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Posted by on Dec 3, 2023 in Development, Microsoft Teams

Microsoft just slashed the cost of using the recording and transcript APIs in Microsoft Teams

Microsoft just slashed the cost of using the recording and transcript APIs in Microsoft Teams

A few months ago (3rd October 2023 for transcript API and 15th November 2023 for recording API) Microsoft started charging developers (or their customers depending on how you set it up) to use the recording and transcript APIs. These APIs let you retrieve the transcript and recording of a specific meeting.

There is an “evaluation quota” of 600 minutes per app per tenant per month (which is actually pretty generous) and after that API use was priced at:

  • $0.03 per minute of recording content
  • $0.024 per minute of transcript content

However, thanks to a new blog post, we know that from 1st January 2024 the pricing for using these APIs is going to fall to:

  • $0.003 per minute of recording content
  • $0.0022 per minute of transcript content

That’s a 90% discount in pricing! What is going on?!

There are a few reasons that spring to mind, but the most likely one is that Microsoft have received enough feedback about the price to re-think it. Coupled with that might have been a lack of uptake from people willing to pay those costs.

Let’s imagine a fair-sized company that over the course of an 8-hour day had around 100 concurrent meetings running. For a smaller company this might be 10 and for a larger company it could be a lot more, but you can do your own calculations. That’s 100 meetings x 60 minutes x 8 hours = 48,000 meetings minutes a day, or around 12 million meeting minutes a year.

With the old pricing, companies could have expected to pay £360K for their recording content, and £288K for their transcripts.

With the new pricing, it’s more like £36K for recording and £26.4K for transcripts. You can see how much of a different it would make when calculating the overall cost of a solution that uses these APIs.

There are other reasons of course, for instance it might just be that Microsoft have found a more efficient way of making these APIs available and are passing on the cost. I’ve reached out to Microsoft to try and find a definitive answer and if I get one, I’ll post it here.

Either way, depending on your solution and use-case it might be time to re-visit these APIs and see if the costs now add up for you.

Just one thing though. This change in pricing demonstrates that Microsoft is willing to radically change pricing at short notice. Whatever the reasons for this change, it’s a cautionary tale that developers and architects will want to take to heart. Nobody wants to design a solution around one price and find that it then suddenly increases in price. Yes, today’s announcement is about a significant drop in price, but there’s nothing to say that the next one won’t be about an increase. It would be good for developers if Microsoft committed to only adjusting prices annually, or with a set amount of notice, to allay these fears, especially after this episode.

Written by Tom Morgan

Tom is a Microsoft Teams Platform developer and Microsoft MVP who has been blogging for over a decade. Find out more.
Buy the book: Building and Developing Apps & Bots for Microsoft Teams. Now available to purchase online with free updates.

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