This may seem controversial but voiceover freelancers are really starting to grind on me.
Over the past year on that platform which a lot of us are familiar with, I’ve noticed a trend of new VO freelancers really taking the biscuit as far as commercial rights etc go. It never used to be like this. You could see a voiceover gig advertised at a certain price, buy it and move on. Now prices are all over the place and in my opinion, are confusing, deceptive, and increasingly out of touch with reality.
I know that this might seem a bit blunt/accusatory, but I’ve bought quite a few voiceovers in my time on one particular platform, and the results have been… Well, mixed bag and completely rubbish. That said, I never used to mind that much. In many cases, I could clean up things like static and background noise myself to an acceptable standard. However, now things aren’t that simple.
Today I was looking for a VO artist. My budget is $35 - $50. On Pro VO sites like Voiceover Bunny, I can get a perfectly acceptable VO for a flat rate of $35. In fact, Voiceover Bunny is currently my go-to site for voiceovers. For $50, I can get that guy a certain freelance platform recently banned, plus possible inclusion of a finished video on that ex-sellers Youtube channel (AKA free marketing).
Conversely, on the platform which I know many people here are veterans of, I can search for voiceovers, see prices starting at $5, but then read the small print and discover that I need to also purchase $25-$100 commercial licenses if I ever want to do anything with it. Moreover, in many cases, this seems ridiculous.
Freelancers can have few (if any reviews) and when I play portfolio samples (I have an ear for this btw) I can hear a voice I maybe like, but tell in an instant that recordings are being done via phone, laptop mics, or are just horrendously infused with static and background noise.
Now, this is obviously not all freelancers. However, it is many and it just turns me off. It’s like people have scanned the marketplace and started emulating other sellers prices, without first investing in the tools of the trade, or even an attempt to build their reputation.
This would be the same as a completely new writer charging $100+ for a single blog post. i.e. It’s not the quality of the post that matters, it’s the fact that it might be seen by a few people. - And to me, this is a kind of cultish egomania.
Now, to be clear, I have nothing against voiceover freelancers charging for commercial and broadcast rights. It just seems to me that a lot of new freelancers are saying “I’m a voiceover artist, I can charge the same as people with 5-years in the game with zero proof of my ability.” And this makes me shake my head and just click away to places like Voiceover Bunny.
All that said, the VO guy on that place who does the movie dubbing, is a killer deal if ever you need a really professional VO. Also, his prices are very reasonable.