Express Yourself Through Voice-over

The Voice-over Ecosystem

Much like the ecosystem’s that exist in our world such as the temperate forests, deserts or oceans, there’s also an ecosystem in voice-over.  In this article I’m going to break down a 30,000-foot view of the major elements and contributing factors that make up the opportunities for work within our global voice-over ecosystem.

First I’ll you a little bit about myself, my name is Michael Daingerfield, I have been a voice-actor for 27 years, I am rep’d in all major markets, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, I work and audition on a constant basis, I am currently the voice of Vick’s (8 different products), Travelers Insurance, Honda, Jensen’s Jewellers, Captain America on Lego Marvel Avengers, Patchy on Gigantosaurus, Mr. Hans on Duck on Call and the Narrator on Rust Valley Restorers.  I am also the founder and co-director of On The Mic Training, a voice-over school that is based out of Vancouver and Toronto.  We currently offer the only Diploma Program in voice-over in the English speaking world as well as a very robust part time program – both programs are offered in-studio and online.  I have literally taught and/or directed thousands of students and seen the ascent of many performer’s careers in my time with On The Mic since it started in 2007.

I believe there are 3 major sections of the ecosystem from the perspective of where to find work.  Agents, P2P sites such as and voice123 and Free online platforms such as Fiverr, Bunny Studio and Upwork.

Let’s start at what would be considered the lowest tier of where to find work: Free online platforms.  The data has come out and it’s showing that on a daily basis there is more booked voice-over work on Fiverr than any other platform in the world.  There’s often a lot of judgment about this type of work – because some people do jobs for literally ten dollars and it’s also said that this is contributing to the ‘race to the bottom’.  I see it differently.  I believe Fiverr is filling a gap in the voice-over ecosystem that was always there.  Not everyone can afford to go through the traditional higher end systems, they are happy with less skilful talent and also don’t want to go through a casting process either – so this fills the gap.  And as my real estate agent friend says – the market will decide what your house is worth.  So some buyers don’t value voice-over the way others do – and that’s ok – because that’s not everyone.  For up and coming talent it gives them a chance to work, build credits, earn some money, develop their professional workflow, and eventually raise their rates and actually acquire some legitimate clients.  And ultimately some talent will decide to leave this platform because it’s not worth their time.

In the middle tier you have P2P sites like and voice123, they also have been faulted as contributing to the ‘race to the bottom’ but again they are filling a gap in the market that did exist 15 to 20 years ago, and enough buyers have used these sites to make them legitimate places to find solid pro talent who are also happy to ‘pay to play’.  These sites are also not going anywhere, and yes, there are certain, I’ll call it ‘accounting practices’ that are done by these sites, that many have complained about, and it appears to be getting better, but in the end this is a good place to find opportunities for solid paying work and ongoing clients that will truly contribute to your career.

At the high end of the ecosystem is agent-based work.  This is the oldest part of the ecosystem and there is so much infrastructure built around it that it will truly never go away.  There are too many people involved from all sides of the glass that make this thrive.  Yes, there are always going to be union vs. non-union issues to solve, but too many people feed this system on a daily basis for it to dissolve.  This is the tier in the ecosystem that offers the highest paying work and the best opportunities in all genres of voice-over.  So it’s definitely in your best interest to get the best agent(s) you can in order to receive the best opportunities!

Another part of the ecosystem is audiobook work on platforms such as ACX and recorded podcast work which is becoming more and more popular even with agents.  I believe Audiobooks is still in its infancy of where it’s actually going to land in terms of opportunities and payment per recorded hour.  Audiobooks are definitely not going anywhere as they are only increasing in numbers and genres.  Recorded podcast work is also increasing everyday with more and more podcasts being developed around the world.  Audiences are definitely hungry for audio!

Well there’s a snapshot of the voice-over ecosystem from a ‘where the work’ is perspective.  A huge component of being able to compete in any of part of the ecosystem is having a home studio with broadcast quality output.  And the speed and efficiency to run your software, sound interface etc.  Not to mention the marketing tools such as a website, demos and a solid understanding of your branding.

The voice-over ecosystem is going to be a continually evolving mechanism for all of us and it’s completely normal to exist in more than one tier of the ecosystem, not everyone is strictly auditioning for high end agent work, but as long as you’re moving towards the next tier with strong intention and goals you will find your way to a successful career!

Until next time, I’ll see you On The Mic!


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