Evolving Opportunities for the Voice Over Industry
The Voice over industry is a sleeping giant, reported to rake in about $4 billion annually. The market for voice over talents and professionals is not just limited to the entertainment industry or the usual fair of advertisements. Again and again, technology pushed industries to be more competitive and gaining a marketing advantage over one’s competitors. Content and marketing strategist have become more creative in promoting their client’s brand and this could relate to evolving styles and platforms for the voice over industry.
Automated Dialogue Replacement (ADR) also known as Additional Dialogue Recording or commonly referred to us “Looping”. The replacement of dialog in post-production of a film or video. This is done because often the “sync” sound recorded on the set is sub-par because of ambient noise, set acoustics, or talent deficiency.This voice-over work is common in film and documentaries but has since evolved to include translations of audiobooks, advertisements, anime and cartoons as a result of global distribution.
Investing in good software is the key component for doing ADR or looping. Start-up voice over business with low budget would use GarageBand 3. Any sound engineer and voice over entrepreneur knows that in ADR looping one would need a program which can play the video while recording the “dubbed over” dialogue. Some use a music program that already includes Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) functionality. Some of these professional software programs are: Gallery’s ADRStudio, Steinberg’s Nuendo, Digidesign’s Pro Tools, Apple Inc.’s Soundtrack Pro 3, Voice Q ADR, ZIO Audio’s Dialog ADR and Dialog Spotting. Gallery’s VoicePro software is used for recording video game dialog.
Commercials/Infomercials/Advertisements. Changing lifestyles and norms of living influenced the current style and trends of doing commercials. What do clients look for from voice artists other than voice quality, these are:
- Voice artists with a “more real” sound. Companies are shifting to a “personalized” branding of their image. The image and feel of being approachable, trusted and relatable are what they look for in a voice over artist for their marketing promotions.
- Your own website. Other than accessibility to online searches for voice over artists, having your own website also enables producers and casting directors to view your profile. So, branding your website (colors, layout and content) along the niche of your demos that are also available on your website is highly recommended.
- Voice acting. The rise of video and role-playing games other than animation/cartoon series requires voice over artists the ability to “voice-act” into the persona of the character their being cast.
Instructional voice/overs. These are no longer just instructional or how-to-do-it videos the rise of virtual assistants for mobile applications, guides for smartphones, laptops, tablets, or how to create your own social media profile calls for voice-over artists to do them.
Now the market includes eLearning videos and Whiteboards, which requires voice overs that sounds knowledgeable, engaging and dynamic.
Radio Dramas. This is a specialised area of voice work and often requires voice over artists who have a background on theatrical acting.
Current trend in the radio drama genre is the serial dramatisation of acclaimed novels like those from Neil Gaiman recently heard in BBC Radio.
Telephone and IVR. Companies and telcos look for voice over artists who sound professional and engaging for better customer relations, rather than relying on their own employee pool to record their business messaging.
Internet voice over. The majority of Internet voice overs involve introductions to web pages, as well as narration for the videos found on those pages. Industries using Internet voice overs may vary, although many tend to fall within the realm of technology and education.
Whether the style, genre or category have been around since the start of the voice over industry, a true professional voice over artist will always be learning and evolving with the changes in the genre to maximize the opportunities available.
What type of voice over work are you currently focused on? What changes have you noticed over the past years in your niche?