Explainer video voice over cost: A comprehensive guide

Discover the factors influencing explainer video voice-over costs and get tips for budgeting and hiring the best talent.

Explainer video voice over cost: A comprehensive guide

How Much Does Explainer Video Voice Over Cost?

Explainer video voice-over costs can range anywhere from $50 to $1,500 or more. Final costs depend on the project's complexity, length, usage rights, and production quality. Additional factors include delivery speed and the type of studio used: home vs. professional.

Factors Influencing Voice Over Costs

Before breaking down costs, let's first understand the factors that influence voice-over pricing. Knowing these can help you determine if the price is fair.

  1. Voice Talent Experience

The first and perhaps most significant factor is the experience of the voice artist. This includes not only the number of projects they have completed but, more importantly, their portfolio. Look for brands that have trusted them and prominent campaigns they've been part of.

  1. Project Complexity

The technical aspects of the project also play a crucial role in determining costs. Factors include:

  • Length of the script
  • Number of versions required
  • Whether you want a direct recording session or not
  • File export type
  1. Usage Rights

Usage rights can significantly impact the cost. There are two types of usage rights: broadcast and non-broadcast.

Broadcast: A Broadcast License grants full paid media rights in channels like television or online ads. This can sometimes be limited to a particular market for a defined time period. Make sure you discuss all conditions. Broadcast rights for online ads are typically less expensive than for national TV.

Non-Broadcast: A Non-Broadcast License covers organic social media, websites, PR campaigns, etc. This is the most affordable license and is usually included by default in any project. However, double-check for any time limitations on usage.

  1. Recording Quality

Recording quality can vary and can significantly affect costs. However, you don't need to focus too much on this unless the quality is low. Many voice artists can deliver good quality from their home studios, offering a discount since they don't need to hire expensive studios. Additionally, revisions are easier to manage if the artist is recording from home. Ensure you agree on the quality level and file format (preferably WAV) with the artist.

Turnaround Time

As with any product or service, delivery speed can impact the price. Turnaround time can affect costs by 50% to 100%. However, if you are a regular client, you might receive discounts. At Yans, we have favorite partners we work with regularly, and they are kind enough not to charge us for rush delivery. Of course, we don’t abuse their generosity, but emergencies can happen.

Cost breakdown

OK, now that you understand the factors, it's time to break down the numbers and see how much you should expect to pay for voice-over services for your explainer videos.

Average rates

The general price to hire a voice-over artist with a non-broadcast license, which also covers online ad usage in perpetuity, starts at $150 for acceptable quality for a 60-second voice-over. This price typically includes only the recording.

If you need a voice-over just for organic reach, you can find more affordable options on platforms like Fiverr.

However, for a more professional approach, I strongly recommend using Voices.com, where you can find high-quality voice artists starting at $100.

In this article, we break down in detail why you should consider using professional platforms and how to go about it.

Below is a chart that can serve as a great starting point.

Explainer video voice over cost: A comprehensive guide

Additional Costs

When considering voice-over costs, it's important to mention revisions and retakes. To avoid extra expenses, make sure your script is final before recording. If you choose a high-quality voice artist with a home studio, revisions can be more affordable, typically costing around $30-$50, unless your artist is a superstar with a strong imagination.

Additionally, there may be post-production fees for editing, but this is something you need to discuss with the sound designer who will mix everything together.

Hidden Costs

Hidden costs can arise from script changes requiring your artist to record again, potentially costing up to 70% or even 100% of the original project price because they need to start from scratch.

Another point to consider is if you need a direct recording session with your artist. This can add $50-$300 to your costs, depending on the artist's rates.

Tips for Budgeting

We can't cover every possible scenario in one article, but we can help you avoid common mistakes and get the best value for your budget. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Provide a Detailed Brief to Your Artist

Clearly outline your project's requirements to avoid misunderstandings.

  • Finalize Your Script

Ensure your script is final to avoid additional sessions or revision costs.

  • Check the Script's Length

Use the formula of 2.5 words per second for timing. For example, a one-minute explainer video should be around 150 words.

  • Allow for Buffer Time

If you have duration limitations, account for intro and outro time. For a 15-second video, aim for around 145 words to leave space for transitions.

  • Choose Wisely

Avoid the cheapest and most expensive options. Good quality, as indicated in the chart above, will be sufficient for any explainer video.

  • Avoid Agencies for Voice-Over Only

If your budget is tight, use platforms like Voices.com or other specialized sites. Alternatively, delegate this to your explainer video agency.

  • Understand Revision Costs

Know the cost of revisions and include it in the contract if necessary.

  • Secure Usage Rights

Ensure you receive all usage rights with proper documentation or a contract from the platform.

  • Agree on Timelines

Establish a timeline for the project and potential revisions.

  • Request Final File in WAV Format.

Ensure the final file is provided in WAV format for the best quality.

By following these tips, you can effectively manage your budget and avoid common pitfalls in the voice-over process for your explainer videos.

Alternatives to Professional Voice Over

DIY Voice Over

To be completely honest, I wouldn't recommend this direction. Voice is one of the most important components of an explainer video. Investing $200 for professional quality is worth the money.

Text-to-Speech Options

Using AI tools can be okay, but not for the main version. My advice is to get a professional voice for the English version and use AI tools for localization. Here's a great use case:

We created a fantastic explainer video for Chatrandom, and our partners wanted it localized in six different languages, but their budget was tight. So, we translated the scripts using ChatGPT and the voice-overs using Rask.ai. The quality was great.

A key point is that having a high-quality main version is essential. It provides the AI tool with a reference for tone, pace, and overall quality. This ensures the AI-generated versions are better and more consistent.

Final words

Investing in a professional voice-over can significantly enhance the impact of your explainer video, making it more engaging and effective. So, while costs can vary, careful planning and understanding of the factors involved can help you get the best value for your money.

Alternatively, you can hire a professional explainer video agency to handle everything for you. Just contact us for a free consultation, and we will help you strategize the entire production from start to finish.

Links and References

Recommended Platforms for Hiring Voice-Over Talent

  • Fiverr: A great platform where you can hire voice-over artists at an affordable price. However, there can be some limitations, and the choice might not always be as cheap as it appears initially.
  • Voices: A platform specifically designed for finding voice-over artists. It offers excellent tools for briefing your contractors, hiring, and handling all the licenses.

Further Reading

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