When you search the Internet trying to find out how much to pay for a voiceover job, you soon realize that not many voiceover sites list clearly (if at all) how much you should expect to pay for a professional voiceover job.
One of the reasons is that voiceover job rates depend on many variables, including:
1. Type of job: Non-Broadcast or Broadcast?
2. Usage. If it's a commercial (broadcast) project, where will it air and for how long?
3. Does the voice talent need to be affiliated to the Union (SAG - AFTRA)?.
3. The duration of the finished audio.
4. Number of voice over talent in the piece.
5. Will you require clean and edited audio or would your team do that? The voiceover rates for audio delivered raw (including breaths, false starts, sips of water, etc.) can be lower.
6. Do you need a fully produced piece with music and sound effects? Will you need several versions and/or cutdowns (e.g., 5 second tag, 10 second teaser, 15 second version, etc.)
7. Other factors
Let's take a brief look at two of the most common factors that affect pricing for voice overs.
Non-Broadcast Voice Over Jobs
Non-Broadcast projects are usually quoted based on the finished minutes and/or the word count. If translation from English (or any other language) to Spanish is required, that will be quoted separately. Here at Spanish Voice Over Experts, we'll be happy to assist you with all your professional translation needs as well.
This table shows the suggested rate ranges for Non-Broadcast voice over jobs.
1 - 2 Minutes
300 or Less
$ 350 - $ 450
2 - 5 Minutes
300 - 750
$ 450 - $ 600
5 - 10 Minutes
750 - 1500
$ 600 - $ 750
10 - 15 Minutes
1500 - 2250
$ 750 - $ 900
15 - 30 Minutes
2250 - 4500
$ 900 - $ 1350
30 - 40 Minutes
4500 - 6000
$ 1350 - $ 1750
40 - 60 Minutes
6000 - 7500
$ 1750 - $ 2350
Broadcast Voice Over Jobs
Since the early 1990s with the exponential growth of digital technology and the Internet, the array of voice over jobs under the umbrella of “Broadcast” has grown exponentially. The use of voice overs for commercial Broadcast has now expanded to include podcasts as well as streaming audio and video channels like YouTube, Hulu and Netflix on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV and Amazon to name a few.
The rates for broadcast jobs are influenced by different factors: 1. Market Size (Small City, Big City, Regional,National, Worldwide).
2. Duration of the commercial (5, 15, 30 seconds or 1 Minute for instance).
3. How long will the commercial air?
4. Which platform will be used to broadcast your message? Will it run just on TV or will it be simulcasted on radio and digital outlets?
5. Exclusivity. Will you require the VO Talent to sign an exclusivity agreement?
"Figuring out how much to pay for a voice over is complex but not complicated. – Julio Rivera, Spanish Voice Over Expert.
The potential audience that will watch or listen to your commercial (the market size) is one of the main determining factors for broadcast rates. For that reason, it is also important to consider the geographical area(s) in which your commercial will be heard or seen. The rates for airing a commercial in a bigger market like New York City and its surrounding areas for instance, will be higher than airing it in a smaller city like Toledo, Ohio.
Length of Commercial
If multiple, smaller subsets of a larger commercial recording will be used; the rates will be adjusted accordingly. For instance, if you decide to use 15 second cutdowns from an original one Minute piece, with different tags or endings, the voice over actor will be compensated for this additional use of their voice.
Length of Campaign
The standard is usually a cycle of 13 weeks with option to air again for multiple cycles (the voice over talent will receive additional compensation for usage if commercial is aired beyond the initial 13 week cycle)
Digital Platform or Outlet
Similar to Market Size for traditional outlets like radio and TV, the number of digital outlets in which the commercial will air, are also a factor to determine the rates of a voice over job.
If you want the voice over artist to be the exclusive voice of your product or service, that means that the talent will need to be compensated for all the other work that they will not be able to obtain due this clause. This is usually done by bigger corporations that can afford these type of exclusive deals. There are other kinds of exclusivity, in which the voice over talent can't record other commercials for a similar product or service. For instance, if the product is Tires for Brand A, the voice over talent will not be able to record Tire commercials for other brands (usually a time limit is stipulated in the contract).
This is just a brief primer on voice over rates, there are many more considerations and scenarios beyond the scope of this article; if you have more questions, please reach out to us, we'll gladly help you figure out rates for non-broadcast or broadcast projects, just give us a call or drop us a line, we look forward to talking with you soon.