ROI Accounting Assumptions
1,440 productive hours in an employee year
- Nominal work week is 40 hours.
- 48 week year allows two weeks for vacation and two weeks for sick leave accrual.
- 30 hour productive work week leaves room for employee interaction.
$29.76/hr weighted labor cost per hour captioning
- $30,000 annual "take home" wage.
- 30% additionally to weight for benefits and employer contributions [$30,000 take home + $12,857 in benefits/contributions = $42,857 annual employee cost].
- 1,440 of 2,080 hours annually are directly productive [$42,857 annual employee cost ÷ 1,440 productive hours per year = $29.76 weighted cost per productive hour].
8 year straight-line depreciation
- Most computer and professional video equipment has a practical economic life of 5 years.
- 8 years of straight line depreciation allows some recovery value.
$10,930 capital investment
- $6,000 for AutoCaption
- $1,400 for a Windows 2000® computer with 512Meg RAM, 3.0 GHz Pentium CPU and monitor (Note: on the secondary market Windows 2000® is less expensive than XP® or Vista®).
- $2,500 for a VHS/SVHS VTR with a built-in time code reader and RS-422 remote control port.
- $30 for cables.
It takes 6 hours to caption 1 hour of video
But in the real world this isn't a constant number. Depending on the complexity of the project captioning an hour of video can take from a "mere" four hours to a rare (thankfully) 10 hours.
- And that excludes transcription time because the client typically provides a script or transcript. Add 4 hours per hour of video for transcription by a competent transcriptionist.
- 2 hours are typically spent editing captions and checking the spelling of names and terms-of-art used in the video.
- 1.5 hours are spent deciding when and where each caption will appear.
- 1 hour is spent in client care, unplanned activities, setup, and training. For example, figuring out how to effectively describe a comic's falsetto voice to deaf viewers.
- 0.5 hours making client changes.
- 1 hour encoding the video.
The market price for 1 hour of captioning is $800
There's a wide range in both caption quality and what's charged for captioning.
A casual quote from a large captioning enterprise may be $1,200 for a half hour, a high-end independent captioner might quote $450 for a half hour, and a low end captioner may advertise teaser rates as low as $180 for a half hour.
But based on our relationships with professional captioners, we believe $800 per hour is an appropriately conservative estimate for this exercise.
Important Legal Notice: Information herein is based on generalizations, estimates, and educated guesses. Your actual experience may vary, so it is important to perform and rely on your own management analysis.