Voiceovers and Market Pressure – The Not Silent Blog 1/8/19

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6 Responses

  1. Rafe says:

    Great points…all sad but true. There are many more opportunities for voice over on the increasingly sonified web, but there are just too many people with a laptop, usb mic and a pillow fort that are willing to do anything for any price. And there are more ways for potential clients to find those folks (hello Fiverr) This industry will never be the same.

  2. Thank you for this cold, hard truth, Tom.

    Sigh. I was definitely spoiled by my 20 years in the Union, and those 5-figure residual checks. I didn’t get into acting (VO, on-camera or otherwise) to also be a director, copywriter, sound engineer, translator, editor, accountant, etc (for far less $$). I’m leaning towards just focusing on my (increasingly infrequent) SAG-AFTRA gigs, and leaving the online stuff and rapidly dwindling rates to those willing to hustle harder than me, until the union VO work quietly whimpers out of existence.

    *Le sigh*

  3. Mark Maurer says:

    Oh, just slap my face into next week with this very resonating blog. 🙂 You and Mr. Strickwerda are now my “go to” weekly primary reads. Tom, thank you, Sir.

  4. Rick Shockley says:

    Tom, you have presented a strong reality for VO talent to digest. The market will generally dictate rates. We can fight and complain but at some point it’s time to look at trends and these aren’t in our favor. Thanks for the article.

  5. Jodi Krangle says:

    Definitely interesting and thought provoking, Tom. Here’s my take on things. We as voice actors, should NEVER be competing based solely on price (there lies madness! 😀 ). I know it’s a hard thing to stick to – especially for those just starting out. But the hope is that clients will believe that you are a sirloin among hamburgers (because of course, you prove to them that that’s the case!). By charging a rate that allows you to make a living, you are perceived as a professional and worth what they’re paying. That means you also need to provide excellent customer service and decide what your added value is – but it really is perceived value that’s important here.

    I also understand that not every project will be able to be negotiated that way. But if some of them are, it’s possible to continue to make a very good living doing what we do. And eventually, you drop the clients that just don’t pay you what you should be paid (they are inevitably the ones that take the most amount of effort to keep happy, aren’t they?) to focus more on those clients who pay well and treat you like gold – so that you can treat them like gold right back. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Like attracts like.

    Yes, this business requires skill and talent in voice overs, sure. But it also requires customer service (among all the other hats we wear!). If you’re a client’s go to? If you can make their job super easy every time they call on you and make them look really good in front of whomever they want to look good for? They will (usually) pay you enough for the relationship to be sustainable.

    I do get that the current state of affairs can be disheartening, certainly. But by continuing to charge sustainable rates, you’re actually rising above the crowd in your perceived value. ESPECIALLY because of the current state of affairs. Less projects that pay more (so I can devote more time and attention to each one)? Sign me up. 😉

  6. Dave Pettitt says:

    Well said Tom. Technology is certainly the great equalizer. It’s lovely to be able to perform for anyone anywhere, but it has come at a price.

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