What Fair Markets Are, And Why Voices.com Isn’t One
Any casting site you come across is just like the stock market. People come there to buy and sell, and the site is set up as a fair market.
That’s a very specific type of market, with several very clear responsibilities to both the buyers and sellers who participate in the market.
Here’s what the one single most important responsibility is…and why Voices.com fails at it.
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hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and my response to voices.com generated
a whole bunch of comments from you guys
and one of them was about you know why
are you judging voices.com for their
business practices I mean you want
people to judge you you know sure I do I
want people to judge me I’d like them to
judge me well awful lot of comments from
people saying yeah I completely get it I
understand I did the same thing no thank
and a couple that said what should we
expect from pay-to-play sites from
and the way I look at it absolutely a
casting site needs to have income so
they can maintain the platform right and
they need you know when you say somebody
charges three four five hundred dollars
a year to be a member of the platform
that helps them have a support team and
have an actual site and maintain that
site and so on but the goal is not just
to stay in business the goal is to have
a business that people respect a
business that is fair
and in particular when it comes to
matching voice buyers or voice seekers
on voice 1 2 3 with the talent that can
help make those voice dreams come true
you want there to be a fair market and a
fair market is best exemplified by the
real estate market where a transaction
doesn’t occur until the buyer and the
seller meet at some sort of price that
both of them can live with or on the
stock exchange where somebody sells a
stock to somebody who’s willing to buy
it at a particular price and kind of
what goes around that is the information
that both sides to the transaction have
available to them now you’ve seen people
get into real big trouble for using
insider information because that means
that the buyer if they have inside
information they can manipulate that and
get a better price or the seller if they
have inside information they can
manipulate that and get a better price
for them so the transaction that occurs
in a fair market is when both sides have
reasonable access to all the information
they need to make the decision as to
whether or not they want to engage in
that transaction when one side has an
advantage that’s not a fair market and
when the actual market itself
steps in and tilts the balance in favor
of one or the other or away from one or
the other that’s an unfair market and
that’s what I see with voices.com
because you as the seller of voice
services don’t know if the project is
managed and don’t know what the original
amount of money is that the buyer came
to the table with you know they might
have been willing to pay you a thousand
dollars but once voices.com steps in all
that’s available is 200 or 400 or 600
whatever it is and then there is the
other thing that came up again and again
in the comments and that is well my
agent only charges 10% my manager only
charges 10% and by law in California and
New York and I think in other places
around the world that are production
10% for an agent is actually the law
they can’t charge more than that now is
voices.com when they manage a project
doing more than an agent is actually not
there are people that would argue they
do owe they listen to all these
auditions and they they do all this
stuff well mmm
agents submit you for hundreds of
projects before you get asked to even
audition for one of them usually on
average it’s 200 projects for every
project that you audition for and even
less for the ones that you book with
manage manage project with voices.com
there’s no question they’re going to
make money there’s no question will they
be called in front audition they’re
actually managing from the producers
side not from the talent side so they
kind of leave the the cellar you the
talent without the information that you
need to determine whether or not you
even want to play in their marketplace
and that’s why a lot of people choose
the nuclear method or the nuclear option
which is to leave the marketplace or in
my case never even enter the marketplace
you know the other video that I talked
about was them wanting me to be part of
their coach’s program and I just choose
not to work in their marketplace and the
final thing I want to talk to you about
is the comments that a few people made
why weren’t you more vociferous about
your you know it’s telling them you know
just you know handing them their ass and
telling them you know there’s no way
that I would work for you you guys suck
and know that you know for me it was
number one it wasn’t necessary
and number two things could change it’s
possible not likely but it’s possible
will decide you know what we’re getting
so much blowback on all these different
angles from all this stuff maybe we
should take a second look at how we’re
things and they’ll change I don’t know
as it is right now though I don’t want
to be in their marketplace and the vast
preponderance of commenters on that
other video said the same thing but for
me it’s also any market that is unfair
to one side or the other is a market
that I would be suspect for you know if
the if the seller of a house knew that
the house was riddled with termites or
the buyer of the house knew that the
city was about to appropriate that
property like they had inside
information you know they would both
sides would be able to do use that to
their advantage and I say in this
particular case no one should be at a
disadvantage and I just really feel that
the sellers in this case the people that
are selling their voice services you
possibly could be at a disadvantage and
so that’s why I don’t want that to be
something that people don’t go unnoticed
what are your thoughts what do you think
about this there are a couple of people
that say how dare you judge who do you
think you are well I think I’m David H
Lawrence the seventeenth and I am able
to make decisions based on how I judge
things and I’m going to continue to do
that and hopefully it will benefit the
people to watch these videos I don’t
know let me know in the comments below
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play it for you I’m David H Lawrence the
seventeenth and I thank you so much for
watching and I will talk to you tomorrow.
