Voice Over Rate Guide

A VO's Journey Voice Over Rate Guide

 

Brief Overview

This rate guide is meant to help voice actors that are beginners, intermediate, and long-time professionals in the voice over industry primarily working from home-based studios. This guide does not discriminate between full-time and part-time voice talent but DOES take into consideration the realistic nature of voice work (voice acting) that is available on a large scale in the market today. 

There is a discrepancy in the voice-over business between beginners, intermediate, and seasoned professionals. We as an industry should not expect a new voice talent to command the same prices as someone with years of experience. To do so, would seriously undermine the ability of a new voice-over artist to acquire tangible results in a reasonable period of time.

Also, the voiceover niche is worldwide, not just localized to one country. And most voice talents work for clients around the globe, so taking into consideration the international community is vital to helping each voice over business grow and become more competitive in a truly connected marketplace, like the internet. 

So this guide is meant to help voice talent, at their current level of business and acting ability, price their commercial work realistically, globally, and with enough room for the dynamic change, we see in our market today. The prices in this rate sheet are based on union and non-union standard rates, with an emphasis on word count. 

Update: We have begun to add online casting websites, freelance websites, P2P websites, etc. by name with their own pricing structure. It has long been an issue navigating the different platforms because they all have their own unique requirements and communities.

Disclaimer

This guide is meant for educational purposes only and meant to be a tool for your business, not a hard line in the sand. This is strictly the opinion of the author based on research, experience, and consultation from leaders in the industry. I am not a union voice or sponsored by any service.

This guide does not show SAG-AFTRA rates or the top 10% - 20% of earners. Since freelance voice over artists do not offer SAG voice over rates, the voice over rates below are based on realistic prices for the WORKING VOICE ACTOR in today's market working from a home recording studio. 

However, it is important to note that many freelance voice actors do charge rates that are the same and possibly more than the sag voiceover rates. But for the purpose of this guide, we are sticking solely to the majority of freelance voice over artists. 

Happy Voice Over Recording!

Non-broadcast - Freelance and P2P Websites 

Notes:  This section is dedicated to freelance and P2P voice-over websites for non-broadcast purposes. This includes voiceovers NOT USED for ads on TV, Radio, or the Internet in audio production. 

* All rates are based on 150 words per minute. 

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

150 words (1 min.) - $5 - $25

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $25 - $75

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $100 - $200

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Broadcast (TV, Radio, Internet) - Freelance and P2P Websites 

Notes:  This section is dedicated to freelance and P2P voice-over websites for full-broadcast rates (commercial spot). This includes voice over jobs that are used for running ads on TV, Radio, or the Internet. Many times you can offer a flat rate but don't be afraid to negotiate. Just remember to have your minimum rates set before you cut a deal. 

* All rates are based on 150 words per minute. 

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

6 months - $35 - $55

12 months - $45 - $65

Buyout - $55 - $75

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

6 months - $75 - $105

12 months - $95 - $125

Buyout - $115 - $145

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

6 months - $130 - $230

12 months - $160 - $260

Buyout - $190 - $290

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Audiobook Narration - Freelance and P2P Websites 

Notes: Audiobook pricing is based on per finished hour or PFH. This means that for every hour of "Finished Audio" you create, it is considered an hour of paid work. However, this is not a true representation of the actual hours you work on audiobook productions. Finished audio includes editing, mastering, and formatting for publication.

It usually takes between 3-6 hours of actual work to complete one finished hour. This is an important distinction because rates are based on PFH, not "actual" work time. 

We are also including non-finished work, which is recording raw audio without mastering or formatting. Typically a person will correct their word errors on their own no matter the charge. 

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

$50 - $95 non-finished hour (NFH)

$75 - $125 per finished hour (PFH)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

$95 - $175 non-finished hour (NFH)

$125 - $225 per finished hour (PFH)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

$175 - $275 non-finished hour (NFH)

$250 - $400 per finished hour (PFH

Phone Messages and IVR - Freelance and P2P Websites 

Notes: Because of the quick nature of phone messages and IVR, prices can vary widely. Also, buyouts are typically included in the overall price since there would be no other reason for the use of a phone message/IVR.

* All rates are based on 150 words per minute. 

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

150 words (1 min.) - $5 - $25

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $25 - $75

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $100 - $200

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

eLearning/Corporate Narration - Freelance and P2P Websites 

Notes: eLearning and Corporate narration sit in between non-broadcast and broadcast voice overs. This is also why eLearning and corporate narration are more expensive than audiobooks because the pricing continues to scale with the words. Audiobooks do not.

* All rates are based on 150 words per minute.

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

150 words (1 min.) - $10 - $30

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $35 - $55

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $55 - $75

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Video Game/Apps - Freelance and P2P Websites 

Notes: Video gaming and apps are on of the fastest growing industries, but still remain one of the hardest to break into for a freelancer. Prices are usually based on recording sessions. However, for freelancers that is not how most are recorded. So, this guide will give a look at both words and recording sessions. 

* All rates are based on 150 words per minute. 

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

150 words (1 min.) - $10 - $25

1 hour session - $150

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $35 - $50

1 hour session - $225

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $45 - $85

1 hour session - $300

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

ADR/Dubbing - Freelance and P2P Websites 

Notes: ADR stands for Automated Dialogue Replacement, and simply means replacing dialogue for better quality. This is usually done by the same actor but it has become loosely associated with dubbing, which is taking audio in a different language, or badly damaged, and recording over it for better quality. 

