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Voice Over: Rates & Cost

hiring voiceover process1 Voice Over: Rates & Cost

“How much does hiring a voice over talent cost?” ”What are announcer rates?”
“How expensive are the fees for voice over artists?”

It all starts with knowing your budget. After that, you need to determine if you want to go union or non-union before searching for the right voice.

NON-UNION
If you decide to hire a non-union voice over talent you are about to enter a maelstrom of cheap voice over ads on the internet. There are no set minimums because there is no union protecting the artist. In a recent online search, I found voice over guys charging as low as $45, $25 and, unbelievably, $5! My, such a deal!

Of course, if you choose a surgeon this way you’ll end up with breast implants when you really wanted a mole removed. And cheap voice over like these will more than likely leave you with a sub-par product. The you’ll need to seek a true professional to fix it.

Though I am union, I am also “financial core” which allows me to also work non-union. I mainly work union jobs, but I will take on clients whose voice over budgets are commensurate with my experience/talent and whose projects are not in conflict with my union campaigns. How do you know I’ll be better than a $45 voice over guy? (Sorry, I need a moment to stop giggling. Okay, I’m back!) The process to determine that is actually quite easy. Just follow these steps:

LISTEN TO DEMOS

DEMOS | NATIONAL | TV | RADIO | PROMO | CORP | DOC | DRTV | POLITICAL | CHARACTER

SAG-AFTRA UNION
If you decide to go union [learn how to take your project union] then your journey to get quality voice over talent becomes so much more enjoyable. SAG-AFTRA has set scale minimums for voice over work, though some talent, including me, may be “over scale” for certain types of projects.

Here are some rate sheet PDFs from SAG-AFTRA’s website. These will be changing on the next contract negotiations between our newly merged union and the producers:

FILM | TELEVISION | TV COMMERCIAL | RADIO COMMERCIAL | CORPORATE

If you’re going union, you can hire me through my agents.

FAMOUS CELEBRITY VOICES
Some clients think hiring a famous voice will do the trick. If they also want to go non-union, this option is mostly unavailable to them (though some celebrities are financial core).

Celebrities are always way over scale and can range from $10,000 to $100,000 a session – not including residuals and/or points. The debate on the ROI benefit of hiring famous people for voice over is still alive, but it appears it’s more a waste of cash rather than a boon for moving product or people.

FINANCIAL CORE
Some union voice over artists (and celebrities) file for financial core status with SAG-AFTRA. This enables them to work both union and non-union. Financial core is what brings the unions in line with the US constitution. There is much more to know about this controversial aspect of the union/non-union debate so I’ll leave it in Wikipedia’s hands.

If you are going non-union and wish to know what my voice over rates are, it’s best to follow this process below and also have your voice over budget determined in advance:

VOICE OVER SERVICE: THE PROCESS | VOICE OVER FAQ | WRITE YOUR SCRIPT | HIRE D.C.
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