CastingWords – Transcription made fast & easy

General facts about CastingWords

CastingWords is a transcription service (in this case specialized in converting Podcast audio data in text). This service provider was founded in 2005 in New Mexico and is by now also represented on the Mechanical Turk platform to offer its micro jobs there.

So the contractor can decide whether only to register only on the CastingWords Workshop platform or also on the Mechanical Turk platform.

The tasks can be carried out offline on a PC. Work results are then transferred online by the purchaser via the platform.

The purchaser pays by expenditure (speaking minutes) from 1 USD/minute for tasks not depend on a particular time and up to 2,5 USD/minute for a 24h service.

The purchaser pays via Paypal in 66 countries resp. via the Mechanical Turk platform.

The CastingWords process

  1. After registration you can start with the first micro jobs. There are tasks in the fields:
    1. Doing transcriptions
    2. Improving and editing transcripts
    3. Determing audio quality
    4. Grading transcripts

    At the time of the evaluation and as new contractor there where about 250 different tasks available.

  2. For carrying out the micro jobs there are exact guidelines to be met, also for the style. There is a time limit, too.
  3. After completing the micro job is sent to other users or administrators for grading.
  4. When the grading says the quality of work is sufficient the contractor can get his payment. For very good work there can also be a bonus. Payday is every Friday (Payout limit 1 USD).

CastingWords website screenshots




CastingWords data usage range and spreading

The number of Social Media fans/followers is under 500 people. The Facebook group of CastingWords Workshop has only a little over 1000 members. There is no information on the numbers of contractors or purchasers. It can be assumed that there are 10K to 50K users.

CastingWords user journey

Due to the extensive tasks of 30 minutes no special user journey of a task was tried out.

CastingWords strenghts and weaknesses

CastingWords strengths

  • From the beginning there are a lot of micro jobs available.
  • The badge system for achievements is encouraging (see FAQ which badges are there?).
  • Audio Transcript API for integration of customer relation system can be used with different technologies.
  • Strong orientation to high quality (several review loops).
  • Service speed for the transcription can be chosen by the purchaser.

CastingWords weaknesses

  • There is no App for the service, the website is also not responsive.
  • The offered micro jobs are not really oriented internationally, the platform is only available in English, jobs are therefore almost all to be completed in English (a few in French, Spanish).
  • Unfortunately no other tasks then working on texts.


Personal evaluation of CastingWords

The platform leaves a solid impression as the offered transcription services seem to be still in strong demand. The badge system is a good idea to evaluate the skills of the contractors and motivate them to achieve higher quality in their future tasks.

In total, the payment is quite poor. An hourly wage of e.g. 10 USD is only possible with a very high qualification and a bonus payment. Additionally, the tasks are not easily carried out because e.g. the audio quality of the tasks is partly very poor.

With the start of the platform in 2005/2006 the media response was very positive (Wallstreet Journal, New York Times, TechCrunch). Now it has become quite.



Have you already tried CastingWords? Let us know about your experience in the comments.

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