What does a voiceover survey that 1,244 voice actors participated in say about the state of the voiceover industry? Let's find out...
First off, we as a community has been wondering about the actual landscape of the voiceover industry for years. Nobody knows how many people are actually doing (or trying to do) voiceovers and we probably never will BUT this survey gives us a pretty good idea about the percentages of who is doing what and how much they make.
Before you do anything else, check out the survey, watch this video about the survey voiced by the fabulous Maria Pendolino, and listen to this podcast. They do a great job of breaking down the survey and it's a fascinating conversation.
A HUGE thanks to Carin Gilfry, Jamie Muffet, and the Voiceover Survey gang for putting this together.
What do I think of the survey?
Nothing particularly surprised me.
Your average voice actor seems to be what I thought: non-union, low income, uses P2P sites a lot, has an agent or two that barely helps their career, and doesn't use direct marketing effectively.
If this survey was conducted pre-COVID the results would be different. People have been flocking to the voiceover industry in recent years but COVID definitely catalyzed the movement.
If this survey was conducted before the advent of Pay-to-Play sites the results would be wildly different. I think the survey results will be wildly different a few years from now but for a different reason. AI is coming (in some ways it's here) and it may ravage not just the bottom end of the VO food chain but a good chunk of the middle.
It's possible that many of the voice actors surveyed will be out of the voiceover business in a few years because of AI.
It's also possible that anyone trying to enter the voiceover industry in a few years may not find enough work to sustain them because AI gobbled up most of the entry-level gigs.
Will the survey influence my business decisions? No, but if I hadn't been exploring different genres as well as different marketing techniques for the past year or so it certainly would.
TIP OF THE WEEK
What does this all mean for you?
If you are part of the majority of respondents, you need to do some serious thinking.
What will you do if the majority of P2P gigs, Fiverr gigs, etc. are taken by AI?
What will you do if the genre you book the most work in gets taken over by AI?
What will you do if you can't land an effective agent?
What will you do if you don't learn to use Direct Marketing effectively?
Be prepared, make sound decisions NOW, and execute a plan to stay both relevant and valuable!
RESOURCES & RECOMMENDATIONS
Here is where I occasionally suggest stuff that may help your voiceover business. Some of these suggestions may include an Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you click on the link and purchase the item in question, I get a few cents at no extra cost to you.
Today's recommendation: laptop computers! I just got a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon. It's replacing my Lenovo Thinkpad T420 which worked great for years but the RAM was maxed out and these days you need at least 16GB. It's much lighter than the T420 and has USB-C ports as well as regular USB and HDMI ports. Most of them are pricey BUT here is a link to a refurbished one for only $799.
NEWS AND NOTES
Wednesday, September 15th @8PM ET: The VO How-To webinar: "Explainers Explained". What is an Explainer Video? How do you narrate one? Where do you get the work? These and many other questions will be answered in this online workshop! If you can't attend the night of the event, the webinar will be recorded so you can watch the video at your convenience.
Thursday, September 16th @8PM ET: The Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar "Cost/Benefit Analysis". This class will give students an understanding of how to analyze their voice over business, figure out where their voiceover work came from, and how to read metrics.
Sunday, September 19th: Stay tuned...!
Saturday, September 25th @8PM ET: The Voice Actor Studio webinar "Set Goals and Build a Business Plan". Now is the perfect time to create your voiceover business plan and set your goals for the next week, month, quarter, and year. In this online workshop, I will walk you through how to determine what success can look like for you and how to make it happen.
Thursday, September 30th @8PM ET: The Edge Studio Marketing 201 webinar "The Sales Funnel". In this class, students will explore the concept of the “Sales Funnel,” and how it can yield more paying clients in the long run if used properly.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business & marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. He is also a voice actor with over 20 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voiceover you can think of. When not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.