A Rare View of the Global Voice Over Market

Despite the hundreds of thousands of individuals working in the voice over space in the media and entertainment industry, it has been largely unclear what the total size of that voice over market is.

In order to gain an extensive and comprehensive look at the voice over industry around the world, Voices.com commissioned an independent study to craft a high-level overview of the vast opportunities that exist, including sectors of interest and growth, as well as the broad-scope value of the market.

This 2017 report is an exploration of the state of the global voice over market, using the most recently available 2015 information.  




How Much is the Global Voice Over Market Worth?

Around the world, the dollar value of work that voice over actors completed totals over $4.4 billion USD, with approximately 19% of that value contributed by North America.


Monetary Value of the Global Voice Over Market (Billions in USD)


Where are the Jobs Being Completed?

14% of the voice over jobs are completed in North America.


Global Voice Over Market Distribution of Jobs (Annually)


Which Industries are the Jobs Completed For?

58% of global voice over work is for the Entertainment industry, the largest ‘consumer’ in the category.


Global Voice Over Market by Industry


What is the Dollar Share by Type of Project?

Outside of North America, animated videos under 20 minutes in length comprised the majority of dollars spent in voice projects. Within North America however, this project type was only responsible for just over a fifth of voice over spending, with corporate promotional videos, internet videos, and audiobooks taking a relatively larger share.


Types of Voice Work Completed (Global Spend)


Other Surprising Findings


Comparing Total Spend on Animated Videos: Global vs. North America

When it comes to animated videos, North America’s proportion of total spend is less than the global number. While it’s tempting to believe that this suggests animated videos are less important in North America, or even that the production is declining, Voices.com’s internal data indicates that the opposite is occurring: work in animation within this geographic zone is increasing. Therefore, what this data may point to, is the fact that total spend on corporate promotional videos, internet videos, and e-learning is simply increasing much more, and much more quickly.


North America Setting a Global Growth Trend

As North America is often where trends begin, the rapid growth of these other categories (i.e. corporate promotional videos, internet videos and e-learning, in particular) may point to the emergence of similar growth on the global scale. In other words, there is going to be more opportunity, and more worldwide opportunity, for voice over actors, and the industries that surround them.


Dollar Value of Voice Over Work Increasing Faster than the Number of Jobs

Contributing to the significance of a number of categories, (particularly e-learning and corporate promotional), is the fact that the dollar value of the voice over work is increasing more quickly than the number of jobs.

Now, a single job represents more work for more voice actors, because that job is being required in multiple languages. For instance, a single job may be trans-created to suit different markets, and more.

Essentially, brands are more frequently seeking to spend once on video production, and invest, in a more cost-efficient way, on voice over to create many different versions, which will be more appropriate for different audiences and markets.


The Surprising Fact Behind the Percent of Total Voice Over Work Represented by Radio

Surprising to some may be that radio, often the first category thought of when voice over comes to mind, represents less than 1% (0.7%) of total work completed.