VoiceOver Bake – Saturated Market with Saturated Budgets
Put together any where in the world:
– One home studio
– One Internet Connection
– A dash of editing training
– Anyone with a voice
– A client who needs to save money
Once these ingredients are combined opportunity is plentiful.
There is a new breed in town and it’s quickly taking over! If you’ve been in the industry for while, you have watched the a la carte menu of Voice Acting evolve into a saturated TV Dinner. What was once a very prestigious career has turned into an economic pool of poor choices and low budgets. Companies looking to cut down on budgets are finding means to get their voice projects done minimum wage. Hiring out to low cost companies overseas offers clients a means to get their talent for next to nothing. Major corporations use companies who offer services at minimum wages and these companies are finding talent all over the world willing and desperate enough to do so.
I believe these companies look at the fact that we can make $4 a minute, while they are making $20-40 a day or week, so to them, we are making great money if we are sitting at home and getting paid $4 for every finished minute we work. The problem with that analogy is that we don’t work an allotted time a day. If we did, then maybe that would seem like a great wage, but that’s not the case, so the rate justification is just not the same. Granted most talent are just greatful to work and so we are seeing more and more of these kinds of rates and talent willing to do them.
This is a serious time of change in the voice industry and everyone has been affected by it. Look at A-List celebrities doing commercials, Voice work etc. They too are being affected by the economy dips. Because the competition is so fierce, it gets harder and harder to book, so when you combine a saturated market with a slumping economy working together with an international market with different country rate standards and we have the newest voice industry market.
So it’s like we have three tiers to the Voice Acting Industry;
The Veterans – those who have been union talent working in their market since the beginning, triple scale union rates and high value for the industry.
The Online Veterans – the next generation of talent working from home studios, rates were lowered, accessibility was increased and editing was now an included part of a voice talents duties.
The Working Class Talent – the current breed of talent working from their home studio willing to take on anything that allows them to voice and pay the bills.
I don’t have a right to tell you what you should do for your career. In fact I don’t think anyone does (unless you are union – you then have guidelines you agree to), but I do know that if you don’t try to educate your clients on why we are worth what we are worth, then the rates will just continue to decline. It may seem like it’s great just to work, but you invest a lot into this industry and deserve to be paid for all you’ve given up to make it happen. You would be amazed at how many clients will pay you what you are worth when you are truly able to value yourself.
I’d like to think that the clients get what they pay for. That the Veterans give top work for top dollar…that the online veterans are nearly as good, but easily accessible and lower rates, and that those of the working class talent are not very experienced and taking the low rates, but that’s just not the case. Clients are getting great talent for little investment. There are sites out there that allow you to get anything for $5. I’m sad that we’ve demeaned the industry yet again, but I’m also very realistic as to where the world is going. It’s affecting most industries this way, so why should we be any different. It’s just all up to you how you value yourself!
Learn how to know your worth, and trust that as much as the industry is changing, there is still a ton of clients out there that are happy to value your services. Spend your time on them, not on fighting this inevitable change and do what is right for you!
Until Next Time Everyone
All my best
VO Chef Deb – aka Deb Munro