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VOICE OVER INCOME
Voice Over 'Buyouts' Are Not Always Bad!
How To Figure What Types Are OK For You

By Tom Dheere
Voice Actor & Business & Marketing Coach

What is a buyout? Buyouts are common in non-union voice over work, yet many voice actors are confused and fear them.

What does it mean, and how does it affect job rates?

A buyout refers to when a voice over client pays you a usage fee for a certain period of time. Sometimes that period of time is forever, or in perpetuity. A full buyout is in perpetuity.

A rebuy is an agreement to use a spot for an additional period of time. With this option, they have to pay you again. Learn more about usage fees here.

BROADCAST VS. NON-BROADCAST BUYOUTS

Non-broadcast content is often long-form, internal, or unfit for commercial use.

When booking these jobs, I assume that the content will live on the company's website, shared on social media profiles, or used internally. I fold usage into my quoted rate and don't sweat a full buyout in perpetuity because it will most likely not conflict with other jobs I take.

Broadcast buyouts can be trickier. Voice seekers offering a full buyout for a broadcast project can lead to conflicts with future work in similar markets. If you lend your voice to a client in perpetuity, that could do long-term damage to your voice over career.

TRACK LENGTH OF USEAGE

When you book a voice over gig, put the length of the usage in your calendar to be sure don't encounter conflicts of interest.

At the end of a buyout period, reach out to the clients for a potential rebuy or extension of the buyout period. It's an easy way to reconnect with a client and gain extra passive income.

Understand the usage before agreeing to buyouts. They are not always bad! When in doubt, run from broadcast buyouts.
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ABOUT TOM
Tom Dheere is the VO Strategist, a voice over business and marketing coach and demo producer since 2011. He is also a voice actor with over 20 years of experience who has narrated just about every type of voice over you can think of. As a voice over coach, he offers a free 15-minute consultation. And when not voicing or talking about voicing, he produces the sci-fi comic book Agent 1.22.

Email: tom@tomdheere.com
Web: www.tomdheere.com
Agent 1.22

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Comments (1)
Brad Avenyou
11/10/2022 at 6:40 PM
Yes, 'buy-out' and 'in-perp': Most pro voice-sellers and voice-buyers understand those terms, and why they're not synonymous. Often misunderstood is "Digital broadcast": (paid web placement), the cousin to those ol' legacy platforms 'TV broadcast' and 'Radio broadcast'.
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