I agree with how you handled it…
Am not sure of all the issues with v.com am very certain of 1 – in 4 months of contributing (to thei benefit) “hey look another voice participating in our casting call” my wife wonders if we can live long enough to ever see a benefit from our frenimies”
Hundreds x a lot of auditions
I would have thrown in the towel if outside feedback was less than supportive
Great fun and practice!
Outgoing – storytelling – relatable- announcery – not announcery – character – OTT – wise – – witty – whatever… “say your pwayers wabbit”
Accurate information is critical to the operation of a free market.
Totally agree with you. I have terminated my account with them.
I also agree with how you handled it. It’s better to be diplomatic in case things change in the future, even though there have been times when I let my frustrations get the better of me. You did the right thing. Thanks for the video David.
At m VO workout group, we had a VO talent who booked V123 job and when he turned up at the studio, he and the client were delighted to find they were former clients and old friends. The truth became apparent. V123 paid $300 to the VO actor. The client was surprised, because he allocated $1800 for the actor’s fee. V123 took $1500 commission.
As a VO artist, I cannot, will not support that kind of blatant greed.I could go on and on about the pay to play sites, but I’ll simply say, I’m out. My personal ethic of supporting fairness comes first. It’s not negotiable.
Hold on…are you sure it was Voice123? Didn’t you mean Voices.com? I’m not aware of any mechanism that would make it possible for Voice123 to be able to take a commission. If you meant Voices.com, please edit you comment to correct that. If you truly meant Voice123, I’d really like to discuss what happened with your friend.
I did contact Marlon by email and she replied:
The one out of Canada– is that Voices.com?
It was whoever the Canadian one is.”
Thanks for the info. Be weil.
On a 3rd person taking myself out of the equation, I generally try to handle a situation such as that the same way, without rancor or anger. Leaving the situation open for change. I wish I could say I always do that. I have enough red hair in my genetics that occasionally gets the better of me. I have been with voices.com and am still registered with them, but haven’t booked enough jobs to make it worth my while and after taking the Mastering how much to Charge module, I understand why. I just need to figure out how to market myself in other ways, particularly after reading Marlon’s comment above. How to go Aikido on this part of my journey.
Marlon Braccia… would you please clarify whether you were referring to Voices123 or Voices.com in your comments above.
We’re all waiting patiently …
I contacted Marlon by email and asked her. This was her reply:
The one out of Canada– is that Voices.com?
It was whoever the Canadian one is.”
I’m a member of Voices.Com and Voices123. When Voices.com started these managed jobs years ago I didn’t know they were skimiming money off the top and posting a lower figure.. My issue with them was that i was paying them an annual fee and was in essence paying them to judge my auditions before a client ever got to hear them. They were I felt hiring people off the street with no experience in voice-over. I called them at that time to try to get them to get rid of that department but to no avail. Before that I thought Voices.Com was tremendous.
Indeed, Stan. I went along for a while just not auditioning for managed jobs. It was easy then as they posted the jobs so they were listed as the buyer. Soon I began to feel that, even if I wasn’t doing managed jobs, just being a part of it was enabling them. I cut ties and have felt much cleaner ever since.
You are correct in that they have no experienced session or casting directors to qualify auditions. In fact they hire sales people and marketeers to sell their service. To top it off they have a Platinum Level where talent pay $5,000/yr for additional benefits. What do you want to bet that in a managed job they will get recommended to the buyer over you?
Thank you for providing this invaluable service.
I joined Voices.com during the changeover at the end of 2017, when many people in the industry were nervously giving it a “wait and see” approach. Shortly after that, most of my colleagues expressed their disappointment and/or left for many of the reasons you state here.
Here’s my honest experience:
– More than one person from Voices.com reached out to me and spent time on a call both encouraging me and providing me with a great deal of personalized advice and feedback, including tips on how to be successful at Voices.com
– The matches I got seemed to be very relevant.
– I ended up with more audiobook work than I could handle in 2018 (from outside of Voices.com), so I had to shelve my efforts to build a brand at Voices.com. They were happy to put my paid account on hold, and I can resume when I’m ready–so that was actually a nice plus, that my money wouldn’t be lost.
– Still, I noticed that while the matches were easily do-able, the jobs weren’t really very lucrative. I’d periodically look over some of the many incoming projects, but most were $100-150. Sometimes they’d go over $200 and the body of work is worth more than that.
– Sometimes I could find the same project or similar at Voice123 offering a higher rate.
I had a very educational conversation with one of the staffers there who talked about how many other moving parts any particular gig might have that required Voices.com to take your recording and put their shoulder to the wheel and deliver the finished product to the client.
However, none of my offered auditions actually give me the opportunity to be a part of that project, or volunteer any services beyond dry voice. They may just be laying a soundtrack under it and taking 80% of the pay for 5 minutes’ work, or they may be pulling in all sorts of complex assets and building a huge product. Maybe they’re doing lots of video editing. I don’t know, but I’m skeptical that this is actually happening for most of the projects I’d see come through.
Maybe transparency about the project(s) would go a long way towards rebuilding goodwill for them.