Online platforms vs. booking agencies. Who’s more relevant?

3 min read

It’s a question we hear frequently: Online platforms vs. booking agencies. Who’s more relevant? By definition, voice casting is the process of auditioning and selecting the right voice actor for a specific purpose. That purpose can be TV or radio commercials, corporate narrations, documentaries, online tutorials, audiobooks, animation, video games, IVR, etc.

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

It used to be a convoluted process that was very expensive and would take quite a while.

Online platforms vs. booking agencies: man standing in studio
Photo by Davis Sanchez from Pexels

Agents or voice casting agencies would take care of the convolution by acting as intermediaries between clients and voice actors. They would have a pool of voice actors contracted to them. From this pool, they would choose a selection of voices that suited the client’s brief (most often 3-5) best. The client would then make the final call based on the demo compact cassettes supplied by the agency or following live auditions in a commercial studio that the agency arranged.

The rise of the internet

The Internet Revolution changed everything, and it was Voice123 that prompted change in the voice over industry. Voice123 became the very first online voice casting platform and still leads where others follow today.

In conjunction with the digitization of recording and the rapid development of suitable software, both established voice actors and aspirant newbies could afford their own recording equipment and started working from within their own environments.

The home studio industry boomed.

These days, you’re unlikely to find voice actors who don’t work from the comfort of their own homes.

Online marketplaces rule

There’s no way around it: the demand for stereotypical industry middlemen housed in brick-and-mortar offices, is all but dead. Online voice over platforms can instantly and seamlessly connect voice actors with clients.

Voice over projects get completed quickly. Delivery is in an hour or less. What’s more, clients have access to tens of thousands of voice actors with the click of a computer mouse. They can search, listen to samples, and pick & choose at will.

The diversity of an online marketplace is unbeatable. It really has become a game-changer. For example:

Overall cost reduction: 

Working through a booking agency involves considerable cost as the director or production manager will need to deal with several people. Apart from that, the process also encompasses other overheads, such as transportation, meals, and other possible expenses.

Sourcing talent online saves a heap of time and effort since you just have to post a project. The online platform does the rest. You just have to listen to the proposals you receive before finalizing your selection.

Convenience: 

With remote work on the rise globally, both client and voice actor can work from the comfort of their own environments. Apart from money saved by not having to rent a studio for auditions, there’s no time wasted on the commute, either. Booking is easy, communication with the actor is as simple as messaging, and quotes & agreements are effortless.

Online platforms vs. booking agencies: man in front of a laptop holding a credit card
Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

Making payment is much easier, too. Voice123 now offers a secure payment and delivery service which makes the whole process dependable and worry-free for all parties involved.

Local and international talent: 

For several years, many talent managers and agents argued that the best voice actors weren’t available on the rosters of online casting platforms.

This has changed — although we’re not talking about celebrity voices, of course.

Because online casting platforms often have membership tiers for voice actors (that come with various perks and benefits), top professionals have not only embraced the online environment but are also easy to find when searching for voices.

These days, clients also have instant access to any voice actor — and practically any language — in the world. Clients have said to us that they’re finding it much easier to establish long-lasting relationships with voice actors because they deal with one another directly.

Online platforms vs. booking agencies. Who’s more relevant?

Despite the innumerable benefits online voice casting platforms offer, there are definitely times when an agency serves a very distinct purpose. Top companies often still prefer working with agencies and their marketing departments may either have, or hire the services of, a casting director.

Video game developers also tend to work through agencies — especially if they have numerous characters to cast. It would be too laborious a process to try to do that online singlehandedly. Voice actors specializing in post-roll ads tend to come through agencies as well.

Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

In the final analysis

The voice over market is fiercely competitive — and clients benefit from this. Online casting platforms have driven prices down because there are so many more voice actors competing for the jobs available. Still, it’s tough to keep a good voice actor down. Those who are really talented and invest in their careers do very well indeed. As far as the agencies are concerned, they serve their own niche market and they serve it well. There’s no reason why both online platforms and agencies can’t make a living in the same space.

One thing is certain, however: if you’re looking for wonderfully talented and professional voice actors, you need look no further than Voice123!