Voice Talent Websites - Review and Summary

Here’s some good general information for anyone searching for info on voice talent websites be it those looking to hire voice talent, or voiceover actors looking for work.

Voice Talent Websites – A Brief History

A review of voiceover talent websites
I’ve been watching voice talent websites evolve since 2003 and the launch of Voice123. One thing is for sure – many, many people have “jumped on the bandwagon” trying to cash in on the thousands of people pursuing a career in voiceover or voice acting.

The sheer numbers of both voice actors and voice talent websites is staggering and growing everyday. For the newbie, to stand out from the crowd you must be professional (your talent, studio, how you conduct business, etc) and be prepared for a long battle to build up your client base.

Below, you’ll find information on the four types of voice talent websites:

Pay-to-Play (P2P)

Membership-based (P2P) – “Instant Posting”

These sites take your money and set you up on the spot. Anytime you come across these sites, be prepared for little or no business right away, but (depending on advertising and search engine rankings) you should get a decent amount of leads.

The only thing that happens fast with these sites is the charge to your credit card.

Instant Posting voice talent websites don’t care whether you’re a roofer or working full-time at McDonald’s. They want your money, because the more members they get, the more money they make.

At time of publication, both Voices.com and Voice123 have two membership tiers – Affordable and Insanely Expensive. In the case of Voices.com you can spend $5,000 and purportedly get “all access” though some people say it’s no different than the $400 membership. Since there’s no accountability or transparency with Voices.com, buyer beware.

As for V123, they charge $5,000 to audition all you want; they basically shut off SmartCast and let the talent have at it. At least you know what you’re paying for.

P2P websites – by way of their subscription business model – allow voiceover talent to post a complete profile, with the exception of direct contact information, such as an e-mail address. Voice123 allows a link to your personal website, while Voices.com does everything in their power to keep voice talent from contacting the client directly.

There is one exception to P2P voice talent websites and that is Bodalgo. Operating out of Berlin, this website gets a lot of European leads. Bodalgo is different from other websites in that they vet the talent they take subscriptions from. Where Voices.com will boast 200,000 voiceover actors, Bodalgo only has about 7,000.

The latter number being a realistic indicator of pro voice talent on the internet worldwide.

That said, it’s not easy to get listed on Bodalgo, as should be the case for all P2P voice talent websites.

Commission Based

Commission based Voice Talent Websites

These sites are run by people who charge clients a commission fee for every job that comes through the website. Their rates are arbitrary, fixed and vary greatly from one site to another. In order to be listed on these sites, you need to agree to their rate structure, commissions, workflow, demo format and other policies.

You almost always have to submit your demo for approval, along with a cold voice sample of audio from your studio.

The business model is structured loosely around quality voiceover talent. If all the voice talent on the site is above average, clients are more likely to return. The rosters are normally smaller, making it easier for clients to find what they want faster.

That being said, there are some sites out there that “say” they want you to submit your demo for approval, but take anyone in the end, using the method as a trick to get you to subscribe annually, on top of their commission for every job.

If the site is suspect, you’ll get exactly that. Have a look at the roster. If there’s more than say, 80 voices, beware. If they are legit, you’ll get a more personal e-mail and/or a phone call.

Commission based voice talent websites sites should be tougher to get listed on. They will be critical of your demo and ask about your studio gear (the good ones will ask you for a “dry voice” sample from your studio).

Names of voice talent are disguised in some way IE: “Todd S.” so the client cannot contact the talent directly. This means that talent listed on these sites will have a tougher time building up their client base and also, get fair rates for voiceover services.

Agency Based

Agency Voice Talent Sites

These are the toughest to get listed on. These site owners are voiceover agents, who work out of major centers, but also offer their clients a variety of voice talent from around the world via their website. A good example of this type of website is Go Voices who work out of Denver, Colorado. They negotiate the rate for you and take a cut, or commission on what you get paid.

These voice talent websites are run by professionals for professionals. Consider yourself a professional if you manage to get listed on one. Many will have a disclaimer when you submit your demo that basically says: “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

That said, if you’re a newbie who made your own demo and have an account on Voice123, don’t waste their time.

``Dollar a Holler``

“Dollar a Holler” Websites

Sadly, like any other industry, the voice talent business is not immune to bottom-feeders.

“Voice-overs from $5.95!” and “Choose your Voiceover Package, starting from $29.95…”

Voice Bunny (probably the worst of the bunch) have talent working for pennies a word, requiring talent to chain themselves to a computer to win a (bunny) “race” for the lowest paying voiceover job on Earth.

This, is tantamount to VO slavery.

What can I say? Both the talent on these websites and those who run them have no integrity. The world can be an ugly place and these would be the ugliest people in the voice over industry, IMHO.

The bottom line….is the bottom line. If you start selling your cookies for two cents to compete with the guy selling his cookies for two dollars, the only direction you can go is down.

Ergo, The Bottom Feeder.

As I have mentioned before here on the site, don’t expect any one posting to make you a pile of cash, but focus on the fact that many postings on many sites will better your odds at building a client base.

Your thoughts...

5 Comments on "Voice Talent Websites"

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Jack Weld
One idea: A cooperative of active, functional professional voice actors who are interested and willing to share jobs to create the best possible product while charging a fair price to the client. The draw to customers would be incredible performances enhanced by cooperative efforts, all under one roof – easy pricing efforts so their accounting gets easier. Run the pricing right in the mid-ground to generate the greatest draw, choicest jobs, and keep your crew busy. Split the take equally, based on contribution to a job – but remember the goal: to make the jobs easy, and high quality, so… Read more »
jeff smith
Hi, Todd, Great article, and much appreciated. I’ve been away from VO for a number of years; in the interim, the business has changed dramatically. Whereas when last I was a working talent, there were about 9 agents in the world (or at least LA) that one took seriously, the gatekeepers and delivery methods are completely different. P2P sites and the advent of affordable home equipment of a professional caliber have immutably altered the landscape. One could easily argue the pros and cons of these developments, but I just want to make a living. I’ve been looking seriously at one… Read more »