Subtitling is an increasingly popular service. Whether for YouTube content, corporate videos, commercials, documentaries, or other types of videos, subtitling is a practical and immediate way to make audiovisual content accessible to a broader market.
How Much Do Subtitling Services Cost?
A quick online research is enough to realise that there is no single answer to this question.
Subtitling fees vary depending on the language combination and the type of service required.
Two factors, in particular, have the most significant influence on cost. First, the generation of an SRT file tends to cost less than the insertion of embedded subtitles. Plus, intralingual subtitles are cheaper than interlingual subtitles.
But first things first.
1) What Is an SRT File?
An SRT file is a text-only file containing timecode and subtitle text. Several file extensions can be used to generate subtitles, but the most common one is the SRT extension. You won’t receive a new video with embedded subtitles when you request subtitles in SRT format. Instead, you will receive a
separate text-only file containing the subtitles. This file is compatible with most media players. To display the subtitles, simply load them onto the player during video playback. In other words, as these subtitles are not imprinted on the screen, they can be switched on and off at will without affecting the original video.
An SRT file is cheaper than burnt-in subtitles because it does not require a video editing service. While embedded subtitles must be graphically refined—in the choice of font, size, colour, background and positioning—an SRT file requires no such intervention.
2) What Are Interlingual Subtitles?
Another factor affecting price is the language combination. Interlingual subtitles are made in a different language than that of the video. In other words, it is a true audiovisual translation in which the original audio is translated into another language. The purpose of this service is to make the video known to a different audience.
On the other hand, Intralingual subtitles are created in the same language as the video. This service was initially designed to make multimedia content accessible to people with hearing impairments. Today, the service is also used for other purposes, e.g., marketing. With the advent of social media, many videos are watched without sound from mobile devices, such as tablets or smartphones, during the user’s spare time. Consequently, the addition of subtitles increases their accessibility, making their content appealing to more people.
Both forms of subtitles need to be synchronised, meaning the audio and text are combined on the screen. Interlingual subtitles, however, also require a translation service and therefore tend to be more expensive and take longer to produce.
3) How Much Does It Cost to Caption a Video in English?
Online research showed that the average price per minute for creating interlingual subtitles for a 10- minute video is about €15.00 + VAT.
The research was conducted by asking for a quote for manual English subtitling of an Italian video from five different agencies. Rates vary from a minimum of € 100 for ten minutes of subtitling to a maximum of € 200 + VAT for creating the SRT file alone.
As for the insertion of embedded subtitles, research has shown that prices range from €10 + VAT up to €230 + VAT.
Yes, you got it right. Some agencies charge 230€ + VAT just for burning subtitles into a 10-minute video, in addition to the €200 + VAT already charged for generating the SRT file, for a total amount of €430 + VAT.
These prices are rather high and, in some cases, totally unjustified.
Let us pause for a second. We are asked to pay € 15.00 + VAT per minute of subtitling. Isn’t it too much? However dense the voice-over may be, it is still a minute—60 seconds!
Some agencies are willing to offer discounts on long-content videos, meaning that if a client plans to caption a lot of material in a month, they might receive a discount. However, the rates are still onerous and not always predictable because most agencies do not publish their rates per minute online. So, one must request a quote to find out the cost. In addition, some agencies provide a quote only after watching the video. Therefore, in some instances, the price is also established based on other factors (other than duration), such as word density or the type of topics covered.
4) An Affordable Subtitling Service
As seen from the data in this article, many agencies tend to ‘pump up’ their prices a bit since subtitling is still a little-known service requiring transversal skills. In light of the skills required, however, it would be better to set honest rates to protect the work of subtitlers while at the same time respecting buyers’ pockets.
A more affordable alternative is offered by gf-italiansubtitles.com
The rate for subtitling from Italian into English is €6.50 per minute—VAT exempt. Less than half
the average price charged by major subtitling agencies.
For a 10-minute video, the cost will therefore be €65, with delivery in three days. These prices are clear and predictable, as they are calculated solely per minute. They also apply to any type of content.
Therefore, there will be no surprises at the time of invoicing.
It is also important to note that the price includes the generation of the SRT file and a new MP4 file with burnt-in subtitles. There is, therefore, no extra charge for burnt-in subtitles.
Any revisions are included in the price.
All tariffs for subtitling services are displayed on the site so they can be easily consulted.