Voices.com CEO and Founder David Ciccarelli

You may have been hearing a lot about AI and voice lately. We’ve been highly engaged in this topic for some time now, and like you, care deeply about what advancements in digital technology, and more specifically, a movement called Voice First, means for voice over and the industry as a whole.

When synthetic voices first came on our radar, we questioned what the impact of this new technology would be to us and our community of voice actors. Will the demand for custom recordings by professional voice actors continue to grow globally at the exciting rate we’d seen? How would this shape or change the industry we know?

What started as an exploratory exercise, led us to truly understand what it meant – and what it could mean – to both our client and voice actor customer base, and, as a result, to us as a business. I’ve been researching the space, have attended AI conferences and am engaged in the greater conversation to help us at Voices.com to better understand (and shape) how Voice First can open up opportunities for more voice over work.

Very quickly, we realized that what is here is in fact not a threat, but an opportunity. Perhaps the biggest opportunity our industry has experienced. In my previous post I went more deeply into why that is – but here, I want to talk about the what. More specifically, I’ll explain what Voices.com is doing to help our customers thrive in the #voicefirst era which is indeed, here and here to stay.

Our Partnership with VocaliD

Earlier this week, Voices.com announced that we have partnered with VocaliD, a leading provider of branded synthetic voices. I wanted to take this opportunity to offer some more information about the partnership, and answer some great questions that we have been asked.

How does Voices.com benefit from this partnership?

Businesses and brands come to Voices.com to find their voice. Increasingly in recent years, those requests have included an interest in solutions that enable brands to respond and interact with customers, voice first. An analogy for this shift includes when ‘mobile-first’ became critical for developing a website.

Now today, brands are thinking voice-first when developing customer interfaces, also known as voice user interfaces (VUI). Brands are looking for a way to maintain their unique identity (their literal brand voice), not just in the recurring and predictable interactions, but in the infinite unique interactions that also occur. Our partnership with VocaliD allows brands to continue to come to Voices.com for all their voice requirements, including development of branded synthetic voice, by leveraging VocaliD’s exciting technology and AI.

More than that, and what we are equally excited about, is that it means we can increase not just the number, but also the type and range of job opportunities we can offer our voice actors from around the world.

How will this work for clients on Voices.com?

To explore the creation of a branded synthetic voice, a client can reach out to their Voices.com account manager, who will assist them in defining their needs, scope of work, and general requirements. From there, a job posting for voice actors meeting those requirements will be created, voice actors will audition and quote, and the client will select and hire a talent. VocaliD will guide the actor through the recording process, and then fulfill the project requirements.

How will this work for voice actors on Voices.com?

In short, opportunities to audition for jobs involving a synthetic voice aspect will be available in exactly the same process you experience now. That is, a job will be posted, which will clearly outline the use, terms and details of the work.

As always, as a voice actor you have choices: you can choose whether or not to audition for the job, and if you do choose to audition, you can choose what to quote for the work based on what is being requested. As always, ensure you quote what you want to get paid for the scope of the project. As always, if selected, that amount quoted is what you will get paid upon completion of the work.

Projects involving synthetic voice will have usage terms associated with them as well. That is, not unlike broadcast jobs on Voices.com, which give clients options to purchase the right to use the work for specific periods of time, synthetic voice projects will function in that same way.

What does VocaliD gain from this partnership?

VocaliD gains a distribution partner for their branded synthetic voices, to help them in turn to meet the evolving needs of brands and organizations in today’s voice-first ecosystem.

Is Voices.com (or VocaliD) creating synthetic voices from my voice, without my knowledge?

Absolutely not. VocaliD (or any other entity) does not have access to files or data on Voices.com to use to create synthetic voices.

If a client would like to create a synthetic voice, the process will begin with a job posting (outlining the use, terms and other details). Voice actors may audition (or not) and quote what they would like to get paid to complete the project.

Once the terms of the job have been defined, and your consent has been provided, VocaliD will guide you through the process of recording your voice on their platform in order to build a synthetic voice avatar. VocaliD will deliver the synthetic voice to the client in the format specified and the terms negotiated in the statement of work.

What comes next?

This is always one of the most exciting questions here at Voices.com! We are committed to being where businesses and brands come to find their voice, and where voice actors come to have access to all the voice work. Opportunities in the synthetic voice area are another way we are supporting these commitments, with more to come.

Thank you as always, for joining us on the journey!

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David graduated with honours from the Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology. David’s background in audio production continues to inform Voices.com’s innovation in the areas of mobile recording and digital media products that contribute to Canada’s economic and cultural future. As Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy and managing the company on a day-to-day basis. He often writes about these experiences in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine and Forbes.

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