Descript started life as an audio editing app but has slowly added more video editing tools over the years. Now, the app has launched one of its biggest updates yet and is putting video editing front and center with a new mode named Storyboard. The company has been testing Storyboard in beta for months, but it’s now available to all users.
As ever, Descript’s key differentiator compared to traditional apps is its take on the standard editing timeline. Instead of presenting content and effects as a series of blocks in a visual timeline (which can get hellishly busy), the app uses AI to transcribe speech from audio and video and lets users edit this content just like they would a Word document. You just delete sentences from the transcript and the video or audio is removed as well.
The Storyboard update builds on Descript’s intuitive transcript editor
Storyboard builds on this paradigm with a few new additions. The biggest is “Scenes,” which lets you split up video content like slides in a slideshow by typing a forward slash (/) into the transcript. Once you’ve split your video into a new scene, you can then replace the content. You can drag and drop in a picture, add a visual effect or a title, or splice in new footage. To make this last part easier, Descript is also now offering free access to “millions of premium stock videos, images, sound effects and music tracks.” There are also a whole bunch of smaller UI tweaks and new features like an automatic AI green screen effect.
All in all, the update is focused on making video editing as easy as possible, building on Descript’s traditional pitch to users. The update will likely be particularly useful for individuals who want to simultaneously produce podcasts and video highlights to share on social media. That’s a big potential audience, with brands, creators, and media outlets (including The Verge!) pushing video content more than ever before.
Descript offers four pricing tiers, with a free trial limited to one hour of transcription a month, and additional tiers set at $12 a month, $24 a month, or custom pricing for larger teams offering access to more features like an automatic filler word removal tool and batch file exports. You can watch a preview of the Storyboard update shared by Descript in July below:
Correction, November 15th, 11:26AM ET: A previous version of the story said the free tier of Descript offered 3 hours of transcription. With the launch of Storyboard this has changed to one hour a month. We regret the error.