Independent Voice-overs in 2013

It seems self publishing isn’t the only industry booming this year. As 2013 rolls along, I’ve noticed an increase in demo submissions from voice over artists. Now, it’s not unusual for 522 to get demo submissions, but what’s interesting is the dramatic increase in independent voice-over artists promoting their new home-based studios.

So I wonder – Is this the new trend for voice-over artists in 2013? Has talent decided to divorce agents and hit the market solo? It seems it might be a little of both.

To provide a little perspective, the voice-over industry traditionally offers a few methods for identifying voice talents for projects:

    1. Large agency representation
    2. Online websites
    3. Home-based artists

Which of these methods works best? Let’s take a look at their pros and cons.

Larger talent agencies provide production companies hundreds of different talent with many viable options. Most agencies are extremely well run, and take care of their clients. However you typically pay a premium for this service, including an agency fee, studio overhead costs, and high licensing fees.

Online organizations like voice123.com and voicebunny.com created a strong web presence by offering an abundance of voice talent at lower rates. However most online sites run more like an online database, and lack the personal connection you typically establish with an agency or home-based voice talent.

Home-based artists are typically veterans of the industry who have made the investment in a home-based studio. This usually makes them harder to find, because their self-promotion budgets are stretched thin compared to agencies and online websites. That said, most provide high-quality reads at affordable prices. And because of the nature of their business, they are extremely accommodating.

One of the biggest reasons we’re seeing more home-based artists, is simply because up until now, many artists weren’t able to afford the equipment required to build a home-based studio. This typically forced production companies to work with larger agencies or online resources.  But now that is all changing. Thanks to modern technology, many talented artists can set up a home based studio for minimal costs and forgo the sound proof booths and expensive microphones – without sacrificing quality.

Over the past year or so, 522 has continued to develop a solid database of home-based voice talent to work along side our digital productions. What excites us most about this emerging trend, is the fact that we have been able to dramatically add to our variety of high quality voice talents for a variety of projects at competitive rates.

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