Voice Acting

The Voice Over Words-to-Hours Converter

Tara Parachuk | October 26, 2019

Have you ever wondered how long it might take you to record a given script?

If all you are armed with is a word count, the script of number of lines, have no fear… Edge Studio’s voice over words-to-hours converter is here!

In this article

  1. The Voice Over Words-to-Hours Converter
  2. Speech Count
  3. Line Count
  4. Word Count
  5. Reading Time
  6. Did You Find This Helpful?

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Take a look at this reference chart and see if you can make use of the information for your voice over career.

The Voice Over Words-to-Hours Converter

Note well: This is an estimate helper.
This handy-dandy converter for speech, line, word count, and reading time helps you determine HOW LONG THE COMPLETED script will be.
Edge Studio recommends that you only use this information as a guide. Rates vary greatly due to script, context, vocal delivery, and so on.
This chart is based upon: 12 point Arial, double-spaced, margin-to-margin.

Speech Count

  • Average person reads 3 words per second (range is 2 to 4)
  • Average person reads 88 words per half-minute (range is 60 to 120)
  • Average person reads 170 words per minute (range is 135 to 215)
  • Average person reads 10,320 words per hour (range is 8,625 to 12,030)

Line Count

  • Average number of lines per page: 21
  • Average number of lines per 30-second spot: 7.5
  •  Average number of lines per 60-second spot: 15

Word Count

  • Average words per line: 13 (range is 8 to 18)
  • Average words per page: 273 (range is 168 to 378)

Reading Time

  • Average reading time per line: 4 seconds
  • Average reading time per page: 85 seconds

Did You Find This Helpful?

Let me know! I’m sure the team at Edge Studio would love to hear from you here on this posting.
Best wishes,

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  • Avatar for J. Christopher Dunn
    J. Christopher Dunn
    October 26, 2010, 5:09 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    I use this terrific tool from Edge Studio whenever a client requests a quote and all they have is a word count. I typically convert the words to a time increment and base my quote on the length of the increment. No complaints, yet.

  • Avatar for Posy Brewer
    Posy Brewer
    October 26, 2010, 6:03 pm

    Edge studio are a great bunch and live working with them, so great to see this post!

  • Avatar for Gary Moore
    Gary Moore
    October 27, 2010, 9:26 am

    Edge Studio is a great group of professionals that are ready to help.
    They keep all their info very relevant for VO performers.

  • Avatar for Herb Merriweather
    Herb Merriweather
    October 27, 2010, 10:03 am

    Big thanks to Stephanie and the crew at Edge Studios for this great resource. Now I can quote with some intelligence!

  • Avatar for Michelle Falzon
    Michelle Falzon
    October 27, 2010, 2:41 pm

    This is EXCELLENT! Thanks!!!

  • Avatar for Jay Elzweig
    Jay Elzweig
    October 27, 2010, 4:04 pm

    Stephanie & Gang:
    Thanks for the handy-dandy counter guide. I find the Line Count and the Reading Time to be most helpful, inasmuch as time and timing are of the essence, as it is often said. Hope you are all well!

  • Avatar for Jeany Snider
    Jeany Snider
    October 27, 2010, 4:09 pm

    Yes. Thank you. I will keep this. And it works out pretty close. I just did a Christmas Story for Children audiobook that came out to 6 minutes and 20 seconds for 1000 words.

  • Avatar for Mike Hanson
    Mike Hanson
    October 27, 2010, 4:10 pm

    The Words to hours chart is a handy quick reference.
    Thanks to Edge Studios and you for passing it along.
    Mike Hanson

  • Avatar for Vanessa Wells
    Vanessa Wells
    October 27, 2010, 4:38 pm

    Just 48 hrs ago I had to quote on a large eLearning job and this was my exact problem! A friend put me onto Edge Studio’s website, and problem solved! A very clever wee resource. I’m looking forward to diving into more of the information on their website. Thanks!

  • Avatar for Tom Conklin
    Tom Conklin
    October 27, 2010, 10:03 pm

    It’s a great tool. Edge Studio is a a tremendous resource! Thanks for sharing this Stephanie!

  • Avatar for Lindsay Abbott
    Lindsay Abbott
    October 28, 2010, 1:17 pm

    Typically, I use word count on which to base costs. However, this is a really useful adjunct to have, many thanks Stephanie, and to Edge Studio for sharing!

  • Avatar for Dan Roberts
    Dan Roberts
    November 1, 2010, 3:36 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    As a copywriter and voice-actor, I agree with the numbers above. I’d also like to add that it varies based on the amount of syllables in a word, and that numbers count as words when they are said aloud. So repeating that phone number 3 or 4 times greatly increases the length of a spot.
    And to copywriters and clients: just because you can fit 90 words into a :30 spot doesn’t mean you should. Keep it conversational. Just because a talent can speed through your copy doesn’t mean it sounds good…and won’t increase the retention of your message.

  • Avatar for Josef Loewinsohn
    Josef Loewinsohn
    December 21, 2010, 9:59 am

    I read too fast most times, I mean REALLY fast, so this is a GREAT tool to let me know where I SHOULD be.

  • Avatar for Cliff Zellman
    Cliff Zellman
    December 21, 2010, 10:47 am

    By day I am the head of Audio Production/Client Creative Services for a very busy Ad Agency in Dallas. I am going to send this to ALL my Account Executives & Writers. 90% of copy I get from the outside times out long. :38 sec. for a 30 spot & 1:20 sec. for :60 spot. If you are an editor, you know how maddening this can be. If the read is too fast, my client’s money is wasted. This guideline will surely help! Thanks Edge Studios!!

  • Avatar for Melanie
    August 13, 2014, 11:56 am

    This is very helpful. Thanks so much for posting it. After a career in radio, I am slowly working my way into VO and I have found pricing to be a challenge. I would love to see a “print” button on this post so it will print with formatting!
    Thanks again for this info!