With Which Application Can You Transcribe a Live Zoom Webinar?

André Bastié
André Bastié
Posted in Zoom
4 min read
application live zoom webinar

This guide outlines the need for accurate live transcription services during Zoom webinars and presents several options including Zoom's Live Transcription, Otter AI, Colibri, Rev, Verbit, and Happy Scribe, each offering unique features and benefits.

You may have already used transcription services for a recorded Zoom meeting, but transcribing a live webinar isn’t quite the same. Firstly, you will need a highly accurate service with no lag. Secondly, not all transcription companies provide live transcriptions or captions. Here is our guide to finding the best application to transcribe your live webinars.

What is a Zoom Webinar?

Unlike meetings, Zoom webinars are more like a presentation or an educational lecture. A webinar is designed to have a host and an optional co host, plus several panellists who can also take the floor.

There is usually limited or no interaction between webinar attendees, another big difference with meetings. Zoom webinars are designed to accommodate one or a small number of speakers with a large audience - up to 50,000 participants can attend depending on the licence.

While attendees do not generally participate in a webinar, the host usually encourages questions or asks for feedback at the end of the session, via the chat, a survey, or a live question-and-answer session. Only the host has the ability to unmute participants.

Trasnscribe Live Zoom Webinar

Why do I Need to Transcribe my Live Webinar?

There are numerous reasons why it is highly recommended that you transcribe your live Zoom webinar. Note that here, we are not referring to a transcription of a Zoom recording, but to live on screen captions that will enable your participants to read what you are saying in real time.

A real time on screen transcription of your presentation will allow participants to better understand your webinar, as they will have the text of what you are saying directly in front of them. Providing live Zoom captions is also more inclusive. Not only will this make your presentation more accessible to people with hearing impairments, those who have to mute, for one reason or another, will still be able to follow along.

Best Apps to Transcribe Your Live Zoom Webinar There are plenty of high-quality web transcription apps, such as Happy Scribe. Unfortunately, not all apps offer live transcription and captioning services. So, if you are looking for an app to transcribe in real time, rather than from your Zoom meeting recordings, you may struggle to get started. Here’s our list of the best live transcription and captioning apps for your Zoom webinar.

Live Zoom Webinar Transcriptions

Zoom Live Transcription

You may already use Zoom’s Live Transcription service to transcribe your video meeting recordings that you have saved to the cloud. This service can also be used for real time captions during your Zoom webinars. You may have to enable closed captions in your settings. Then your video audio will be displayed as text on screen in real time.

While Zoom Live Transcription is certainly useful, unfortunately, it is not the most accurate service on the market. It can struggle with custom vocabulary and you may need to have a co host present to edit certain words. So while this is a good service to get started with, if you are hosting professional or business webinars, you’ll probably want to look for a third-party alternative service with greater accuracy levels.

You can use Zoom’s closed captions with a free account, however, if you are hosting a live webinar, you will in all likelihood already have a professional account.

Otter AI

Otter AI is a popular Zoom transcription tool that can also be used for live transcription. Not only is Otter capable of adding live transcripts to your Zoom webinar, Otter Live Notes can also be opened in another browser window, allowing users to highlight and comment on what is being said.

Obviously, you will have to have a paid Zoom account for your webinar. If you want to use Otter Live Notes, you will have to sign up for an Otter Business account. Participants can view your live transcription for free, but they will have to sign up for an Otter Basic plan to use the Live Notes feature. A simple live transcription is also available on Otter’s free plan, where you can record with Otter and view your live transcript side-by-side.

Otter AI is very simple to set up, making it a popular transcription service. It also provides extra features for your recordings, such as custom vocabulary, an assistant service that automatically joins meetings on your schedule and various app integrations.


Unlike many other web transcription services, Colibri is an app that works directly within Zoom. It provides live transcripts and allows you to take notes within your Zoom window. Simply click to open the app and you will see your live transcript next to your webinar or meeting video.

Colibri is specially designed to make transcribing your video streaming extra easy in just one step. What’s more, as you can scroll back over what was said, it gives you much more flexibility than Zoom’s closed captions which appear then disappear.

This live transcription service also provides real time speaker identification that works automatically whenever you start the app. You can invite others to sign up for the app so that they can also see the live transcript or you can send a link to participants after your presentation to share a copy of your webinar transcript.


Another way to transcribe your live webinar is to start using Rev’s Real-Time Caption service. It comes with a free trial, making it worth checking out if you are new to using third party transcription services.

Rev is easy to set up and provides an accurate, real-time transcription of your live Zoom webinar. Once you save and install Rev, it automatically transcribes all of your Zoom webinars and meetings. Use it for business or educational purposes, once your free trial is up, you can sign up for a flat monthly fee.

Thanks to Rev’s low latency levels, your captions match your audio and video without any lag. What’s more, the Rev Real-Time Caption service provides a free copy of your transcript after your presentation or meeting is finished.


Thanks to its high accuracy levels and seamless Zoom integration, you may want to try out using Verbit for your live streaming transcription. Verbit’s live captioning service works in real-time to enable your video presentation to attract and engage more users.

If you don’t regularly live stream your webinars, Verbit may be a good choice for you as there is no monthly fee. They price each project individually. What’s more, Verbit closed captioning supports ADA guidelines, so your video streaming presentation will be much more inclusive.

Verbit’s platform is designed as a one-stop shop, where you can enable various web services to add translations, search for keywords or to download your transcript after your meetings. With 24/7 support, if you are looking for a more personalised experience when planning your live transcription, Verbit could be your best option.

Happy Scribe

Happy Scribe is an excellent solution for transcribing live webinars. One of the main reasons is its ability to provide highly accurate transcriptions in real-time. This is crucial for webinars, where every second counts and there's no room for delay. Furthermore, Happy Scribe supports multiple languages, making it an ideal tool for international webinars with a diverse audience. Unlike many transcription companies, it offers live transcriptions and captions, meaning you can provide real-time accessibility to your attendees.

This makes your webinar more inclusive and accessible to a broader range of participants, including those with hearing impairments or those who may need to mute the webinar for any reason. Happy Scribe also efficiently processes recordings and transcripts, providing automatic punctuation and multiple speaker identification, which is crucial for understanding the context in a webinar. Moreover, it's sensibly priced, making it a cost-effective solution for businesses. Therefore, for live Zoom webinar transcriptions, Happy Scribe stands as an exceptional choice providing quality, efficiency, and inclusivity.

It is really important to provide a live transcription when streaming your webinars. The services listed above are all good options to provide your Zoom attendees with live captions or transcripts, so you can focus on your presentation. Most Zoom live transcription apps can be set up with a simple click, once you have set up an account. In addition, the vast majority also provide you with a full transcript for reference or to share after your webinar recording is complete.

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