Roger King, PN Agency: Voices Explored
Competing With Voicebank For Agent Biz
August 15, 2017
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By Roger King
President, PN Agency & Ethnic Voice Talent
www.pnagency.com / www.ethnicvoicetalent.com
Two things off the top:
1. PN Agency is exclusively non-union, so I can only speak to that side of things, not how things work on the union end.
2. So that everyone is clear, Voicebank currently charges a monthly membership fee to talent agencies and in return, we receive voice castings.
I met with someone from Voices(dot)com earlier this year and they pitched me the idea of competing with Voicebank by having castings on the site that would only be open to agencies.
The person I met with said they have clients who want to cast through their site but prefer to only deal with agencies, not individual talents. The inference being that they feel they will get higher quality auditions if they know these are talents represented by agents.
So, they were exploring the idea of offering that service to agents on the Voices site.
I guess in the end they decided rather than compete, it was easier just to buy the damn thing.
DEPENDS ON 'WORTHWHILE JOBS'
So having had this meeting, my assumption is that Voices will continue to offer the same basic service to agents as Voicebank.
I have heard people say they are worried Voices will try to bypass agents, but I don't understand that. If they don't continue to provide talent agencies audition opportunities for worthwhile jobs, we will simply cancel our memberships and they lose all that revenue.
Now, I guess they may try to talk these Voicebank clients into casting on the regular Voices platform rather than through the Voicebank talent agency side, but I'm not sure how successful they would be, given these clients who express a desire to go through agencies.
And again, we would just cancel our memberships if we are not getting regular auditions.
SHORT TERM: 'BIZ AS USUAL'
We will have to see how it all plays out. I kind of expect it to be business as usual in the short term.
I should also note that currently, Voicebank is a fairly small part of our revenue. We've concluded it's worth being on the site and getting access to some of those projects, but truthfully, it doesn't make or break anything for us.
To be clear, I am well aware of the opinion many in the industry have about how Voices chooses to conduct business in a general sense, but for the purposes of this discussion, I am focusing just on the Voicebank acquisition and how it may or may not affect agencies.
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We shall see.
I think the value of VB to Vdot is VB's database that Vdot can exploit. The people and facility will all be expendable. They can open a small office in LA and try and schmooze people or just run every thing out of London.
And agents? Well, you all will just be squashed in their eyes. You're expendable in their view, I believe.
We voice talents do not share that opinion. We WANT the agents. We appreciate want most agents do for our businesses.
And most working VO professionals do NOT want (nor respect Vdot) any where near their business. We see the downward trajectory Vdot is sending the industry in both rate and prestige.