ARE VOICES.COM EATING TALENT AGENTS’ AND CASTING DIRECTORS' LUNCH
The rhetoric is getting louder and now not just from agents
and casting directors, but also from the talent themselves.
There are now several blogs that have quite intense discussions
about pay to play sites although I have to say Voices123 have
made some improvements in favor of the talent.
if the professional talent, their agents and casting directors do not
put their heads together to find a way to innovate in this over crowded
under-qualified market place, not only will their lunch be eaten but
have become more and more of a bargain
basement for talent looking to make between $100 and $150 per job.
A recent audition I received for a $90 animation job had 4 pages of
specs plus production requirements. (Please contact me if you would like a copy
They pride themselves on the fact that their prices start at
$100 and that according to them the average job pays about
$202 (which if you really crunch the numbers is debatable, the
devil being in the details as to how they arrive at this number.
Yes, this job was reviewed and approved by Voices.com staff. I recall discussing this particular post with our job posting manager, and while we felt that the amount was low for a job, it was valid work and we would rather our voice talent decide whether or not they wished to audition for the project. If the job offended you I do apologize for that.
“We've entered our summer period now, and while things are a little slower at the moment, we are scheduled to send out over $57,000 for our next pay cycle on July 1st and the average payment to voice talent when I checked it was $202.50.”
We interact with clients daily to try and educate them on what is appropriate pricing for their projects. Clients have set budgets however, and when the job is borderline on budget we always allow the voice talent to make the decision as to whether they wish to work on the project or not. I would like to thank you for voicing your concern as we frequently discuss ways that we can generate more revenue for Voice talent and this is fuel for that conversation.
POV they make 10% on the Escrow fees plus $300 a year from each member. Do the math on that to see how many millions of dollars a year that is for them with a low overhead in London, Ontario. See Paul’ Stikwerda’s Blog
especially Peter O’Connell’s breakdown of how much the voice talent comes away with at these numbers. Albeit this business model does not let the creme rise to the top and anyone can plug a USB mic into their computer and/or even record from their iPhone as there is no talent qualification pre-requisite as long as the $300 membership is received - no demo approval method and no character reference system in place. And of course no transparency as to what actually takes place with the auditions and how much money a job goes for in this EBay style universe of theirs.
Innovation does not have to be expensive but does require people who have trained and worked to build careers in this industry, to think about a way to reinvent not what they do but the way they do it to keep up with market changes and hark back to the days of quality rather than quantity - in order not to have their livelihoods eroded by an Internet site and few algorithms.
As Ed Victor would say, the hornet’s nest has been whacked. Maybe its time for us to get together with our agents and each other to see how we can save what is left of our industry and its place in the global economy, in this digital age.
Juliette Gray is a British/International voice talent located in Los Angeles.