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I preface this post with a quote: “The shortest distance between two points is simplicity.” Why? Recently I took a look back at jobs posted on Voice123 since March 2008. These were not just any jobs. They were…

  • SmartCast automated job listings
  • The budget by the voice seeker was “Union Rates”
  • The Unions specifically chosen in these jobs
  • If one Union was chosen when selecting “Union Rates” (I will get to that)
  • Did the Union job accept Non-union auditions
  • Stats from March 2008 – February 14th, 2012

Jobs posted using our automated casting system since March 2008:   462

  • ACTRA – 12
  • AFTRA – 125
  • SAG – 125
  • Union des Artistes – 7
  • British Equity – 2
  • No Union chosen – 191

Union jobs that accepted Non-union submissions: 39

  • ACTRA – 1
  • AFTRA – 18
  • SAG – 18
  • Union des Artistes – 2
  • British Equity – 0

Union Rates jobs, without a union specified, accepting non-union talent (paid union rates- made no mention of which one):

  • 191  (All of them. Union Rates paid, but did not accept non-union auditions)

Something very serious is happening here, and if you are pro-union, of any kind, it is important to take note. The desire for quality has not gone away and people are willing to pay for it. Given this is the age where ‘time is money’, the process to work online using union-contracted voice talent has not been innovated well enough to be called “simple”. The discussions can rage on forever about “paying for quality”, but if something great suddenly becomes too complicated because a simpler solution is offered with the same quality, it loses value immediately. Other small conclusions about the stats above…

  • There is a separation of markets existing here, and both would defend what they do. Never forget the role ‘human nature’ plays here.
  • It is very simple for quality to be paid for online, but not simple to involve an offline process.
  • If you are a voice talent in a union, know how to make the payment process simple for your client.
  • We added Union information as part of the matching matrix for SmartCast back in 2008. We have 300+ premium Union talent, who have seen a benefit from over 450 union jobs posted.
  • Needless to say, there should be more, but if it doesn’t sound like much, think of the connections these talent have made for repeat work.

Candidly speaking…

  • What kills work is failure to grow, innovate, transform, combine, and collaborate to make something wonderful even more simple to experience. Those who figure out how to do it, and know how to monetize the process, will mold the future of tomorrow’s work. Some have pointed back to the last century and the roots of how Unions started. Well…they didn’t have TV until the ‘50’s, and now you have the Internet. Change isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t mean it should not happen. Voice123 joined the party 10 years ago, and wants all prestigious guests to arrive soon. The technology is in place for it.

Now, back to the quote at the top…In the day and age of a democratic Internet, customer service-society…if you are not focusing on speed, reassurance through customer service, and simplicity of process, it does not matter how good you are…people will always seek a simpler solution that offers the best quality. If they are not right now in your inner-circle, they cannot help but think about it or try it.