Bruce Melzer on why NPR.org makes transcripts of its radio stories free online:

There are solid business reasons for making transcripts free. Sales have been dropping over the years. As people search for, discover and share content, offering free transcripts will boost the traffic to NPR.org, traffic that can be monetized with sponsorship. Finally, search engines like text. Many of our stories could not be found by the search engines because they did not have enough text. Now it will be easier for the search engines — and ultimately the users — to find and enjoy NPR’s stories.

On the Media from WYNC puts transcripts of all of its interviews online, and they’re extremely helpful. It’s something we’ve tried on Spark, and would like to do more of. And, as Julien Smith says, “the web is built around text, not sound.”

Update: My pal Rhiannon makes another excellent point:

i like when radio puts up transcripts. it’s really useful for me if i’m listening to something, say on a morning show (especially pre-coffee), and i’m like “wow! this would be great info for my/ someone else’s research!!” listening to the radio is great, but to be able to pass the info along to others (or save it for myself) who can use it at a later time is really useful from an academic’s perspective. i wish cbc did more of this all around.