This article features a Voice123 review and summary originally published in late 2003.

In 2002 there were about 150 people on the internet providing voiceover services from a home-based recording studio.

When P2P sites came around, suddenly there was 150,000 people offering the same service.

This has obviously become a problem.

After many years of experience with being a member on several P2P sites, here’s a great Voice123 review; a must read for those considering a membership to any voiceover P2P website

...(read more)


What’s the deal with P2P (Pay-to-Play) Websites?


Decades before the Internet’s inception, VO Talent Agencies reviewed the quality of their “talent” before placing them on their roster. The reason was simple: If their agency didn’t have quality talent that could deliver each and everytime, their clients would go somewhere else and their business would ultimately fail. It’s no different than interviewing someone for a job before you hire them.

Imagine if you will, conducting an interview with a perspective candidate for employ at your company. When you ask them why they think they deserve the job, they respond:

“Well…….I have a credit card! Isn’ that great?!”

Got a credit card? You’re listed. The staff at Voice123 (and don’t seem to care if your specialty is voice work or stained glass….regardless of your talent, skill or studio (audio) quality – demo or no demo, you can get posted with your credit card on Voice123 and compete with pros like myself for voiceover work. In reference to the aforementioned (as politically correct as I can be), here’s an example (Hint: Listen to the voice demo).

What You Can Expect in Revenues

I was on Voice123 from June 21, 2003 thru to 2009 as a Premium Member. Over 6 years my Voice123 audition folder accumulated 1258 files or custom auditions.

So….here’s a 6 year breakdown:

1258 Auditions resulted in 18 gigs totalling $6,129.00 in revenue (including return V123 clients)….over 6 years.

Before we break down the numbers, let’s minus the cost for the Premium Membership for Voice123 for 6 years @ $295.00 per year or $1770.00, bringing down total revenue to $4359.00

Based on an average of 5 minutes per submission, that equals roughly 105 hours of labor.

Let’s add another 36 hours to total labor to account for the time to record, deliver and administrate those 18 gigs…..bringing our total hours worked to 141.

$4,359.00 divided by 141 hours = $30.91 per hour.

Not exactly Fame and Fortune, is it?

Remember, this is an average over 6 years…….I went months and months between gigs, so it’s not like I had any kind of reliable, steady income.

Voice123 Review

So, what’s it good for?

The only truly useful purpose I can determine of Voice123 is, it can act as an on-line learning tool for those who really want to learn the craft of voice acting.

You get a huge variety of sample scripts to practice with and get some insight into the workings of the “on-line” business of voiceovers.

I’ve sent many a student to Voice123 for this reason, not to compete for work….but to practice. You can do this without paying for a membership, but beware the “try us 2 months for free offer.”

As for the talent listed there (and, I can tell you that 95% of the talent are anything but professional, mostly ex-broadcasters, rookies and wannabes.

There are very few pros; I know this, because I’ve spent an exhaustive amount of time researching Voice123.

I tell ya, it’s a dog’s breakfast of talent responses to a posting – talent, service, price and marketing methodology. I’m not impressed at all.

Like the rest of the Internet, you have to sift through a lot of garbage to find what you’re looking for. Then, there’s the price issue. Every rate structure imaginable.

There are people who will work for $10.00 and others $1000.00 for the same job.

Yes, you find the odd decent talent. Of the 200+ responses to a single post there’s normally about 2 or 3 who I would consider competition in talent, service, studio and price.

It’s my feeling that Voice123 has done serious damage to a once (smaller) thriving industry… simply taking people’s money who have no business competing for the work; much less are able to provide quality audio and service.

V123 and have given all these people a sense of entitlement they don’t deserve and in doing so, have made a mess of the whole industry by bringing in competition that didn’t even make it to training camp.

This is why we have hundreds and hundreds of people going to voiceover conferences where there’s a pile of coaches waiting to take their money.

People can’t figure out why they can’t quit their day jobs….because all these coaches have told them that the industry is “lucrative.”

“Yes! You can make $30.00 an hour….!”

It’s painfully obvious to me that Voice123 went after quantity not quality from the get-go.

That being said, don’t expect to make a dime with Voice123, (much less get the money back for your membership)……but do plan to answer many, many leads and get little or nothing in return.

If you’re a pro, well… know the story with Voice123 and you probably use it as a tool to sniff out leads and add to your existing client base.

Voice123 Review

What about the website itself?

They use a system called “Smartcast” that is anything but smart. Based on some really stupid calculations, it distributes leads to the Voice123 membership. How stupid? Here’s an example.

When I calculate my stats, the system compares me to every single North American English VO talent in the membership….including females.

I always sit around the 10% range of auditions submitted vs. invitations. In other words, if I was invited to audition 400 times, I would only answer about 40 of those invitations.

What does Voice123 tell me? Their system states that I have auditioned 300% more than the rest of all the North American English VO talent – including females.

Why is that? Well, I do VO full-time; 80% of the Voice123 membership have day-jobs and by the time they get home, the lead is closed.

Of course, Voice123 wants you to “be picky” about the leads you audition for. I’m at 10%. That’s pretty picky if you ask me. However…..somehow…I manage to audition 300% more than anyone else. Go figure.

Then we have the “ranking system” where, yes……you are ranked by Voice123 clients or “voice seekers” on your audition and overall submission.

