Understanding the Different Genres of Voiceover (and what they pay)

business genres voiceover Aug 19, 2021

Did you know there are 11 main genres of voiceover? And that doesn’t include the sub genres under each of those!

You may be familiar with TV commercials and radio ads, but you may not be familiar with the other genres of voiceover that Voice Actors get paid to work on every day.

Today I want to help you understand the seven most popular genres of voiceover and what Voice Actors can possibly get paid for each one.

Note: All rates are based on the GVAA Rate Guide.

1. TV Broadcast

TV commercials or ads that are broadcast include local, regional, and national commercials. Everything from your local hardware store’s ad to the national ads you see for McDonald’s are considered TV broadcast because they are being broadcast, or aired, on regular TV.


Depending on the market, one broadcast TV spot could pay anywhere from $400 for a three month run time for a local ad, to $3500 for a year run time for a national ad. There is a lot more money in TV ads both for Voice Actors and (potentially) the companies that run them, so that’s one reason the payout for these jobs is quite a bit higher than most other genres.

2. Non-broadcast

Unlike TV broadcast, non-broadcast spots are exactly what they sound like - videos that are not broadcast or aired to the general population. These include…

  • Corporate & Industrial narrations - voiceover projects for corporate and industrial purposes like corporate training or internal videos a company uses to talk about the company, train employees, etc. and the payout for these kinds of videos is anywhere from $350 for 1-2 minutes of audio to $2350 for up to an hour of audio.

  • Explainer videos - no more than 90 seconds long and are used to educate viewers on a product, service, company, etc. These can be animated with cartoon-like characters and scenery, or include stock footage of people and places. The payout for these videos ranges from $300-525 per video.

  • Medical narrations - voiceovers that explain medical specific topics. These can be for hospitals, a pharmaceutical drug or company, etc. The payout for these videos ranges anywhere from $400 for 1-2 minutes of audio to $2400 for up to an hour of audio. Notice how these narrations are slightly more expensive than the average explainer video? That’s because medical narrations often have complicated language outside of the layman’s normal vocabulary, and yes, that means the Voice Actor gets paid more. Win!

3. Video games, toys and games

A popular genre to say the least, video games, voices for toys and any kind of at home game that requires a voice are a genre in and of themselves in voiceover.
Video games are by far the most popular genre outside of animation. Not only for a lot of Voice Actors but for consumers as well. Though popular, they don’t pay as much as say, commercials. The average video game job ranges from $200-400/hour for non-union Voice Actors.

Voiceovers for toys and games, depending on the type of toy or game, pay anywhere from $500-$750 for a 2 hour recording session.

4. Radio Broadcast

Radio broadcast voiceover is similar to TV broadcast but rates for these jobs are much smaller. The average radio broadcast job ranges anywhere from $250 for a three month run time to $1700 for a national ad on a year run time.

5. E-learning

E-learning, or electronic learning, means that educational material is utilizing electronic means, i.e. the internet, to share educational information. So voiceovers for e-learning projects are simply adding voiceovers on top of educational material. This is similar to what we talked about for corporate and industrial voiceover recordings. If the material is strictly educational, it is considered e-learning.

Payouts for these jobs range anywhere from $600 an hour for RAW audio to $3300 an hour for edited audio, depending on how technical the language of the project is.

6. Web Usage/Internet Videos (broadcast & non-broadcast)

Think of any and all videos you’ve seen on the internet - both advertisements and general website info. These jobs are under the genre web usage and can include broadcast paid placement for social media, broadcast paid placement on the internet like YouTube and streaming services, and internet radio like Pandora or Spotify. This genre also includes non-broadcast web videos that outline general information about a company, explainer videos, as we discussed before, podcasts, YouTube content, and digital greeting cards.
The broadcast jobs start at $400 for a three month run time in a local market and up to $4000 for a one year run time in a national market, depending on the particular type of broadcast media.

7. Animation

Animation is exactly what you’re thinking - any voices for characters in a Pixar film you’ve seen or an adaptation of your favorite manga, animation is a super popular genre for Voice Actors and the world at large. Animation refers to Feature Film, Animation, Animated Series, and Direct to DVD.

These jobs pay about $1000 per session for an 11-22 minute episode on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. And if you’ve been hired to dub an animation, you could get paid $75-200/hr, depending on the platform on which the animation will be placed.

To Wrap Up

The world of voiceover is HUGE. It includes any type of job you can think of that requires a voice to share a message. Everything from the training you have to take at work to the voice that comes on the overhead speaker at Home Depot talking about how much they value you as a customer - it’s all voiceover, and usually these are jobs that hire out professionals.
The genres we talked about today in no way encompass the entire industry, but they’ll provide you with a good idea of the kind of work Voice Actors do on a normal basis and will hopefully give you some inspiration if this is a career you’re interested in pursuing.

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