Voice over narration is the process of using an off-camera voice to explain something to the audience. While voice-over narrators typically remain unseen and are not part of the action you may be witnessing, they do provide important commentary pertinent to what’s happening on the screen.
Voice over narration falls into a different category than commercial voice overs used for advertising or broadcast, but it can still be used to sell, market and promote. It can likewise be used to explain, instruct, teach or otherwise provide information.
Web videos are one of the most common projects that use voice over narration, particularly videos created by companies to achieve any number of goals. Corporate narration can include videos produced to provide information about:
- New products or services
- History or philosophy of an organization
- Using a specific product, service or internal company process
The narration can be geared toward company employees, volunteers, vendors, contractors, clients, customers, prospects or the general public.
Corporate Examples of Voice Over Narration
The popularity of online videos continues to surge, accounting for 73 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2016. Cisco predicts that number to grow to 82 percent by 2021. That makes videos an ideal medium for content marketing.
Videos offer content that’s both naturally engaging and easy to absorb, providing the audience with a quick and interesting way to learn more about a specific company or topic. Examples of voice over narration in videos include those used to:
- Showcase the history of Crayola Crayons
- Feature Panasonic Toughbook computers and tablets
- Provide a solution to malware on mobile devices using Trend Micro protection
- Explain how remote deposit services work at Crockett National Bank
- Highlight the Dreamscape Group’s travel destination of Panama
Other types of voice over narration can focus on specific niches, such as medical, health and technical narration, e-learning narration, and explainer videos. I’ll definitely get into more details on these types of voice over narration in subsequent blog posts, so we can keep the focus here on a general overview.
How Much Does Voice Over Narration Cost?
As with any other project in the voice over industry, voice over narration rates take multiple variables into account. While there’s no one-size-fits-all rate for voice over narration, the standard rates for corporate or educational, non-broadcast voice over narration range from $275 to $1,700 for a project that’s up to five minutes long. The price typically includes editing of the dry VO, for a clean audio narration, but does not include mixing with music, video or other sound effects, unless the VO talent has facility and library to offer such services.
Non-broadcast means the recording is not going to be used for radio or TV, which is where web videos would be classified.
As you can see, there’s a notable difference between the high end and the low end of scale. That’s because each project is different, with a number different factors to consider.
When I’m pricing a voice over narration project, I typically start with my standard rate per finished minute (pfm) of recording, along with the minimum a project would cost.
- Starting point: $50 per finished minute, with $275 minimum
Voice over actors charge a minimum rate for each project, regardless of the length, to cover the time and effort involved in setting up the session, script and performance preparation, file export, clean up and delivery. These efforts are the same for each project, no matter how long the session lasts.
Voice Over Narration Sample Quote
The below chart can help you see all the different factors that go into pricing a non-broadcast voice over narration project.
- Minimum project price: $275 for 5 minutes or less
- Price for each additional minute of recording: $50 pfm
|Minimum project price for 5 minutes or less||$275|
|Each additional finished minute of recording||$50 pfm|
|Usage, or where finished project will be played||More prominent the use, higher the rate|
|Audience size, based on traffic to site where video will be played||Bigger the audience, higher the rate|
|Length of usage, or how long the project will be used, such as one year, two weeks, etc.||Longer the usage, higher the rate|
|Length of project, based on word count or finished minutes of recording||Longer the project, higher the rate|
|Pick ups, or rewrites and re-recordings||Sometimes minor round of pick ups can be included in rate, otherwise pick ups can be billed separately if needed|
|Phone patch||May have additional charge|
|TOTAL||Combination of all of the above factors|
A few other factors that may come into play include the company’s overall budget, the rates the competition is charging for the same type of project, and the experience the voice over talent has with the specific type of work.
Additional places you can find more information on voice over rates include:
- Standard rate guides from trusted resources, such as the Global Voice Acting Academy
- The VO Resource Guide, another excellent reference that quotes union rates
- An online pricing calculator designed for use by voice-over talent
Hopefully you have a pretty good idea on what voice over narration is and how much your project may cost should you decide to move forward with it. If you’d like a more detailed quote for your voice over narration project, please contact me and I can send one your way.