Google Radio Ad Voiceovers

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If you’re advertising in radio, you’ll need a voice!
As you may have heard, Google flexed their muscles and recently bought dMarc Broadcasting of Newport Beach, California. dMarc is a media buying service and digital automation provider for radio. The idea is to capitalize on the radio advertising market, and what better way to be the king of the radio ad slots than to purchase a company that is responsible for doing just that?

This may help out with buyers that want to purchase radio advertising slots, but there is something missing from this equation… Voice-overs. This begs the question of “Where will Google’s future radio advertisers get their voice-overs?” Consider this. Each voice talent is unique, not to mention each custom recording required of a given company’s script. In light of this information, Google advertiser’s will have to have a hearty database of professional voice talents to choose from and a proven system for hiring the perfect voice.

Why do radio advertisers need such a system for hiring voice talent? Just as in any marketplace, the players in the market can vary substantially. One must keep in mind the individual talents experience in the field, their artistic abilities, access to a recording studio, recording fees, and whether or not they are affiliated with a union.

To break it down, here are the key factors that will need to be considered within each category regarding selecting voice talents:

Level of Professionalism

A voice talent of 20 years experience will bring a significantly different twist to a recording and a distinct level of professionalism when they conduct business. Many pro voice talents come from a broadcast radio background and will suit this new Google radio advertising service well. An aspiring talent may not come equipped with the necessary skill or intuition that a professional talent has from years of experience both on the air and behind the microphone recording a variety of voice-over projects.

Artistic Abilities

When searching for the perfect voice, advertisers need to evaluate the talent of the performer and not just their price tag. If a voice-over doesn’t convince your marketing department, it won’t convince an audience that was not involved in the planning, voice-over delegation, and the mastering of the final product.
Relying on a professional voice talent is essential to get an advertisers message across. These talents are not only supposed to successfully convey a message to a target audience, they are acting as the audio ambassadors of a company.

Recording Abilities

Many career voice talents record from a professional grade home recording studio. This means that they can work quickly and take on the role of both engineer and artist. This also means, potentially, that their recording fees will be less because they are performing and recording the production for the advertiser. Talents that do not have access to a home recording studio or lack the technical skills to engineer a recording resort to outsourcing the service to an external recording facility. This not only marks up the cost of the voice-over but the recording turnaround time may also be extended as they book their studio time around the engineers schedule.

Voice-over Fees for Google Radio Ads

All voice-over costs are all subject to the time slot of the ad, the market size, duration of use, and whether or not the talent is charging a union rate. Talents may quote on a per page, per project, per word, per minute / hour, or per market basis. Each talent will respond with their own quoting system in order to provide advertisers with competitive quotes and proposals.

Union VS Non-union

If hiring a union voice talent, there is a bit of paper work involved, and the fee will most likely be higher than if an advertiser worked with a non-union voice talent. AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, is the most popular option for voice talents affiliated with a union. SAG, the Screen Actors Guild, is a different union altogether that protects the interests of those acting in some capacity on the silver screen. Talents may be members of both unions, but if the project is for broadcast radio or television, AFTRA policies will apply.

Non-union talent, who account for the majority of voice talents in the market, are not affiliated with a union and can therefore set their own rates. This is not to say that their rate may not be similar to a union rate. Depending on the skill and experience that a talent has, their rates may increase. Non-union talent operate their business just like anyone else and may require payment upfront for their work. These professionals exercise their own billing methods.

If advertisers using the new Google service are looking for a proven voice-over solution, is ready to meet and exceed their expectations, partnering them with the best voice-over talent in North America.

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  • Troy Germer
    March 29, 2007, 7:07 pm

    I have been told I have a great voice for radio etc, I would like to explore the possibility of making this a career choice, are there companies out there that hire voice talent for ad work etc?

  • Stephanie Ciccarelli
    May 3, 2007, 12:06 pm

    Hi Troy,
    Thank you for your comment. Yes, there are companies who hire people to record voice overs.
    Many of them are now finding voice talent online and choose to use to help them meet their needs.
    If you’d like more information, please let me know.
    Thanks for commenting and stopping by!

  • Lindsay
    August 9, 2007, 10:40 am

    I’ve been working with a company in Florida that has a really good training session and then they helped me get started. I don’t know where you are, but maybe they can recommend a class near you? Or take a vacation and go to their classes?!
    Anyhow, it was They have a workshop page on their site, and are really good about answering calls.
    Hope that helps!