How Much Does a Subtitling Editor Cost?

The answer is it really depends — from free to fewer than a hundred dollars for a monthly subscription to thousands of dollars for a pro desktop app and everything in between.

Over the past few years, we have seen subtitling software companies proliferate, offering a wide range of services and tools for content creators to choose from. Also, some content creators have decided to create their own proprietary tools. 

Before proceeding, let’s have a look at the Nimdzi Technology Atlas for an overview of available subtitling tools. A total of 30 tools! And surely there are countless more out there. 


An important aspect when deciding which software to implement is price. There are several pricing models in the subtitling software industry.

1) Free tools

There are a few free desktop subtitling tools such as Subtitle Workshop, Subtitle Edit, VisualSubSync, Title, and Aegisub. Some of them include pro features such as shot change detection (VisualSubSync) or font customization features (Aegisub).

In general, they fulfill their basic role of creating timed subtitle files, but they fall short for certain companies and complex workflows.

Amara offers a free version as well, and it’s cloud-based. However, they also sell different versions with pro features that can be used if you pay a monthly subscription (see number 3).

2) One-time payment

Advanced desktop subtitling authoring tools such as EZTitles or Subtitle Next offer their tools in exchange for a one-time payment. They include more automated and advanced features and are capable of handling multiple formats and workflows. That’s why some companies prefer them over free software.

In this case, both companies offer different prices depending on the profile of the buyer or the features included in the version.

For example, EZTitles offers different prices ranging from €1,620 for the basic version to €2,380 for the enterprise version. 

SubtitleNext has a similar model, but with more options that go from Novice (€350) to Expert (€2,950). However, they also offer a rental option from 1 month (€70) up to 12 months (€580), which leads us to the next scenario.

3) Software as a Service (SaaS) – Monthly subscriptions

Subtitling software developers are increasingly selling their products in exchange for a monthly fee per license. Most of them follow the SaaS model, offering clients a cloud-based solution where the subtitling app can be accessed upon subscription.

Some media or localization companies might be wary of shelling out big bucks in exchange for a set number of subtitling software licenses. It is a considerable investment that they may not be sure they’re going to be able to justify. However, if given the opportunity to acquire licenses while paying a monthly subscription, they may feel more inclined to spend the money. This model is more flexible, allowing the company to buy licenses depending on the seasonality of the workload.

You may not want to pay $300 to buy the whole DVD collection of Friends but you’re happy paying $12 per month to Netflix to have access to that content. That’s how we like to buy nowadays.

Some examples of subtitling editors following this model are WinCAPs (from €25 to €40/month), OOONA (from $25 to $450/month), and Amara (from $24 to $128/month). Again, they offer different prices depending on the features included in each version.

Depending on whether you are a freelance subtitler or translator, a small language services provider (LSP), or a large broadcaster or video-on-demand platform, there are products available that will likely fill most of your needs. Plan, think, compare, strategize, and decide what’s best for you and your company before making an investment.

Nimdzi Finger Food is the bite-sized insight you need to fuel your decision-making today.

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