As voice actors, we are continually asking questions like: "Which voice over website should I join" and "What is another website besides Voices.com?" or "... Voice123?".
* Quick Note: In the last week, Voice123 was acquired by Backstage. This is big news and we will be adding more to this article once information is available.
I have wrestled with these questions as many vo artists have myself. So much so, that I couldn't choose without causing myself a considerable headache.
On top of that, I felt I needed to learn more about these companies before I continued to recommend them from personal experience, because, as it stands in 2020, these two websites are considered the largest P2P sites in the world for VO and the cost to join is pretty high up there.
What's is all about anyway?
This article is a guide and comparison of the two platforms side by side from a voice talent perspective, in hopes of helping voice talent get high quality paying jobs. As a professional voice actor, all about work from home voice over, this article is about helping people make an informed decision. I will do my very best to leave the decision making up to you by presenting the evidence fairly.
So, for my students, voice actors of the world, and anyone else interested, I present to you Voices.com vs. Voice123: A comparison of two P2P voice over websites (Pay to play).
Quick Note: I recommend reading this article and using the links provided to click back and forth from the article to the websites for the best comparison.
In all disclosure, I have joined VC and V123.
** Overall, it was much easier for me to find the contact data for VC compared to V123. All of the info for VC was on their website, but the information for V123, after searching the website, Voicebunny, and Torre Inc (Parent Company), I could not find a telephone number or hours of operations for any of the three. It seems they do share for the clients and talent. Also, I was only able to find the address by searching through the terms of service or even locate a service team. I am not sure why it is this hard, but don't expect to call V123.
For the Guest (Free) option, you get a personal profile, the ability to upload demos/samples, visibility to clients from being listed on VC, payment protection (SurePay), and the capacity to be invited to private auditions.
VC says the guest option is for a voice actor just getting starting in the voice over business. However, the likely hood of a voice actor being invited to private auditions on this platform by merely signing up for a free account is slim. The website claims to have over 500,000 memberships. They do not say if those are all voice actors, however.
The Premium offer has all the same options the Guest has, plus the ability to audition for jobs, jobs to your inbox, Free PayPal services, Priority ranking in the search engine (which I assume means over the Guest accounts since they are the only accounts available), and increased access to help and support.
The membership plans are broken into 4 categories: Project invitations, search appearances, project auditioning, and competing voice actors.
Each membership plan offers more project invitations, and search appearances with fewer competing voice actors the more you pay.
When you are just starting, you can only see four membership options, but I have heard some voice actors say there are upwards of 9 opportunities, but I cannot substantiate that.
Also, it is hard to put a real number on the competing voice actors and search appearances because the keywords that you enter, like male or female voice actor, age, accent, etc., will most definitely skew the data.
**V123 seems to give you more options for membership. However, both sites seem overly ambiguous when it comes to your chances of making money and actual job posting.
Neither website claims any numbers on how many different voice actors are getting jobs. Voices.com has released figures showing numbers of jobs per month going through the site, which is in the thousands, but not how many are actually booked and what the average is.
If you work that out and take the 1,000,000 registered users on the site, and give a generous number of 5,000 jobs per month, that would come out to about 60,000 jobs a year. Voices.com and Voice123 seem to get higher than normal video game vo jobs as well.
With 60,000 jobs a year, and being in this business for a while now, I can say that all those jobs are probably not going to 60,000 different people, many are going to the same people over and over again, there is not enough work to go around for all 500,000 people to make a decent wage (This is my opinion, which I said I wouldn't do, but couldn't help myself).
With all that said, and having been on BOTH sites for a few years now and working with many voice actors on these sites, it is clear the competition is stiff, and some people can complete hundreds of auditions before getting work.
You need a fantastic voice over demo, great headshot, and incredible bio to stand a chance against the extremely high numbers on both websites.
Also, you will want to stay active by posting samples regularly to ensure you are ranking as high as possible, even if you are not full-time with your voiceover business.
Judging both of these sites on customer support is not easy, especially when I have not had to go through every scenario and compare accordingly.
However, I will do my best.
VC - It is evident by the way you can find their information on their website that they want you to contact them. Also, they have set up multiple channels to contact them for clients, voice actors, technical issues, etc. with all requests going to separate departments.
I have been helped by VC customer support, and they were easy to get a hold of and courteous as well.
