Friday, May 18, 2007

How Much Are Talents and Voice Producers Charging for Non-Union Work?

Voice123 is the marketplace where union and non-union projects find their best talent. The voice seeker and the talent or voice producer always work together to reach an agreement in terms of the price. Union projects can base their rates on the guides provided by the unions: (AFTRA - USA , SAG - USA, British Equity, ACTRA - Canada, etc), but non-union projects are different. Many voice seekers, talents, and voice producers have asked us to provide them with market information so that they know how to budget their projects. We listened and took action.

Last moth we sent a voluntary worldwide survey to approximately 3,600 active voice over talents and voice producers registered with Voice123. The survey asked for base rates in several different areas (TV, Radio, non-broadcast, local, regional, etc.), and different pricing methodologies (per spot, per minute, per word, and per hour of work). We then crunched the numbers and came up with pricing stats that you can use in helping to determine the budget or price for a voice project. You can access these stats by clicking here.


Dave said...

I appreciate that V123 did this survey, but I didn't participate. When I got the email for it, I was eager to log in and start letting my (written) voice be heard. But when I saw the groupings, the categories, I found myself shaking my head. Asking for one rate for "promos, commercials, documentaries, and shows for radio, TV, cable, and the Internet in small markets. It also covers narrations, audio books, podcasts, corporate and industrial presentations, video games, films, movie trailers, multimedia (CD/DVD), web sites, phone systems (IVR), on-hold messages, voicemails, etc."??? No way. Each of those demand entirely diffferent rates, and it's very short-sighted to ask for one overall price for all of them. The same rate for a :30 podcast as for a :30 TV spot? Nope.

I realize also that to ask for rates for each individual type of project at each individual length of time would be very tedious for both the survey takers and number crunchers. But it does no-one any good to lump all of these types of projects together. It short-changes talents' hard work, and sets up clients being overcharged for something that should be priced much less (TV/podcast comparison).

Dave Elvin
Seattle said...

Hello Dave,

We are a little confused with your message, the actual survey and statistic results are divided in different types of jobs, recordings types(basic ones)and markets.
(Tv, Radio, other, for medium and large markets).
This specific format was the one recommended by several VO pros.

Please let us know what you think about the actual statistic results.

Kind regards,

Freddie Molina

Bill Ratner said...

There are so many talent payment services, both large & small, that are also signatory to SAG & AFTRA agreements, that there is no reason to lower the bar so far as these results appear to have done. It's like health-care: the bar will keep getting lower and lower. The best policy is to use existing SAG & AFTRA scale rates as a basement and run your "non-union" work through a signatory paymaster. If the majority of working talents were to do this, we'd all make decent money, and the producers would continue to get the bargains they get. You can't convince me that saving a producer $300 on a tv commercial or industrial narration is doing anything for anyone (on a project that costs $25,000 +) except taking money out of the talent's pocket...$10 radio spot anyone?
Bill Ratner, Los Angeles

Lyle Patton said...

It was not clear to me if the data you collected was "rate-card" rates or what voice talents actually negotiate for their work. I suspect the former.

As a producer of local and regional spots, my average talent fee for a 30-second spot is between 60 and 70 dollars and 70 to 80 dollars for a 60-second spot. I've never had problems finding qualified talent to work within these rates and, frankly, wouldn't consider paying the "average" or "median" rates you've published. Not because I'm a stingy money-grubbing jerk (I hope)--but because my clients' budgets simply wouldn't support it (Sorry--no $25K commercials here, Bill).

Solan said...

I wasn't asked for my opinion, and I haven't been able to access the results all day ("Unable to connect", then "Object not found!"), although I was keen to see how different languages/countries pan out in the survey (Based in Europe, we produce and outsource voices in 200+ languages).

Apparently, none of my colleagues was polled either. Perhaps it was America-only?

Kevin said...

Hello Solan,

The survey was sent to all the premium talents (worldwide) listed on our database, around 3600.

Try using this link to check the survey results:

How Much Are Talents and Voice Producers Charging for Non-Union Voice Over Work?

Cristina Urias said...

I did participate in the survey, I´m from Mexico city and I´m sorprised that the radio and TV fees are lower than the fees I have received here in Mexico, even if we talk in pesos! (you know, 11 pesos are one dolar, proximately). For example, if I record a local radio spot I charge not less than $2500 pesos (240 usd, prox), NOT LESS. I have gotten a few jobs by voice123, and they have been good payed, that´s why I can´t say that all the jobs sucks but we need to put attention in the fees that we are handle. The survey shows ¡Cuánto desvaloramos nuestro trabajo!!! (sorry I didn´t know how to write it in English). Please think about it. Cris Urias

info said...

I still can't link to it, from either Firefox or IE... Is it only available to 'Premium' talents? said...

Thanks for your comments Cris!

"info", the link is open for everyone to view. Click here to try again.