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VO BIZ SURVEY REPORT / PART 1:
How’s Biz? Voice Actors Compare 
Job Volume & Income With A Year Ago
 
By John Florian
©2008 VoiceOverXtra LLC
Dec. 2, 2008
 
As the world’s economies roil and dire predictions abound, what’s happening to the job schedules and bank accounts of voice actors?
 
VoiceOverXtra conducted a “How’s Business Lately?” survey of voice actors in late October, asking participants to compare their current job volume and income with what they experienced at the same time in 2007.
 
Wanna know something?
 
More voice actors report an increase in both job volume and income than those who say business is falling.
 
A good percentage also say that their number of gigs and income remain about the same as a year ago.
 
WHY THE CHANGES?
 
Overwhelmingly, the reasons cited for the upswing are:
  • “Picking up more clients”
  • “More aggressive marketing”
On the flip side, business volume and income are dropping for voice actors who cite:
  • “Clients cutting back on expenses”
  • “Don’t know why!”
  • “I have been marketing less”
These comments suggest that aggressive marketing for new clients is paying off in both job volume and income.
 
Yet even where business is good, there is worry. Fifty-eight percent of all respondents say they’re concerned about future job volume and income.
 
Specific survey results follow. And plenty of write-in comments from survey participants - including marketing plans and suggestions for others – will be posted by VoiceOverXtra on Dec. 4.
 
If you would like to comment on the survey, please write to info@VoiceOverXtra.com.
 
WHO TOOK SURVEY?
 
On Oct. 28, the “How’s Business Lately?” survey was announced to VoiceOverXtra subscribers, and (with our great appreciation), it was also mentioned on VoiceOverUniverse.com and in several well-read VO industry blogs.
 
The survey was conducted online, using the independent services of FreeOnlineSurveys.com. Over several weeks, replies from 204 voice actors were received and compiled anonymously by the automated service, with no correlation between answers and respondents.
 
But we did learn certain things about the respondents. For instance:
  • Half have been involved with voice-overs for more than 10 years
  • Slightly more than half are full-time voice actors
  • 60% (of people answering a question about unions) are non-union – though another 8% are dues-paying non-members (Financial Core).
Now let’s dig more deeply into the questions and answers.
 
Percentages refer to the percent of respondents to a particular question. The highest percent of responses for each question is shown in bold type.
 
ABOUT PARTICIPANTS

Q: How long have you been involved with voice-overs?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • A: Just getting started: 9.3%
  • B: 1 year or less: 8.3%
  • C: 1-5 years: 20.6%
  • D: 6-10 years: 12.3%
  • E: More than 10 years: 49.5%
Q: Do you work full time or part-time as a voice actor?
  • Full time: 51%
  • Part-time: 49%
Q: If part-time, what percent of your time involves voice-overs?
  • Up to 25%: 45.7%
  • 26-50%: 28.4%
  • 51-75%: 15.5%
  • 76-99%: 10.3%
Q: Do you belong to a union?
  • AFTRA: 17.2%
  • SAG: 13.9%
  • ACTRA: 0.4%
  • Dues-paying non-member (Financial Core): 8%
  • No: 60.5%
CHANGES IN JOB VOLUME & INCOME

Q: VOLUME: Compared to 2007 at this time, has there been a change in the number of your voice acting jobs?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • A: job volume is ABOUT THE SAME: 22.6%
  • B: job volume has DECREASED: 28.4%
  • C: job volume has INCREASED: 34.3%
  • D: Can’t compare, because career situation has changed: 15.2%
Q: INCOME: Compared to 2007 at this time, has your voice acting income changed?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • A: income is ABOUT THE SAME: 20.1%
  • B: income has DECREASED: 24.5%
  • C: income has INCREASED: 43.1%
  • D: Can’t compare, because career situation has changed: 12.3%
JOB VOLUME IS DOWN …

Q: If your job volume has DECREASED since last year at this time, by how much?
  • Down 5%: 6.6%
  • Down 10%: 7.9%
  • Down 20%: 17.1%
  • Down 30%: 21.1%
  • Down 40%: 7.9%
  • Down 50%: 7.9%
  • Down more than 50%: 14.5%
  • Other: 17.1%
Q: If your job volume has DECREASED, what are the reasons?
  • Don’t know! 36%
  • Clients cutting back on expenses: 38.7%
  • I have been marketing less: 8%
  • Other: 17.3%
INCOME IS DOWN …

Q: If your voice acting income has DECREASED, by how much?

Down 5%: 10.1%
Down 10%: 11.6%
Down 20%: 21.7%
Down 30%: 10.1%
Down 40%: 10.1%
Down 50%: 7.2%
Down more than 50%: 11.6%
Other: 17.4%
 
Q: If your voice acting income has DECREASED, what are the reasons?
  • Don’t know! 24.2%
  • Clients cutting back on expenses: 41.9%
  • I have been marketing less: 9.7%
  • Other: 24.2%
JOB VOLUME IS UP!

Q: If your job volume has INCREASED, by how much?

Up 5%: 11.2%
Up 10%: 5.6%
Up 20%: 20.2%
Up 30%: 12.4%
Up 40%: 5.6%
Up 50%: 7.9%
Up more than 50%: 23.6%
Other: 13.5%
 
Q: If your job volume has INCREASED, what are the reasons?
  • Picking up more clients: 49.4%
  • More work from existing clients: 11.2%
  • Other: 39.3%
INCOME IS UP!

Q: If your voice acting income has INCREASED, by how much?
  •  Up 5%: 9%
  • Up 10%: 13%
  • Up 20%: 27%
  • Up 30%: 13%
  • Up 40%: 2%
  • Up 50%: 10%
  • Up more than 50%: 14%
  • Other: 12%
Q: If your voice acting income has INCREASED, what are the reasons?
  • Picking up new clients: 46%
  • More work from existing clients: 9%
  • More aggressive marketing: 16%
  • Raised my fees: 3%
  • Other: 26%
ABOUT THE FUTURE
  
Q: Are you concerned about your future voice acting job volume and income?
 
Yes: 58.3%
No: 41.7%
 
 
To comment on this survey, please write info@VoiceOverXtra.com
 
 
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