V123 - There is one way to contact V123, and that is through one single email address. I suppose you could look at this as a simple system to run everything through one place, without having to worry about where to go.
I have dealt with V123 on multiple occasions, and they have certainly tried to help. They have always emailed me back promptly and with a solution.
So, I would say that ease of contact info goes to VC, but both websites seem to do an excellent job on the customer support side.
This section was an eye-opener for me. I spent a considerable amount of time on both platforms checking out their resources for voice actors, and here is the comparison:
VC - At the bottom of the home page, there are multiple tabs for beginning voice acting guides, professional guides, rate suggestions, and ways to see the top-selling voice actors on the site. (Beginners guide from Voices.com here: Voices Beginners Guide)
They also have a section on practice scripts: Voices Sample Scripts - This was under a blog post and is highly used for practice.
On a side note, I would not recommend using these scripts for samples or demos because everyone has used them.
Lastly, VC offers coaching for your profile. You can set up an appointment with them, and you get a call with a consultant that goes over your account with you.
V123 - When I first started this, I was skeptical of the resources that V123 offered because they are not as pronounced as VC's are.
But, I found the jackpot. Voice123 has a beneficial section that is filled with all sorts of support and guides for voice actors, not just for working on V123, but in general. You can find that here: Voice Over Guide
Also, there is one section I found on Voice123 that voiceover websites like Voquent have championed, which is a "Most Searched Terms" section. Voice123 shows you in order, from highest to lowest, the most searched terms on the site and how many searches they get by number: Voice123 Directory
**I wasn't quite sure where to put this little note so I will stick it here:
VC has a nice feature that allows the voice actor to see if a client has liked their demo, how many times their demos have been listened to, if they have been added to a client list, etc. This seems to be helpful for a voice actor trying to figure out if they are getting seen and liked.
V123 has a similar feature. You can see if someone likes your profile and what other profiles they have seen. They do not show you how many times your work has been viewed or if you have been added to a client list.
Note: Last year, Voice123 went through a major website renovation and changed the entire operation. Before the current model, voice actors were rated by the clients. It is not clear why they went away from this model, and many people were angry, but I thought it important to state.
Both platforms are pretty straightforward and walk you through the setup. Each site contains sections for your profile, samples, talents, equipment, awards, etc.
Both sites recommend you put as many keywords in your profiles as possible because it helps determine how many auditions you will get chosen for.
The more keywords you have, the better.
Both Voices.com and Voice123 say the most important thing to do while using their websites to get voice work, is to UPLOAD SAMPLES.
I have seen upwards of 60 -70 samples on some profiles from people who are getting work. It is straightforward to upload them, make sure to follow the correct settings though.
There are two ways you can get business on Voice123 and Voices.com.
1. Auditions - Both websites will send audition notifications to your inbox and/or email (You can turn this on or off). You can also receive private auditions. Once you are notified, you can go and audition for the job and submit it through the website. If you are chosen, you will be notified and asked to finish the job.
2. Direct Bookings - As of now, 2020, both Voices.com and Voice123 offer direct bookings. It used to be that Voices.com was the only one out of the two, but now Voice123 is excepting payments through their escrow account so they are taking direct bookings (Voices.com uses SurePay).
The only downside to this is was unclear to me if the voice actor is being charged 6% for using direct booking. According to Voice123, voice actors are, but the language is ambiguous, so I am not completely sure. The client is charged 6%, however.
Both websites are monsters in the online voice over casting world, and head to head, they both put up a good fight.
My initial thoughts are Voices.com is a more easy website to use because of navigation, ease of finding resources, etc. However, Voice123 does not charge its clients an extra 20% to post on the site, so theoretically, that is more money for the voice actor.
Voice123 does have 2 paid membership options that are less than Voices.com, but it is impossible to compare if they are better or worse, especially since auditioning is subjective. So, it's hard to highly recommend one over the other.
With that being said, both have their good points and bad points for voice over talent websites.
My hope through this article is that you have got a good look at Voices.com compared to Voice123.
It's now up to you to make your choice. Best of luck!
**At this point, I have had the fortunate honor to have coached 100's of voice actors and these two websites are always a part of the decision-making process for marketing their voice over businesses, so these sites are important. Please do your own research as well and good luck!