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Voiceover State of Mind

Have you seen the voiceover survey that came out earlier this year?

Surveys in general are a great tool to help understand any type of business better. They can help give a perspective on what 'success' looks like, whether there are methods that can be used to move careers forward, and what you need to do to achieve that forward momentum.

The "State of Voiceover" survey came out at the beginning of the year and I decided to give it a better look than I had done previously. To my surprise, and slight confusion, there were 2 surveys this year with almost identical names! One had the year at the beginning and the other at the end.

The State of Voiceover 2021 & 2022

The State of Voiceover 2021 Survey was created by the Voice Actors of NYC. This was the first time I had ever seen any official in-depth voiceover stats, that were available to the public. It was a real eye-opener to see the vast array of results. The State of Voiceover 2022 Voiceover Survey is a new incarnation this year by some of the original 2021 surveyors, in collaboration with the National Association of Voice Actors (NAVA). 1291 responses were collected in total (about 50 more than last year) with 36 answers/questions on a wide variety of topics including daily VO life, casting, representation & unions. This is a wide-ranging overview and whilst it is dangerous to compare two results and definitively link them, in my mind, there just might be a link to the figures that show those earning over $150k a year (7.2%) being similar to those crafting 10 or more auditions a day (7.5%). This survey has some interesting details about the voiceover industry and will no doubt become a powerful tool for NAVA.

The Other Voiceover Survey

Then there is a similarly named '' 2022 State of Voiceover. VDC has a history of surveys so not sure who originally penned the 'state of voiceover' title first, although this is the first time I had noticed this one. 1650 voice actors were queried (I assume members) and their topics were: top 10 voiceover trainers, popular voiceover roles, styles, most used live-directed software, and typical voiceover equipment costs.

Comparing and drawing conclusions

The VDC question that overlapped with the NAVA survey (although asked slightly differently) was, ‘Most type of VO work’ hired for? As an established videogame voice, I'm clearly interested in the state of videogame VO. NAVA’s survey showed video games were ranked #6 with 30.5% of talent saying they booked in the field while VDC showed it ranked #3 with 19.58% of talent booking in that genre. There are more categories in the NAVA survey which probably reflects the range of opportunities available on P2P sites compared to the full open market. A whopping 68% of talent confirmed they are working in the Commercial area according to the NAVA survey. Online Ads were the largest number on the VDC survey at 37.5%, which is probably the most comparable. Seems like demo reels and training in video games and commercial work are an area to focus on if one isn't already doing so.

More Voiceover Questions

The NAVA survey asked whether the respondents were full-time or part-time, and it would be interesting to break that down even further into how many hours are worked in VO and if another job is being worked alongside it? I am full-time, which can be 40-60 hours depending on whether I work any evenings or weekends.

Another thought-provoking question might be what job (if any) was done before becoming a voice actor? Seems like a lot of successful voice actors are either trained actors or have been in the creative field before as singers, audio engineers, worked in radio, or even worked for a voiceover business, but in a different capacity.

So there you have it - two surveys to use as a gauge for your own individual voiceover careers. Maybe they were similarly named for SEO or maybe it was just a mere coincidence? Either way, voiceover stats are a welcome sight in any shape or form. It's worth sitting down with a cup of tea to see what 'Our Survey Says!!'

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Ian Russell

Ian Russell is a British Voiceover Artist specializing in commercial voice over, narration, video game, character voices, animation and more. He is a frequent guest speaker on conference panels and podcasts, sharing knowledge about voice over. Read More >>


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