“How much does a Voice Talent cost?”
“How much does a Voice Talent cost?” Good question! Here’s the answer: It depends on your project. When you ask “How much does a Voice Talent cost?” there are a lot of factors that go into the answer.
Reach. The target market, or markets. Duration. How long will it be broadcast for. Perpetuity. Is this a full buyout, meaning, will you own all the future rights to the voice recording and don’t have to pay any royalties to the voice talent? Pickups. Do you expect there to be pickups or additions in the future that are not part of the original quote? Extent. How big is the project? Is it E-Learning? Something lengthy? Or a short tag that’s going all over the planet?
There’s a lot that goes into pricing a voice talent, so let’s explore that.
First, take into account the cost due to the REACH. Is this a local non-broadcast tradeshow event? Something playing OFF the screens? Or is it a web video? Or is it not only a web video on your home page, but also on social media? Or is it on radio? Local radio? Regional radio? Statewide? Or perhaps its on TV? If so, is it on multiple markets? Where will the entire broadcast cover? Is it national? International? The reach determines part of the cost, and actually a large part, because the more people you’re reaching, the higher the cost of the voiceover.
Secondly, lets look at the DURATION. I don’t mean the length of the voiceover as in word count (which we’ll look at later) – but rather the duration that it will be broadcast. This specifically pertains to ads that air over radio and TV, for example. How long will they be airing? 3 months? 6 months? A year? The duration determines the percentage of people that might hear or see the ad, which increases the cost for the voice talent.
Thirdly, let’s examine PERPETUITY. Will you own the rights to this? Can you broadcast it for 6 months on the air, and then 3 years later, come back and do the same thing with the same voiceover? If you ask for a qutoe in perpetuity, that means that you’re asking to buyout the full rights to the voiceover, so the voice talent doesn’t really have a right to come back and say “Hey, you’re using my voice again!” To some people, this is important because they may run cyclical ads that pop up at various intervals, and they need to not worry about payouts of royalties each time a voice talent’s voice is used from an original recording. Full buyouts in perpetuity are assumed by a lot of clients, but unless it’s expressly stated, the client doesn’t own the voiceover’s recordings indefinitely: that needs to be expressly indicated in any contract between client and voice talent, because that voiceover was recorded for that precise script for that precise duration, not to be used ad infinitum without the voice talent’s permission. Perpetuity and buyouts are huge points to keep in mind when asking “How much does a voice talent cost?”
Fourthly, let’s look at PICKUPS. Is this a project where the script is 85% there, but that changes are expected in the future? Will the client have to go back in sometime down the road and record additional material for the same project, but with a revised script? Will they be expected to match the original sound recording’s audio spectrum and dynamics, which can change over time due to vocal tone, equipment, recording space, and software? Pickups are portions of the script that are expected to be recorded at a later date and can affect the price.
Fifthly, consider EXTENT when asking “How much does a voice talent cost?” The extent of the project can wildly change the price. Word count is huge for an E-Learning project because voice talent are usually paid a per finished minute rate. The longer your project, such as E-Learning, or audiobooks (at a per-finished-hour rate), the more your costs go up.
I’m an established voice talent with 26 years of experience under my belt. If you’d like to see my rates, feel free to check them out here. They’re straightforward, fair, and in line with the Global Voice Acting Academy’s guidelines for voiceover artist rates. Or feel free to contact me for a custom quote so you can have the question “How much does a voice talent cost?” answered with ease for your next project. I’d be glad to be of assistance! I’ve got excellent pricing and quick turnaround time for your voiceover needs.
Seattle Voiceover Artist / Voice Talent / Voice Actor for hire