Translation and Voiceover costs

Hi

We are currently producing content in quite a large number of languages. The process is that we build in english then have the storyboard translated externally, the translation reviewed by a native speaker internally, then a voiceover created externally and put into the course in house. This is working fine but I am keen to know what the average cost per minute other people are running at for the translation and voiceover? I have been logging our invoices to see. We have tried a few different translation and voiceover agencies and I think we are getting pretty competitive rates with the ones we are using but I have no idea what the industry average is. If anyone has been involved in similar projects and would be happy to share an average cost per minute of final product based on those two outsource services I would be grateful to know so I can get an idea if we are in the right cost area of not. Thankyou in advance?

Flora

11 Replies
Alexandros Anoyatis

As far as I am aware, it depends on the language you want your content translated to, the source you provide, and if you opt for proofreading and QA. That's as much as I have picked up from the surprising large number of translators that exist in my inner circle lately.

The one I work with is Technografia, and I've had no complaints from clients so far...

Hope this helps,
Alex

Bruce Graham

The biggest cost variance with voiceover in my experience is whether the talent uses a "professional" studio, including a director), or whether they record at a home-based studio. You get wild variances on e.g. Voice 123 based on many variables.

One company I work with uses The Big Word, who have a great service where you never pay to have words translated if they have been translated for you before in another project, uses some really clever technology

Joshua Roberts

Bruce Graham said:

The biggest cost variance with voiceover in my experience is whether the talent uses a "professional" studio, including a director), or whether they record at a home-based studio. You get wild variances on e.g. Voice 123 based on many variables.

One company I work with uses The Big Word, who have a great service where you never pay to have words translated if they have been translated for you before in another project, uses some really clever technology


That sounds like a really interesting and beneficial process. I'm going to look into that Bruce - one that can definitely be recommended to clients.

Bruce Graham

Joshua Roberts said:

Bruce Graham said:

The biggest cost variance with voiceover in my experience is whether the talent uses a "professional" studio, including a director), or whether they record at a home-based studio. You get wild variances on e.g. Voice 123 based on many variables.

One company I work with uses The Big Word, who have a great service where you never pay to have words translated if they have been translated for you before in another project, uses some really clever technology


That sounds like a really interesting and beneficial process. I'm going to look into that Bruce - one that can definitely be recommended to clients.


You can always ring up TBW, and have a chat first. PM me if you want some details of my UK contact. They also have Articulate skills in house, so can offer a variety of value-add services.

Flora Ellis

Hi, thanks for the replies everyone. We have indeed seen variation in price depending both on the studio quality of the voice artist and also language. I'm looking at main EU languages for the running average as the price is pretty comparable between these. It would be great to streamline the process if possible either saving straight cost or at least time. We use voicebunny quite a bit and that's great although they are based in west coast US and I'm working from the UK so sometimes turnaround times reflect this depending on the artist. I just wonder if there are other ways people have explored that might offer a better solution? My experience with using companies that do both translation and voicing hasn't been very good and we still need an internal native speaking expert to review content as its quite technical. All ideas gratefully received!

Flora Ellis

Bruce Graham said:

Joshua Roberts said:

Bruce Graham said:

The biggest cost variance with voiceover in my experience is whether the talent uses a "professional" studio, including a director), or whether they record at a home-based studio. You get wild variances on e.g. Voice 123 based on many variables.

One company I work with uses The Big Word, who have a great service where you never pay to have words translated if they have been translated for you before in another project, uses some really clever technology


That sounds like a really interesting and beneficial process. I'm going to look into that Bruce - one that can definitely be recommended to clients.


You can always ring up TBW, and have a chat first. PM me if you want some details of my UK contact. They also have Articulate skills in house, so can offer a variety of value-add services.


Thanks, I will message you when I'm back on a laptop connection. 

Bruce Graham

What's your budget and how much are you happy to spend to consider you got a good return?

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To some extent you get what you pay for. Decide on a number, get people in that range, develop a 2-3 slide "mini-project", see what happens, and react accordingly. I get a great deal for $1 per 4 words, but you may not get that. Or you might.

Cromerty York

Hi - As a voice over, here's my two bob's worth:

Basic rates for a very good clean voice-over, with home studio and patching facilities (eg phone patch, skype, ipdtl, source connect, ISDN) for corporate:

1)    Minimum script price of £100

2)    First 5mins £100
3)    Between 5 mins and 15 mins £150
4)    Between 15mins and 30mins £200
5)    30 mins to 1 hour £300

If you require studio hire on top of that, you are probably looking at another £400 per hour.

Great sites to go to:

1) me (obviously)

2) voices123.com

3) voices.com (both of which the VOs will bid for the job; but realistic prices)

4) thevoicerealm.com (all jobs are fixed price) - no direct interaction with VO allowed

5) Bodalgo.com - quite European - good chance of getting international VOs.; again, realistic rates for the VOs

6) Voicebunny.com - quick and dirty. You get what you pay for (no direct interaction with VO allowed)

7) Then the free-to-use sites: guru, peopleperhour, freelancer, odesk. Again VERY low rates.

Good luck!

T. Travis

The days, the going rate for voiceover is: Anything you might imagine.

Right now, there are ads on Craigslist, asking for "Professional Voiceover" for a rate of zero, with the possibility of "copy and credit" after the production is completed.  Is it possible that they will get a good voiceover for a rate of nothing?  Surprisingly the answer is probably "yes".  However, it's also possible to get your car fixed for free, or to have the plumbing in your house repaired for less than minimum wage.  As you probably know, getting any kind of work done this way comes with a good chance of "problems".

So, how do you determine a "reasonable" rate?  You probably want a "professional" to voice your project. So it would probably be wise budget what would go to a "professional".  The median income for a college graduate in the US is around $54,000 per year, which, figuring a 40-hour week, 50 weeks per year, comes to $27.00 per hour.  Now, wait, we're not done.  A typical voiceover performer can really only work, on a normal basis, doing a quality performance an average two hours per day (more hours on some days, less on other, we won't go into the reasons for this here.)  So a voiceover performer needs to make a full day's wage ($216.00) in two hours, which comes to $108.00 per hour.  Then, there's project overhead (The time to book the project, print scripts, etc.), which usually comes in at the same amount of time as doing the project, so that means a voiceover performer needs to charge at least a couple-of-hundred dollars per hour, just to earn a low "professional" rate.  Then there are the studio/insurance costs...etc.  Then, you add to that the fact that MOST of your time, as a performer is spent trying to get jobs. ("The job is looking for work".)

So, if you want a "Professional" to voice your project - someone who is making what a typical college graduate in the US would make, you need to figure you should pay your talent AT LEAST $300.00 per hour.  Also, keep in mind that working at a three-to-one ratio (taking three hours to record one complete hour of audio) is considered pretty good.  If you want your talent to edit the production too, consider six-to-one.

Whew!  So, if you're paying a person in the US $1000.00 per finished hour of narration, keep in mind that person is still likely to be earning less than a typical college graduate in the US. $3000.00 per-finished-hour/$500.00 for ten minutes of finished narration is actually a reasonable rate. (That comes to about 33 cents-per word plus something for "project overhead.)

Of course, as we mentioned, you can spend a good deal less.  Some VO Talent get considerably more This discussion is to give you a good guideline.

Travis - http://www.Training-VO.com