2018 Voice Over Trends
In Marketing and Advertising

 

2018 is the year of the approachable expert - the voice of authority, but relatability.

The recently released 2018 Voice Over Trends Report, conducted by Voices.com, combines the statistical insights of internal business data with the survey results from nearly 1,000 marketing and advertising professionals.

Among the findings, it was discovered that the demand for localized voices (accent and dialect) is on the rise among industry producers and creatives. This isn’t just for English speaking voice actors either, as, from 2016 to 2017, the demand for Non-English voice over grew by 60%.

Also, don’t worry human voice over actors: robotic A.I. voices aren’t here to replace you. The demand for subtle, but important, performances aren’t possible for our android friends... Or at least that’s what humankind believes, as 93% of survey respondents agreed that the human voice is more powerful than a synthetic (or computer-generated) voice.

How Voice Over is Creating Impact

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 the world, including producers, instructional designers, filmmakers, commercial directors, advertising executives, marketing professionals and more.
Enjoy this in-depth analysis of the vocal styles, accents, languages and even age markers that have fueled marketing and advertising efforts throughout the year – and what to expect in 2018.

Speak my Language (and with my accent too)

National and international markets increasingly demand a global sound

While the number of job postings seeking English voice over continues to dominate the marketplace, the demand for localized voices – those that have an accent or dialect – across all languages, has increased. The message audiences are sending is that they want to hear from someone who sounds like them. Not any English will do, and the same goes for international languages too. Hence, more nuanced voices are being requested in job postings.



2018 Forecast:

Requests for English voice over with an accent won’t match demand for North American or generic ‘English,’ but they will continue to steadily rise.

Growth in Demand for Non-English Languages outpaces English

From 2016 to 2017, the demand for Non-English voice over grew by 60%, while the number of job postings calling for English only grew by 43% – yet another sign of a growing and flourishing global marketplace.

2018 Forecast:

The most in-demand languages and dialects forecasted for 2018 will be (in order of popularity): English (North American), English (British), Spanish (Latin American), and German.

Age Matters - I want to hear it from a peer

Millennials and Gen X: "We're still obsessed with you"

Just like last year, survey respondents were still most heavily focused on Millennials and Gen X as their target demographic, with projects aimed at these groups 39% and 54% of the time, respectively. To engage audiences, 78% of respondents indicated that they tend to choose a voice over actor who sounded the same age as their target market.



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.

Baby Boomers and Senior demographic rising into marketing crosshairs

In 2017, Voices.com’s internal data revealed a 17% increase in demand for senior voices – a signal that the marketing and advertising community is starting to recognize the growing influence of this rapidly growing population. Baby Boomers, in particular, are becoming an influential market as even the youngest of this generation marches towards retirement.



2018 Forecast:

In 2018, senior voices won’t come close to unseating Millennials and Gen X in popularity, but we will still see a significant increase in demand, heralding the early stages of a longer-term trend.

Emotional Connection is King

Creating a reaction viewed as more important than staying on budget

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.



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.

Natural vs. Artificial Voices

Natural voices still preferred over Synthetic or Artificial voices

Voices.com survey respondents overwhelmingly agree that synthetic and artificial voices remain light years behind the natural human voice. 93% of respondents agreed that the human voice is more powerful than a synthetic (or computer-generated) voice.

2018 Forecast:

Artificial voices aren’t going to unseat the real thing anytime soon. Marketers and consumers alike will continue to prefer a human-generated sound.

The Future is Female

Future of Voice Over skews to Female-Voice Projects

Traditionally, the majority of voice over job postings have sought male voices more often than female voices. However, the number of postings for female voices is growing faster (24%) than the rate of new jobs posted for males (16%). This trend has been developing for at least the last four years. At this rate, by 2025, the number of postings for female voices will exceed that of males.

2018 Forecast:

Although it’s too soon to see the gap completely close between the genders, it will continue to narrow throughout 2018.

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