We work in an environment filled with audios and voices. Voices are frequently being used in industries like E-learning, IVRs and audiobooks which are foreseeing immense growth. So what are the reasons due to which ‘voice’ is dominating in every sphere? Brands and companies these days know that to capture customers attention it is essential to impactfully engage them. As people respond and retain better when exposed to visuals and sounds, most of the marketing campaigns and advertisements are incorporating audios and images/visuals due to which there seems to be a lot of potential for voice talent and artists.
The voice over industry has also gone through a drastic change since the 1990s and 2000s when there weren’t many advanced and sophisticated equipment for voice over recordings. Earlier the microphones had difficulties in picking up high frequencies, especially that of women and child voices, hence male voices were preferred for making any announcement or voice overs in general. Also, most of the work was done for radio commercials and television advertisement voice over. But with the advancement in technology today, women today perform almost half of all voice over jobs and the voice overs are now more ‘narration-oriented’ as the E-learning and audiobook industry are evolving remarkably.
Some of the recent trends that the voice over industry has witnessed are:
- With an increase in voice overs in different languages and accents, English still remains the preferred language: Well, the reason isn’t difficult to understand. About 1.5 billion people in the world speak English, with 360 million people having English as their native language. With brands and organisations focussing more on people’s local and geographical languages, there has been an increase in voice overs being done in specific accents, dialects and different languages. As companies want to create an emotional connection with the audience by creating a hyper-local feel, they want voice overs in the native languages of the customers. But the demand and requirement of English voice overs still top the list.
- Social Media and Education sector have an enormous potential: Internet and social media platforms have become an essential part of this generation’s lifestyle. Marketers know that this area can be explored for generating revenue, hence there is a tremendous increase in promoting campaigns, events and announcements via voice-overs in the online market. Also, as corporate offices, schools and colleges are opting for E-learning courses, the education sector has boomed globally for voice actors and voice over agencies.
- Human voice is still picked over synthetic ones: It’s not a secret that voice interacting technologies are evolving everyday. With more and more work being done in the fields of AI, virtual assistants and machine learning, new developments have taken place in speech recognition and voice biometrics. But it’s safe to say that human voice and interaction is still preferred by everyone for communication and for carrying out business functions. Infact voice over actors can seek new opportunities in projects related to Artificial Intelligence and computerized voices domain.
- Gender and Pay disparity: NO MORE! Earlier male voices - mostly with a deep baritone, were preferred for carrying out the voice-over jobs. But with advancement in microphones and other studio equipment and more women in the workforce, the voice over industry has also seen a rise with about 50% women to men ratio. Given the speed of this trend, females may even surpass the difference in pay scale in the coming years as companies are opting more for female voice-overs to make their content sound ‘relatable and believable’.
Keeping these trends in mind while seeking voice talent services for your next project may come handy to you or your organisation!
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