Voice Over Licensing & Usage Explained
Hiring a voice actor for your project is easier than you think – but at the same time, it’s not really an exchange of time for an exchange of dollars. It has more in common with the way you might license music or photography for a commercial project. There are also different pricing structures based on whether or not a voice actor is performing in a union production or a non-union one. Since most of my work is non-union, that’s what I’m discussing here. You could visit the SAG/AFTRA website for more information on their rates – or check out this handy calculator (though keep in mind, it’s still in beta).
Hugh Edwards, the CEO of Gravy For The Brain, has been in the voice acting industry for a very long time – and he knows a thing or two. He’s put together a really great little video that explains how voice over licensing works. While he’s in the UK, the concepts are the same no matter where in the world a voice actor might be – and this is how most voice artists figure out pricing for their clients.
Since I’m in North America, my pricing structure usually has its basis in the GVAA Rate Guide – which has standard rates for particular usages. Depending on the project, my pricing might be lower or higher than what’s listed there, but that’s a good starting point and will give you an idea of what the standard industry pricing for a particular project might be.
There are many reasons to hire a professional voice talent for your project. I’ve listed a few here, in my Professional Services Guarantee. I also have a Revisions Policy. I feel it’s important to share these two documents so that we’re both on the same page when it comes to hiring a voice actor, expectations, and fulfillment.
If you have any questions about any of this, you’re welcome to reach out. I’ll be happy to talk with you.