Voices.com and rival Voice123 are considered to be the two biggest online P2P (pay-to-play) voice casting sites today, by some estimates accounting for upwards of 90% of the online voice talent casting world. While there are many similarities in the two platforms, there are also some important differences, including payment systems, transparency, and number and quality of clients. Voices.com has the reputation for being slightly bigger, but has debate and accusations of unethical business practices surrounding it, especially involving its escrow payment system.
* An escrow system means that a third party, such as Voices, takes payment from the client when a project begins, and releases it to the freelancer when the project is completed. There are freelancers in many industries who prefer escrow systems because it is a safeguard that makes sure they will get paid. The debate with Voices involves their escrow fee of 10%, which is tacked on top of a VO’s rate and paid for by the client (Ex: If a VO’s rate is $300, the client sees a price of $330). Voices claims this is more or less the same as the 10% fee that unions charge clients. The VOs still charge whatever they wish without any hidden fees chipping away at their pay. However, many members accuse Voices of “double-dipping” by taking a membership fee and an escrow fee, and Voices has been accused by of advertising jobs to VOs at rates way below what the client is really paying, and pocketing the difference. Until given a reason, Nomad Playground isn’t taking sides in this debate. We’ll leave that up to the ratings left on Voices below by its users. Some advocate this platform while others hate it.
Anyone can sign up for a membership on Voices.com – even novice talent can submit auditions. For those building their career this is a leg up and a place to hone their skills, while for professionals the amount of amateur talent is frustrating.
Both sides of the spectrum can find work here, though there is a widespread opinion that these platforms are better for beginners who want to hone their skills and gain exposure, while more professional talents outgrow these platforms as they make other connections.
How To Use It
Voices has three tiers of membership: a free basic membership, premium lite at $49.95/month, and premium at $399/year (see details here). Signing up for free is really only good for poking around the site – to really find work you’ll have to pay.
Fill your profile out well, and upload your demos. There is a lot of auditioning involved, and bear in mind that many other people are up for the same jobs you are. Be clear in your description of your abilities, spot on in your demos, and fast in your turnaround rate. Make sure you are prepared to submit professional work.
Once you’re in, research rates a little instead of blindly accepting projects. As an open marketplace clients are allowed to post whatever budget they like, though Voices does have a resource to check rate averages for guidelines.
There is a “VoiceMatch” feature that tries to measure how good a fit you are for jobs, calculated based on the information in your profile. Be picky when choosing which jobs to audition for – look for a 90% VoiceMatch or better.
As a VO consider Voices to be one tool among many for finding clients – you shouldn’t count on this platform to be your only source to find clients.
- Possible to find work quickly. This platform is very well known.
- User friendly.
- If you have a great portfolio or get referrals clients will occasionally contact you privately to audition.
- Direct communication between client and talent is forbidden. This does not help the accusations leveled at Voices by VOs and clients.
- There is a LOT of competition here, and there’s no limit to the amount of auditions a project can get. A single job post can garner as many as 200 auditions.
- Much of the talent here is underqualified. Voices likes to brag to clients that they have thousands upon thousands of members, but given the quality it’s unclear how that benefits the client or the talent. No talent wants to be lost in a sea, and no client wants to go through 100 applications.
- Be on the lookout for scams – big platforms attract this sort of problem. If it’s suspicious or too good to be true it probably is.
Things To Know
- A common beginner mistake is to fill out a profile claiming they can do anything (child voice, characters, etc.). Stick to what you’re great at.
- Some producers report that more than half the submissions don’t even come close to what they’re seeking. If you’re a trained pro, that’s potentially good news. Just make sure your turnaround is fast.
- If you are completely unfamiliar to voice acting, or only curious, this is not a recommended investment to make. VO work requires serious work and expensive equipment. If you simply have a nice voice and want to give it a stab, get a bit of experience under your belt before dropping money on paid memberships.
Have experience working with Voices? Rate it below!