Voiceover Rates: WHAT IS FAIR AND REASONABLE PRICING?
The world of professional voiceover pricing is a bit of a black box for some. I talk to people all the time who hire voice talent who struggle to understand if the rates they are getting from the talent are fair and reasonable.
Admittedly, the non-union end of our industry is a little bit of the Wild West. On one hand, you have some freelancer sites who participate in the race to the bottom, where you can literally get a voiceover “performed” for $25 or less. Suffice it to say, you get what you pay for.
On the other hand, how can you as a talent buyer be sure you’re not being potentially taken to the cleaners?
To further complicate things, professional voiceover is priced differently for each genre of work and differently for union vs. non-union talent.
To someone just trying to get good talent and complete a project, it can be complex and a little daunting.
So, for the average everyday company or organization looking for professional voiceover services, how do you know whether you’re getting a fair and reasonable price? How do you go about setting and sticking to an appropriate budget for a given project? How do you know you're not getting lowballed by an under-qualified provider setting you up to get an inferior product?
For the purposes of this discussion, we’ll assume that you are not a union producer/talent buyer and are therefore not generally using union talent.
Fortunately for everyone, there is an organization that brings together producers, non-union talent, agents, and other industry pros to establish fair and reasonable rates across all the typical genres of voiceover. That organization is the Global Voice Acting Academy, or GVAA.
The GVAA has established the GVAA Rate Guide as the industry standard for non-union voiceover rates in North America. There’s a reason it’s called a guide and that’s because each talent is free to negotiate each project. The Guide is intended for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to fix voiceover industry pricing or set minimums.
With the help of the Guide, both you and the talent know what the industry standard rates are in most cases, and can negotiate from there. A very experienced talent with an overflowing schedule may negotiate above the rate guide. Less experienced talent or those with a light queue may negotiate at or below guide rates. A large project or a volume of projects bundled together may dictate rates below industry standards.
The point is, everyone has a starting point for what is reasonable and fair.
In no other industry of which I’m aware does such a resource exist for non-union freelance talent. If you know of one, let me know.
The GVAA Rate Guide establishes norms and protects both buyers and talent from unfair and unreasonable rates or usage while simultaneously promoting rate consistency for talent buyers and competition within the voiceover industry.
Note: If you’re not well versed in how genres are defined or what usage applies and how, please feel free to reach out. I’m always happy to answer any questions and walk you though scenarios.