Rates for voiceover
Thread poster: Martin Hesse

Martin Hesse  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
English to German
+ ...
Mar 24, 2010


can anyone tell me the current rates for voiceover assignments?

Thank you in advance!


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Local time: 19:34
Spanish to English
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No, of course not. Mar 25, 2010

How long is the piece of string you are providing the voiceover for?


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Martin Hesse  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
English to German
+ ...
rates Mar 25, 2010

Several pieces ranging in length from 2 sec to 18 seconds, all in all about 20 min. They are used for a commercial video.

What I meant is: Are there any standard rates for voiceover, like per second, per minute, per hour of work and what would be the individual rates for them?

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Diana I.
Local time: 01:34
English to Romanian
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rates I've done it for Mar 25, 2010

I can tell you that I've been offered 20 USD/hour for voice over services, by an indian company. Even though the text seemed long enough, I didn't make it to a whole hour of recording at the time, but given the amount of time I spent on recording, then playing it and eventually re-record, which well exceeded one hour - I requested to be payed a whole hour.

From what I've gathered while browsing the specific professional sites, voice over services in the States can go up to 100 UDS per hour and more. It varies greatly based on how good of a "talent" you are at it, and also how experienced

Hope this helps!

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Martin Hesse  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:34
English to German
+ ...
by time spent or be time recorded Mar 25, 2010

The client is offering me to pay me by the time recorded. I'm still trying to figure out whether this is a good idea, because any segment of the recording that does not fit into the allocated timeframe has to be re-recorded and sometimes, it is virtually impossible to record a long German compound term in a segment of 1,5 sec. So I wonder whether it is better to go for the payment by the hour spent on the task and not by the time of final recording.

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Diana I.
Local time: 01:34
English to Romanian
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I know Mar 25, 2010

This was my dilemma exactly!
My suggestion is to try to argue your point with the provider, like I did; it might work!
Good luck to you!

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Local time: 18:34
English to Spanish
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Voiceover Rates Mar 28, 2010


I recently posted the following on another thread. Please do not let rates set in India give you a false idea of what standard voiceover rates are. They do not reflect the industry. $100 per hour does not reflect an accurate rate for anything other than certain audiobook narration that does not require any editing on the part of the talent. Even that is low. $20 clients will always manage to find $20 talent but by no means would I consider them professional. Standard rates in the US are below. They're roughly the same in the UK for the most part.

As for how long it can take to do a job - as a rough calculation it will usually take anywhere from 2 to 3 times the length of the finished material to record. Then it will take another 3 -4 times the length of the material to edit it. If you have a lot of files you have to time and individually name, that will take time also. Oh, and translation of the source material is not included in voiceover rates. That's separate. For an experienced VO talent it could take up to 6 hours to record and edit one hour of audio. The following is what I posted elsewhere on rates.

In the US it depends on what the voiceover is for. For most narration (not including audiobooks) union work would be between roughly US$400 and $600 for the first hour (most of that goes to the narrator - some goes to benefits - health insurance etc. ) and then about half that for each subsequent hour. Non-union voice actor rates are all over the place but - again - depending on the material would run anywhere from $200 (quite low) to $500 or more per hour - each hour. If you are editing the material you're narrating you charge for that also along with studio time. Some people charge by the page for fully edited, clean audio files. A common page rate including editing and studio time is $150 - $200 per Arial12 font double-spaced page, standard margins (approximately 250 words). For very complex narration rates could go higher and some would do simple narrations for a bit less.

Also, it's standard to charge a minimum session fee. Most people charge a one hour minimum - or the equivalent in pages.

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Kroz Wado
Local time: 07:34
Japanese to English
Way too low Apr 8, 2010

These rates are crazy low... An agency I've worked at has paid $20 a minute of finished recording.

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Local time: 18:34
English to Spanish
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$20 per minute is also too low Apr 12, 2010

I just wanted to clarify the rates I posted are for an hour's recording session only. Not a finished hour and they DON'T include editing. An hour of finished audio will usually take about 6 hours to record and edit. That comes to about $3000 more or less per finished hour - or about $50 per finished minute. That's assuming the work is long form. For shorter narrations - a narration of say 5 minutes - that would fall under your minimum session fee of an hour's work - which would put it at roughly $100 per minute.

