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How Do Voice Over Agents Set Their Fees?
'Outspoken' Agent Erik Sheppard Shows The Math
June 8, 2020

(VOXtra) – Do you wonder why some voice over agents charge their voice talent a 10% fee, while others take a 15% or 20% cut? Some have even inched up to 25%.

What's going on?

VO agent Erik Sheppard (pictured), owner of The Sheppard Agency, sees "a lot of questions about that lately. Talent are confused. Some producers are confused. Heck – even some newer agents are confused."

In a new episode of 'The Outspoken' - his YouTube video soapbox about the VO industry – Sheppard details the methods that agents use to calculate their fees, and why it's important for talent to understand this.

Essentially, he explains, "We get a percentage of the work that we do with you. We bring you a project, you audition, you get the project, and then we get a percentage."

But agents don't set their fees in the same way, which causes the confusion.

One calculation is set in stone: "If this is a union gig, it's capped at 10 percent," Sheppard says. "But for non-union, it's totally different."

In the video below, Sheppard explains the two basic ways that agents calculate fees, and why VO talent who have multiple agents might receive the same audition from those agents with different fees.

What to do? Click on …

With nearly 30 years of industry experience, internationally recognized voice over expert Erik Sheppard is the owner and head agent of The Sheppard Agency, a premier talent agency representing an elite roster of union and non-union voice talent from around the globe. Starting with his first voice over gig at the age of 17 he has worked in the industry as a talent and a coach and now oversees an agency booking thousands of high profile projects per year. He is also a founding member The VO Agent Alliance and an active and vocal advocate for voice over actors and the VO industry as a whole. His career, appearances and related projects have been profiled on The Learning Channel and countless industry blogs, podcasts, publications, social media outlets and his YouTube channel "The Outspoken". If it is happening in the world of voice over, chances are Erik is involved.

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Comments (5)
8/11/2021 at 2:52 PM
This was really helpful (and entertaining)! Thank you so much for this.
7/7/2020 at 5:22 PM
Oh really good info - Thank you Erik.
Most of all love the presentation - very funny - still smiling.
A little light humor goes a long way!
Russ DeWolfe
6/14/2020 at 12:27 PM
Great stuff Erik, thanks for all you do.
Mark Maurer
6/8/2020 at 3:00 PM

Grand article... a solid reminder. Vital info.
Thank you, Sir

Mark Maurer
Peter K. OConnell
6/8/2020 at 1:22 PM
Well done as always.

Best always,
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