Knowing how much to pay for a voice over is not always easy to work out. The web has many places where voice overs can be hired and voice over rates vary greatly.
With many things in life, you kind of know what price you need to pay for things, for example… a sandwich, a new TV, a new car etc. The competitive market and laws of supply and demand make this information easy to find for many types of products and services as there are usually many companies offering the same or similar product.
With voice talent, the price varies considerably as each voice over has their own unique characteristics and industry experience. As a rule of thumb, you would pay much more to hire a known TV celebrity voice over than you would to use the services of a lesser known voice talent working in their home studio.
As the entry to market is now much lower for voice overs to kit out a home studio, there are more voice-overs looking to win pitches than ever before. Many voice over jobs are on a quote by quote basis and there seems to be little in the way of price lists for having a voice over recording made. Information on where to go and who to trust for prices is increasingly difficult to discern from web searches.
Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. You can get a quote from numerous reverse auction style sites, where you get hundreds of voiceovers pitching for the job… but at the end of the day, reliability and quality should be more important than price in my opinion.
Voice over quotes are often defined by various factors including whether they use there own studio or hire one, whether they are delivering a raw, dry or fully produced audio with music and sound effects or their position and experience in the voice over industry… for more information on this topic please see this previous post >
Also, are you asking per page, per word count or by the finished duration of the audio? All very difficult to gauge and difficult to quantify.
OK, here is my really simple secret to pricing voice over jobs.
Personally, I like to be able to calculate the cost from the number of words in the script. Granted, I am not a voice-over, but I do work with a team of professional voice overs and I like to work on a win, win, win basis.
- The client needs to get a fair price – Win 🙂
- The voice over needs to be paid fairly – Win 🙂
- The audio producer needs to receive fair pay for the editing and production – Win 🙂
Saying it will last about 20 minutes, or it is 10 pages is not very useful. Pages can have anything from 300-700 words on them depending on font size and margin size. And the duration of the audio can vary depending on the editing and the speed of the narrator. Also, the narration of a page can take anything from 3 – 7 minutes depending on the content.
I find the best way is to quote based on seeing the script and word count. This way you should always get the job done to the quality you expect and for the price you expected to pay. Likewise, the voice over and audio producer will be happy with their share of the income. Win, Win, Win!
With the exception of 30 second adverts and very small jobs, I think it is always a good idea to send your script or at least provide a word count for an estimated price.
This is based my experience, but perhaps you have had experience with this too? I look forward to any comments you wish to share.