That’s right! You too can be ranked by the front desk secretary who is looking for someone to voice their on-hold system, who has never hired a VO talent in her life.

Or perhaps the producer who listens to 20 auditions, hates everything and decides to give all 50 auditions the lowest score – without listening to the rest of them.

This….is how Voice123 “ranks” your ability.

As for the rest of the stuff there, well, they’ve removed their “Voice-over Savvy” forum; once a place where talent would share information.

Most in the industry believe they shut down the forum because there was negative commentary (translation: the truth) about Voice123 being posted. They couldn’t stand the heat, so they closed the kitchen.

This, pissed a lot of people off.

Still to this day, they heavily censor their Premium Forums to the point where it’s almost like being behind the once sturdy Berlin Wall.

Anything even remotely controversial is immediately pounced on and edited, outright deleted or the person posting banned from the forum.

Many have been outright banned from the entire site, their website and membership revoked. Go ahead, give it a try. Post the question:

“Why does Voice123 take money from people who claim to be voice talent when they clearly have no talent at all?”

Closing forums, censoring posts, taking money from people who have no business calling themselves a voice talent (selling dreams), spewing inane propaganda left and right……will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about Voice123.

Their actions speak far louder than their so-called “talent” roster.

If you’re rookie or wannabe, don’t waste your money. If you’re a pro or semi-pro, it might be worthwhile to try it out, but don’t expect fame and fortune.

Outside of that, Voice123 is a useful learning tool for students of the craft.

Voice123 review. A call to boycott P2P Voice Talent Website
4.6 5 votes
Article Rating
Let me know about
Newest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stuart Hanlon, not that Stuart Hanlon, another one
Stuart Hanlon, not that Stuart Hanlon, another one
5 years ago

What an excellent review, thank you for taking the time to put into words what most professionals just mutter under their breath. I’ve worked in the industry since 1990 and have found it increasingly more competitive, with the real professional talent agencies getting harder to get involved with. I was lucky in some ways because I’d get the call from “old friends”, but whenever I venture outside of the friend’s circle I find myself being overlooked (not knocked back, just adrift with with the world’s hopefuls). There is a lot of people out there that think being a Pro VO… Read more »

Ed Victor
4 years ago

Todd, very well written review on the P2P myth. I’ve been a voice talent for 41 years now. I was with both V123 and from the beginning, which seemed like a pretty good gig at the time. I was booking a lot of work, even some national stuff and long-term, good paying gigs. As the years went by, I saw my booking rate drop every year. I eventually dropped Voices as the majority of the leads were, at least in my case, Canadian voice requests (Canadians hire Canadian voice talent, it’s just the way it is), or Churches? No… Read more »

Melissa O'Brien
4 years ago

I really appreciate this thoughtful review. I’ve worked in the industry for 20+ years and was looking for an honest review of Voice123 because I could not believe how much money they want for a membership. I often hear from people that they should “get into doing VO work, too”. I’ve even coached people who had a real interest and they quickly found out that just being able to read out loud does not make you a VO artist. Sadly, some people truly think that’s all there is to it, so sites like Voice123 thrive. Best of luck in your… Read more »

Theodore Zephyr
Theodore Zephyr
3 years ago

Thanks Todd, this was such a useful article to read. I’ve just finished reading your article on as well, and as much as they’ve both taught me an awful lot, it’s left me at somewhat of a loose end. I’m a 21 year old graduate working as a post production specialist in England. I’ve specialised in Foley and Voiceover and other than projects that I give myself and release myself, i’m finding it extremely hard to find work for a freelance voice actor, even if I offer the full post production polish in the package. I don’t expect a… Read more »

Last edited 3 years ago by Theodore Zephyr
Theodore Zephyr
Theodore Zephyr
Reply to  Todd Schick
3 years ago

Wow such a fast reply! Thanks so much, honestly that’s a lot of fantastic advice. If I could squeeze a question out of you: Which P2P would you recommend if I was to start with only one? If it wasn’t a pandemic i’d be working almost 100% person to person, operating out of a studio and aiding potential clients via face-to-face word of mouth. It’s the fact that I’m stuck at home, along with everyone else that these P2P websites have popped onto my radar, and as you know they’re pricey to get going with. I’m lucky enough that I… Read more »

Theodore Zephyr
Theodore Zephyr
Reply to  Todd Schick
3 years ago

I can’t thank you enough Todd.

I wish you the greatest success in the years to come.

Your kindness and generosity are greatly appreciated,
if more people would only behave like you the creative industries would be a much greater place.

All the very best,

Becky M
Becky M
3 years ago

Todd, you are an eye opener. Thank you for sharing this. I am a rookie, I have no experience at all. I’ve told alot that I have a cartoonish voice. I been looking for second income and thought of giving the voice over a try. Is there a way for me to know if I have any sort of talent at this? What would you recommend for a newcomer ?
Oh! just to let you know Voice123 was feature in a few blogs and articles about increasing your income, this is how I found it.

Earl Skakel
Earl Skakel
3 years ago

Just wanted to say thanks for the honest review, work pretty regularly on The Adult Swim circuit and thought I’d give Voices and Voice 123 a look see and was pretty shocked by the prices especially for the premium memberships and found your review. I think I’ll just stick with my agency!