Zoom partners with Otter.ai for live transcriptions

By Ellen Daniel

Video conferencing platform Zoom has partnered with speech-to-text transcription app Otter.ai to support live transcriptions of meetings.

According to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, daily usage has risen from a previous high of ten million, to 200 million in March, as many rely on video conferencing for remote working, home education and socialising.

Google searches for “remote working”and “collaboration tools” also reached record highs in March, according to research by RedScan.

As a result, many companies in this area are offering free features to users. For example, Google has made access to advanced Hangouts Meet video conferencing available to all G Suite and G Suite for Education users for free and Microsoft is offering a free six-month trial of its premium Teams chat app.

Otter has collaborated with video conferencing platform Zoom to enable meetings to be transcribed in real time, designed to help those who “increasingly struggle to listen and pay attention while taking notes”.

Otter brings live transcriptions to Zoom

Live Video Meeting Notes is included in the Otter for Teams plan with no additional fees, and will mean that meeting hosts can provide text transcriptions for participants. The feature will also include collaborative note-taking so participants can access and review meeting notes.

In order to use the Otter.ai integration, users will need to connect Otter to Zoom and then can start Otter Live Transcribe while in the Zoom app.

Other video conferencing platforms, such as Microsoft Teams which introduced a live captions feature at the end of last year, already have similar functions, suggesting that platforms are seeking to expand their offerings at a time when user numbers are spiking.

Otter Basic and Premium users who also have Zoom Pro accounts can access another feature called Zoom Sync, which automatically syncs Zoom recordings with otter accounts, which can then be transcribed.

However, in order to “prioritise resources to accommodate bandwidth” Otter has made some changes to its Basic free plan. Users will now only be able to import three recordings per account, with each transcription limited to 40 minutes.

Otter CEO and founder Sam Liang said that “Otter usage with Zoom meetings has increased by more than 5X in the past few weeks”.


Read more: Coronavirus sees Slack use surge 25% in 16 days.