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What is Usage and How to Price a Broadcast Project

If you’re new to using Voices (and new to posting jobs on the platform), you may have several questions.

Many of those questions might revolve around the nuisances of broadcast voice over jobs. 

Terms like ‘usage’, ‘broadcast vs non-broadcast’ and ‘union vs non-union’ might make it confusing for you.

In this article, we aim to educate new clients who are wanting to post and properly price out a broadcast project on Voices. That’s why we’ve brought in Sara Hunt, Sales Account Director and Team Lead and Evan Wiebe, Senior Account Manager for Premium Talent to answer those questions and clear things up for you.

What is Usage?

It’s a great question, and one we get asked a lot.

“In layman’s terms, usage is a term that refers to how and where the voice over will be used and seen by audiences,” Hunt explains.

“It’s important to define whether the content is being used broadly or in a more contained setting. Like as a national advertisement or just in business sales meetings.”

Wiebe says the duration of usage varies from a local radio spot lasting a few weeks, to perhaps in-perpetuity usage on their company website.

How Does Broadcast Pricing Work? 

If you’ve just created a client account on Voices, you might be wondering how broadcast pricing works. 

What’s competitive? What’s too low? 

When pricing out broadcast or commercial work, it’s important to know the following:

  1. Usage category

Will this be used as a TV spot for a major network, a digital ad for pre-roll, or a radio spot for Pandora and Spotify?

  1. Usage Market 

If the job is for traditional broadcast like TV or radio, the client needs to know if it will be aired locally, regionally or nationally. If the spot is digital, it’s often for worldwide use but can be restricted to more targeted markets. 

  1. Usage Timeframe 

How long will the spot run for? Common timeframes include 13 weeks or 1 year, but the client should share the specific info pertaining to their campaign. It is not advisable to do any commercial usage in-perpetuity but if this is required be sure you are quoting a fair rate for indefinite usage. 

What Should Voice Over Talent Know About Usage and Broadcast Pricing?

  • “Renewals! If the usage timeframe (1 year, for example) has passed, and the client wishes to keep using the spot, you should be paid a renewal rate. Voices keeps track of dates and sends renewal reminders whether the job is managed by us or self serve,” Hunts says.
  • “Make sure you’re finding out how many finished deliverables are included in the campaign. Does the client have one :30s script for TV, but also three :06s cutdowns for digital? This should all be factored into your total payment,” Hunt adds.
  • “Using voices.com/rates is essential if you are new to choosing your broadcast rates. Our rate sheet can help take out some of the guess work for you, and you can rest assured that clients are seeing the same rate set that you are,” Wiebe explains.
  • “Check your own emotional response (basically trust your gut!). You’d be surprised how good humans are at picking a number out of the air if we have to, based on feeling. So learn the standard rates, but then also trust your gut and don’t dive into a project knowing that you really should be charging more, that’s not a great place to be,” Wiebe explains.

What Trends/Shifts are Happening with Broadcast Pricing?

Both Wiebe and Hunt are noticing that market rates are shifting.

“Average market rates are starting to shift and catching up to modern usage,” Hunt says. “For example, many digital ad campaigns have stronger budgets than television or radio.”

Wiebe added voice over talent need to understand online advertising pricing, while also trusting their gut and valuing their work.

“For online advertising specifically, because so many ads are targeted specifically to us based on our interests, etc, sometimes you might not even grasp the impact of your work the same way that you might if you voiced a Superbowl ad, for example,” Wiebe says.

“All that to say, it’s important to be vigilant and value your time and your efforts during the entire hiring process to make sure that you are paid what you feel is fair.”

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