From internal comms videos to branded B2B promos. Usage fees may apply, depending on the video's purpose, where it will be published and who the end client/brand is. Corporate videos and explainers are typically under 5 minutes duration, although this can vary. Discounts may apply when booking multiple videos simultaneously. Typical rates including 1-hour session with professional Voice-Over Talent, full production & editing.
Internal / Restricted Audience: £350 - £500 / 420€ - 600€ / $490 - $700
External / Public Domain: £400 - £700 / 475€ - 830€ / $575 - $975
A standard e-learning module is 15-30 minutes duration, although an entire course may contain numerous modules. For this reason, calculating rates on a per-word basis to include all the recording and editing work is more straightforward. The per-word rate can depend on a few factors: the volume of content to record, choice of talent, and languages required.
Usual rates based on a total volume of 20,000 words are:
Rates: £3,000 - £4,000 / 3,600€ - 4,750€ / $4,250 - $5,600
Most audiobooks are recorded and edited by the voice talent without producer involvement. Rates are agreed per finished hour of content, including all recording and editing to create the final audio files. The average novel is around 10 hours of finished audio (approx. 90,000 words), and rates are likely to range as follows:
Rates: £1,200 - £1,5000 / 1,450€ - 1,800€ / $1,700 - $2,100
A commercial project involves all the usual recording and production fees, with an additional usage fee proportional to the scale and reach of the campaign. While the standard production fees are predictable, the usage fees are a negotiable fee that can vary enormously depending on their chosen voice talent. So, costs break down into two parts:
We require disclosure of the media plan to lock in firm costs with your chosen voice talent. Below are listed some of the necessary details:
We can provide estimated costs based on the above detail but we can only confirm costs once agreed directly with your preferred voice talent. At this stage, we'll provide you with a fixed written quote.
Let's take a look at typical costs for a 1 x 30-sec commercial in the UK and what the usage fees may look like for TV or online use.
BSF Rates: £400 / 450€ € / $600
Usage (Online, 1 year): £1,000 - £1,2500 / 1,200€ - 1,500€ / $1,400 - $1,750
Usage (TV, 1 year): £2,000 - £2,500 / 2,400€ - 3,000€ / $2,800 - $3,500
Most IVR projects & on-hold messages are under 20 messages / prompts to record and fall under minimum session pricing. However, if there are many unique numbers, letters, names or dates to record and edit in different intonations, this can take extra time in the studio. Rates are paid on a per prompt basis, which includes the recording and editing time. Please provide us with the script for a fixed quote. Below are some example rates to give you an idea.
Minimum Session: £250 / 300€ / $350
Per prompt: £10 - £25 / 12€ - 30€ / $15 - $35
Voice-over rates for video games and animations can vary significantly. An integral character for an AAA console game will attract a considerably higher fee than the same role for a budget Indie game on PC or mobile. The time required to record character voices is also challenging to estimate in advance. It depends on the talent's ability and the direction given. Whether the audio is being recorded wild or synced is another factor.
For a character with less than 100 lines / 1,000 words for an indie game title, fees may be approximately:
Rates: £500 - £1,000 / 700€ - 1,200€ / $650 - $1,400
Before requesting a voice-over quote, please prepare answers to the following three questions.
Arguably how you will use the audio has the most significant influence on the voice-over rates applied.
Will the voice-over be used in the public domain or internally? If it's in the public domain, will it promote a product or service, or will it form "part" of a product, e.g. an electronic toy or video game?
If it's in the public domain, will it also be used in an advertising campaign? For example, a sponsored video on YouTube, a Facebook campaign, boosted on Instagram, broadcast on TV or Radio, or another medium?
Yep, there are lots of ways you can use the audio!
It's best to gather as much information as possible about the usage before contacting a voice-over agency for a quote. Remember, the value a voice-over adds to the project will always influence the cost.
The more material there is to record, the more production time is required, and the more budget you will need for the voice-over.
To help us to accurately calculate the production time required to record a script with the voice talent and edit the audio, we'll need to know:
All the above will impact the time it takes to produce the voice-over.
Recording time sync to a guide-track or video takes extra production time. There are three primary recording types: time-sync, lip-sync or wild:
A wild voice-over is reading the script at a natural pace. Most professional voice talent can record about 15-20 minutes (1,875 – 3,000 words) of standard narration wild in one hour. This includes time for listening back to the audio and re-recording any mistakes. However, the time varies depending on the type of project. For example, professional narrators can frequently record 30-40 mins of audio for an audiobook in one hour. They can do this because they can sight-read and make very few errors. However, the same talent reading a technical eLearning script may only record 10 mins of audio within 1 hour.
Time-synced voice-over takes about twice as long as a wild recording to produce because the voice talent will have to repeat the sentences many times to get the pacing right. It's even more difficult if they must match an on-screen speaker or actor phrase by phrase, especially if the speech is fast. Most voice-over talent can record around 10 minutes time-sync in one hour, but it can be less for foreign voice-over, technical subjects or where timing is more complex.
Lip-sync voice-over is hugely time-consuming. It will take 4-6 times longer than a wild recording. The voice talent will have to repeat their lines dozens of times to get the sync perfected. And if they are performing a character role, it can take even longer to perform emotional dialogue. There are also pre-production costs associated with foreign dubbing projects because the script will need to be adapted (condensed) to match lip movements. For this reason, lip-sync recordings are un-common and predominantly used only in feature films, animations or video games with higher budgets. Most corporate videos are time-synced instead or produced in an UN-style - like a news interview where the voice-over acts as the interpreter.
Now you understand how long your script may take to record; it should be easy to calculate the total cost, right? Not so fast! Not all voice-over talent will charge on an hourly basis and rates may be calculated by units like:
# words - eLearning voice-over or narration project rates are calculated by word count.
# minutes - frequently, explainers and corporate video voice-over are per minute or number of videos rate.
# pfh - audiobook narration costs are calculated per finished hour (PFH) of audio content. PFH Meaning >
# messages - producing on-hold telephone messages or IVR prompts are commonly charged per message.
Yep, it is confusing, but it's worth remembering it's because the voice-over talent is charging for more than their time.
For example, suppose their voice-over helps service thousands of customers on a telephone IVR, sell more audiobooks, or promote products via a commercial. In that case, the voice adds intrinsic value to the content. They are playing a pivotal role in helping your project to achieve success.
Knowing the usage of the audio before contacting us for a quote is vital.