Why most online voice banks and pay-to-play sites may soon be gone
It used to be a hassle finding voices. Long time ago you had to go to a studio or an agent and listen. Then they could send you a tape. Later came the cassette tapes. After that CD’s and for about a decade or so we have had the voice banks on the Internet, e-mail and mp3’s.
But now there is WoVO (see below) and the exclusive group of cutting edge full time voice professionals who have the knowledge, driving force and resources to market themselves with an informative home page that rank among the top ten search results on Google.
That’s why I believe even the (seemingly) modern casting and pay-to-play sites are becoming history. Not tomorrow. But they are already, to a certain extent, unnecessary intermediaries profiting on both the client and the voice talent. For no reason at all.
Except for one reason (and that’s why I’m still listed on some of them): Most people that are searching for voices haven’t yet realized that they can save time, cut costs and free themselves of a lot of trouble through a simple Google search.
More on the cutting edge voice talents below. First: Get to know WoVO. World-Voices Organization is a non-profit, member-driven international association of voice actors. Through chapters and national programs, WoVO works to inform and educate about best practices, standards for ethical conduct and professional expertise.
It gets better. Pro members of WoVO are vetted by some of the best colleagues in the business before accepted. And you can listen to them on WoVO’s own non-profit voice bank VoiceOverBiz.
WoVO members is a gold mine of voice talents speaking many languages, for example French, German, Spanish and – of course – Swedish.
If you don’t find your voice at WoVO’s VoiceOverBiz I recommend Google, not huge voice banks and pay-to-play sites. The very best contemporary professional voice talents are beginning to move away from these sites. On some of them you have to sift through many amateurs and semi professionals with sometimes shady business terms, shaky delivery options and poor sound quality. And the middle man takes your money.
As I wrote abowe: The best contemporary full time professionals have the knowledge, driving force and resources to market themselves with an informative home page and rank high in search results. They are easy to find, they respond quickly and they provide
– quality voice samples
– references with citations and names
– an extensive client list
– transparent business terms
– a full business adress
Use a web translation service to find the right search terms. Or try these: For German voices words like “Sprecher”, “Werbesprecher”, “Offsprecher für Imagefilm” and “Synchronsprecher”. For French try to combine “Voix off” with “des publicites”, “des promotions”, “des documentaires”, “des films institutionnels”, “des presentations de produits”, “des projets d’e-learning” or “des applications”. Spanish – for example “Voz superpuesta”, “Varración” or “Voz en off para el vídeo explicador”.
So, my vision is: One day all intermediaries will be outranked on Google by the personal web sites hosted by my pro colleagues.