An illustrated icon of a heart, a sound file and a persons face

How the creative community chooses – and uses – voice over offers a unique insight into what resonates with the modern consumer on both an emotional and psychological level.

As the world’s largest marketplace for audio and voice over products, Voices.com’s annual Trends Report combines the deep insights of internal data with the input of nearly 1,000 creative professionals from across North America and beyond, including producers, instructional designers, filmmakers, commercial directors, advertising executives, marketing professionals and more.

This report, the first of many that we will release throughout the year, provides an in-depth analysis of the vocal styles, accents, languages and demographics that have fueled marketing and advertising efforts throughout 2017.

But what’s even more exciting is how this data signals larger trends, heralding what is to come in 2018.

Hiring Trends in Voice Over Accents, Dialects and Languages

Two illustrated icons of people march on top of the world with flags that bear letters with accents

When it comes to language, there is no such thing as a standard or generic voice. Even among those who sought out an English-speaking voice over, there was great specificity with exactly what English accent they were looking for, with this trend also existing with other languages, such as Spanish, French and more.

In addition, the number of job postings that are seeking diverse and niche languages are also growing. From 2016 to 2017, the demand for Non-English voice over grew by 60%, while the number of postings calling for English only grew by 43%.

Growth in Demand for Accents

  • 4% increase in demand for English with accent
  • 5% increase in demand for a non-English language with accent

Specific Accents of Significance

  • 22% increase in English – Australian
  • 12% increase in English – British
  • 11% increase in Spanish – Latin American
  • 3% increase French – Canadian

Top 3 Fastest Growing Languages

  1. French
  2. Italian
  3. Japanese
2018 Forecast: Requests for English voice overs with other accents won’t match demand for North American English (or English with no specified accent) but they will continue to steadily rise. The most in-demand languages and dialects forecast for 2018 will be (in order of popularity): English (North American), English (British), Spanish (Latin American), and German.

What Makes a Voice Over Audition Successful? Professionals Reveal What Will Drive Casting Decisions in 2018

An icon of a heart with sound waves on it and an illustration of a person's faceThere’s no doubt that setting a budget for a voice over job, as well as figuring out what to quote for the work, can sometimes cause confusion. However, in 2018, there’s good reason to worry less about budget – it turns out that it’s at the bottom of a casting director’s list of important considerations.

What was most important was how the voice over formed an emotional connection. That is to say, performance matters most.

Top 5 Factors Guiding Voice Over Casting

  1. Forms emotional connection
  2. Adds personality
  3. Matches brand voice
  4. Reflects sound of target market
  5. Sounds aspirational to target market
2018 Forecast: It’s all about connection and engagement, a feeling consumers will experience more actively as they take in ad campaigns and videos. Creatives are working double time to ensure that their message connects with the right audience.

Peer-to-Peer Style Marketing Still Dominates – Especially with Voice Over

Illustrated icons of people depict various ages from young to middle age

As it becomes easier for marketing and advertising to transcend borders (e.g. videos are shared around the world in just one click!), professionals are having to become highly-targeted in their creative strategy. In short, no matter where the message is received, it  still needs be well-positioned to hook their target demographic.

So when it comes to selecting an engaging voice over, 78% of respondents indicated that they choose a voice over actor who sounds the same age as their target market.

“Who are the most popular target markets?” you ask.

Well, when you break it down by age, Millennials and Gen X are still the most desired group (same as last year).

Percent of Creative Projects Created by Target Age Group

  • Gen Z – 4%
  • Millennials – 39%
  • Gen X – 54%
  • Baby Boomer – 2%
  • Great Generation 1%
2018 Forecast: The primary focus won’t shift away from Millennials or Gen X anytime soon, although the coming year will see Millennials become equally as important as Gen X. Baby Boomers, who have held steady at 2% year-over-year, will also rise in importance.

Sorry Robots, Voice Overs from Real People are Still Best

Two illustrated icons, one of a robot, one of a human, face each other

As voice-activated technology and in-home virtual assistants rise in popularity, so has a race to create the best virtual voice.

However, survey respondents aren’t excited by the prospect of hiring a synthetic, or ‘robotic’ voice any time soon. 93% of respondents stated that the human voice is more powerful than a robotic one.

2018 Forecast: Artificial voices aren’t going to unseat the real thing anytime soon.

Are You Looking for More Voice Over Trends for 2018?

Download the full Voices.com 2018 Trends Report now!

What Are Your 2018 Predictions for Trends in VO?

What do you think you’re going to see more of, and less of, in respect to voice over trends for 2018?

Let us know in the comments below!

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For over a decade, Tanya has been helping organizations and individuals alike tell their stories. A graduate of Western University, Tanya holds a Bachelor of Science degree, as well as a post-graduate diploma in Public Relations. As an experienced marketing and communications professional, she has helped individuals, start-ups, and multinational corporations craft and amplify meaningful communications across the arts, culture, entertainment, health, wellness, and technology industries.

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