I'm sure professional translators are plagued by the same problems professional voiceover actors/narrators are - hoards of amateurs piling into the business without a clue as to all that's involved in doing a professional job and without an understanding of the actual business - driving rates down to ridiculous levels. And there will always be those who don't care about quality at all - only price. There are many clients though who really have no idea of what the rates are for a professional job and of all that's involved in doing a professional job. Sometimes they just need to be educated.

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Worapot Sattapunkeeree  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:34
Member (2012)
English to Thai
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Rate per finished minute of audio VS Extra fees Dec 9, 2011

Hi Narrator,

Could you comment on a Thai voice-over job offer I get from a US client.

Hence, could you please provide me the below info so that I can carry out the further procedures.

Maximum Rate per finished minute of audio (recorded and edited) that we can offer is $16 and I believe you are fine with that;
Hence, please let me know your
Optional: hourly rate: US$_____
Other fees: $US______

References (at least three, with email addresses):
1. ___________
2. ___________
3. ___________
4. ___________

My question are:

1) What cost is included in the rate per finished minute?

2) Is this fair ?

Maximum Rate per finished minute of audio (recorded and edited) that we can offer is $16 and I believe you are fine with that

3) Apart from the costs in 1, what should be charge on top of that? (Other fees: $US______......the cost of voice-over artist, voice producer and studio rent and etc?)

4) How is hourly rate calculated (based on what?)

5) What is the minimum fee (at least on hour? what cost should be included? What if a client needs only 8 minutes of recording?)

6) Below are the job requirements. What do you think the rate per finished minute and the costs on top of that should be?:

Voice Talent Service Description

The Voice Talent will work with XXXXX Project Managers to produce short voice over recordings to be used in internet-based multilingual video and animation projects.
Currently seeking especially these dialects: Arabic- male and female voices; Chinese (Cantonese)- M,F; French (Canada)- F only; Korean- M,F; Portuguese (Brazil)- M,F; Russian- M,F; Spanish (Latin American)- M,F; Spanish (Spain)- M only; Vietnamese- M,F; US English- M,F.


 At least 3 years of recording experience
 Native level fluency of target language
 Home studio with the capability to produce quality recordings in the following formats:
 WAV - CD quality (44KHz, 16-bit). The following codecs are supported: PCM, Microsoft
 MP3, MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (can’t use bitrates above 160 kbps)


1. The Voice Talent will receive a notification of an upcoming project from XXXX and
confirms availability.
2. The Voice Talent will receive the translated voice over script and original video as a reference along with general guidelines regarding the preferred tone etc. File format specs for the specific project will also be provided.
3. Once the recording is done, the Voice Talent will upload the file(s) to a specified location.
4. The files will go through a viaLanguage quality check (background check, script alignment and adherence, file naming etc.). If any corrections are needed, the Voice Talent would quickly provide an updated recording.

Deliverable Specification:

The deliverables will meet the following standards:

Recorded audio will be in one of the following formats and split into separate files as specified in project

voice script:

 MP3, MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 (no bitrates above 160 kbps)
 WAV - CD quality (44KHz, 16-bit). The following codecs are supported: PCM, Microsoft ADPCM, GSM 6.10, IMA ADPCM, CCITT A-Law/G.711 CCITT u-Law VOCAL DELIVERY

Performance criteria:

Articulation and speech clarity appropriate to the copy

 sounds of words are present and clearly communicated
 no unnatural or distracting over-enunciation
 end of words neither dropped nor punched

Vocal dynamics

 good use of the four voice variables (pitch, rate, volume and quality) in varying degrees to add interest to speech without creating discernible or distracting speech patterns

Dramatic interpretation

 hitting the copy points
 effectively communicating key concepts of the copy
 exhibiting energy appropriate to the copy
 evoking emotion and mood appropriate to the copy


 Good breath support
 Absence of vocal tension
 Absence of mouth noise
 Delivery within natural vocal range (not straining to be higher or lower than the voice talent’s natural register)
 Controlled sibilance
 Controlled plosives
 Consonants not over-aspirated
 Consistent distance between mouth and mic
 Natural flow without awkward breaks



 Audio level: finished work ideally delivered at or under -6dBFS
 Absence of ambient noise
 Minimal room decay (reverberation, echo or ring)


 No distortion from poor mic placement or other reason
 No apparent over-processing
 No indication of overdriving the mic
 No digital clipping
 No obvious pickups
 No indication of poor or absent pop filtering

Thank you.


[Edited at 2011-12-09 10:10 GMT]

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