* This can be very difficult to do in a home studio and should be priced accordingly. 

** (The hourly rate based on recording, not licensing, which is why I recommend sticking to "per word" pricing. This way you can choose to roll it all in one. But it is important to know the difference when working with clients.)

*** All rates are based on 150 words per minute. 

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

150 words (1 min.) - $25 - $55 

(This includes buyout per 150 words)

1 hr. session - $50 - $75

Buyout in perpetuity - $50 - $100

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $50 - $70

(This includes buyout per 150 words)

1 hour session - $85 - $100

Buyout in perpetuity - $75 - $135

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $95 - $150

(This includes buyout per 150 words)

1 hour session - $125 - $200

Buyout in perpetuity - $175 - $300

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Meditation and/or Affirmation - Freelance and P2P Websites

Notes:  This section is dedicated to freelance and P2P voice-over websites for meditation voice over and affirmation voice-over purposes. This includes meditation and affirmation voiceovers used for personal reasons.

* Most meditation and affirmation voice over jobs require background music. If you are asked to add background music, this should be an extra charge. 

- $15 Per Track Of Music

* Many clients also ask for you to write their script. This is also another charge (You can write it yourself or hire someone else to write it)

- $30 Per 150 Word Script 

* All rates are based on 150 words per minute. 

Beginner Rates (0-2 years/US Dollar):

150 words (1 min.) - $5 - $25

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (2-5 years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $25 - $75

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Seasoned  (5+ years/US Dollar)

150 words (1 min.) - $100 - $200

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

** Make sure to add an extra fee for commercial and/or broadcast rights if the client will use them to resell or for commercial purposes. These voice over rates should be consistent throughout your offerings. 

FIVERR PRICES

This section will focus on the price structure for the online freelance platform Fiverr. 

Fiverr continues to get a lot of attention in the voice-over world, and rightly so. Fiverr is dominating the voiceover market and basically changing the way voiceovers are being ordered and sold. 

This price guide will help you with your pricing strategy on the platform.

It is also important to note that Fiverr uses an Amazon and e-commerce model for selling services. This matters because we need to embrace the "upselling model" as a viable way to make more money on the platform and remain aware that people are coming to Fiverr for services sold like products. 

Quick Note: Each rate difference will be cast under the idea of Fiverr levels. This way you get an accurate picture of how the platform works. 

Beginner Rates (Level 0 or Just Starting Out):

150 words (1 min.) - $5 - $25

- Keep the same pricing for every 150 words after

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Intermediate Rates (Level 1&2)

150 words (1 min.) - $25 - $75

- Keep the same pricing for every 150 words after

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Top-rated Seller (This is the highest you can reach on Fiverr and must have earned over $20K on the platform)

150 words (1 min.) - $50 - $200

- Keep the same pricing for every 150 words after

*Based on 150 words (1 min.)

Pro Seller

The pro seller program on Fiverr was their attempt to appeal to the big-budget, corporate, and quality, not price-driven crowd. 

These prices are set at $100, to begin with and Fiverr includes one-on-one help so you can make your offerings more appealing to a higher-paying crowd. 

You must apply to this program and there are benefits and downsides, but it is another option.

Add-ons

These are extras that Fiverr includes for all sellers to upsell and make more money. 

Using extras allows you to make double and triple the money of your base price. 

  • Commercial Rights:

(This is for any promotion or business use through NON-PAID channels)

Beginner (Level 0): $15 - $25

Intermediate (Level 1&2): $25 - $50

Top-rated: $50 - $100

  • Broadcast Rights:

(This is for any promotion or business use through PAID channels like radio, television, and online ads)

Beginner (Level 0): $15 - $45

Intermediate (Level 1&2): $45 - $65

Top-rated: $65 - $125

* Commercial and Broadcast Rights should be sold separately and both should be added to one job if the user plans on promoting in paid and non-paid. 

  • Revisions:

(It is important to be upfront with your policies and expectations. Your clients will actually thank you.)

Beginner (Level 0): $10 per 50 words

Intermediate (Level 1&2): $15 per 50 words

Top-rated: $15 - $20 per 50 words

  • Background Music

(This extra usually stays the same but is charged per track. So if you have a music bed, sound effects, and voiceovers, those would all be charged as separate tracks.)

All: $10-$15 per track 

  • Extra Fast Delivery - 1 Day

(This extra is only for people who are offering more than 1 day delivery time. However, you can create your own extra for 12-14 hour delivery)

All: $30-$75

  • Script Proofreading

(It is important when offering this extra that you clearly define what script proofreading means to you. For example: I will ensure the audio script sounds grammatically correct when I record it, or, I will correct your grammar and send the script back to you. These are 2 very different scenarios and I recommend stating them from the start.)

Option 1 (Just recording grammatically correct): $10-$15 per 150 words

Option 2 (Physically correcting the copy and sending it back to the client before or after recording): $20-$40 per 150 words

  • Time Audio-synced

(This is for any work that you are asked to sync with audio or video time markers.)

All: $50 - $75 per 1-3 minutes of audio

  • Split Files

(This can be for any audio, but primarily for eLearning projects. Many jobs can require 100's of split audio files so this extra is very important.)

All: $5 per 5 split files

  • Live Direction

(Live direction is when a client wants to connect with you while you record the script in your studio, via phone, zoom, skype, etc. We usually charge per 30 minutes.)

All - $50 per 30 minutes

UPWORK PRICES