnaround time is slower with human-generated transcriptions versus software-generated transcriptions.
    • Not easily compatible with complicated, complex, or brand-specific words.


Notta Transcription Logo

If you find yourself at a lot of meetings and you need to take a lot of notes, then you will love Notta.

Notta is a Japanese audio transcription lifesaver for your meetings and your videos, too.

In fact, you can use Notta as either Chrome Extension or as a web app to help you transcribe your notes much better.

If you are looking for an all-encompassing solution that is easy to use for your transcription needs, then you will enjoy using Notta.

  • Pros
    • Does not need microphones. Notta conveniently records using internal audio.
    • Can skip through different parts of the transcription to hear the audio so you can make sure that your transcription is correct.
    • Very possible to use Notta to transcribe every YouTube video.

  • Cons
    • The length of the transcription varies depending on how the large file size is for the video.

Free Alternative

Mac with Website Analytics open

However, if your budget is at $0, then here are some free alternatives that you can use to get the transcripts for your YouTube videos.

If you are interested in saving money, you can use these cost-saving methods to get your YouTube video transcribed.

Transcriptions with Google Docs

One way to get your videos transcribed is to use the transcription service with Google Docs.

That's right. Google Docs helps you transcribe text from nearby audio for free.

However, the catch is that audio has to be external.

  • Pros
    • Great way to cut costs in transcribing your audio files.
    • You can edit your transcription afterward.
    • Supports over 40 languages

  • Cons
    • Time-consuming effort in transcribing your audio directly into Google Docs.
    • Not 100% accurate with its transcriptions
    • Requires an external microphone.
    • Time-consuming effort in editing your transcriptions to be accurate.

What Do I Need to Know About Getting My Videos Transcribed?

Woman recording a YouTube video in her studio

Here are the takeaways to remember:

  • Transcribing your videos is essential for helping your less accessible viewers watch your videos.
  • Adding accurate YouTube transcriptions helps your videos rank higher for 2 reasons: you can raise higher conversion rates when your videos are "silent-watch" and it helps your videos be better crawlable so it ranks higher.
  • YouTube does automatically generate transcriptions for your videos but it is not always good. The good news is that you have transcription options for your YouTube videos such as Notta and Tube Transcripts.


  • Does Youtube automatically transcribe videos?
    • Yes, YouTube does automatically transcribe your videos using Google's recognition technology.
  • How to get subtitles from Youtube?
    • You can access the subtitles from your YouTube video by accessing "Open Transcript" on your YouTube video.

  • Are Youtube transcripts better?
    • No, YouTube transcripts are not better. In fact, most YouTube transcripts are incredibly hard because of their many inaccuracies.

  • Are Youtube transcripts free?
    • YouTube transcripts are free. Some videos that are hosted on YouTube have subtitles that are automatically generated by YouTube.

  • Are Youtube subtitles correct?
    • One sad downside of YouTube subtitles is that they are not always correct. Sometimes, YouTube subtitles can have incorrect words posted on the subtitles. This is a huge problem because many deaf viewers are not getting the right information when they are watching your videos.

  • Can you get a transcript from a Youtube video?
    • Yes, you can get a transcript from a YouTube video. YouTube will transcribe your audio into a transcript to be used as subtitles. There are also available options to generate transcripts for your YouTube video such as Tube Transcripts.

  • Do all Youtube videos have transcripts?
    • Every YouTube video can have transcripts posted. However, not every YouTube video has transcripts posted on their videos.


Thanks for reading my article on better alternatives for YouTube's automatic transcription. If you liked it, please share it with someone else it may help =)

If you want all my insights on growing my channel, contine with this article on How to grow your YouTube channel fast.

Matt Phelps

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