Jerry Horwath

December 11, 2020

Voiceover Trends for 2021

Whether new to voiceover or an established talent, it's essential to keep up with current trends. Like any industry, the service of voiceover changes over time, and what was your hot "go-to" voice (i.e., product) may no longer be. This leaves you less opportunity and less cash in your pocket.

 If you're seeking longevity, then study. Pay attention to national advertising and how voiceover is delivered on both a mechanical and emotional level. Rest assured, smaller marketing firms will be following suit in a trickle-down effect, thus propelling you ahead of the curve as the talent in the know and ready to deliver. 

Here's a Hint:
Emotional connectivity is vital in today's voiceover style. You'll see "real and conversational" frequently listed in specs, but it's better to read it as "connected."

A good voice actor first determines the writer's emotional intent, then creates a psychological tactic to connect the listener to that intent. Ultimately the chosen tactic dictates the mechanics of the performance – Not the other way around!

However, back to trends. Even as a performer, it's wise to observe and consider marketing trends which can include such things as: 

  • Product Types
  • Consumer Types
  • Location
  • Product Importance
  • Consumer Perception - perspective of self and from peers

Basically, you should be paying attention to everything marketers observe when trying to connect a brand to a consumer. We're speaking about commercial voiceover, but similar breakdowns can be made about voice over for games, animation, and documentaries, and just about every type of voice acting. 

trends we see coming

More voice over opportunities for women and minorities. 

Female talent will see a rise in opportunity, particularly in areas traditionally voiced by men. This is based on the continued national trend of equity. We also expect a rise in the overall diversity of talent, including non-native speakers in English-speaking roles, mainly in the corporate world.

An increase in E-Learning and Corporate Voice Over

Smaller businesses create content more than ever, so we'll see an increase in opportunities for more e-learning, explainer videos, and corporate videos. It's been on the rise for quite some time, and we see no signs of it stopping. You may want to consider honing your long-form copy skills to increase your bottom line.

Home Studios

Covid has obviously changed how business works, and voice over is no exception. While studios are still recording many national spots, voice talent will be expected to record from their home studio. It may be a good idea to step up your engineering skills. We dislike this trend, but sadly we believe it to be the reality due to covid, shrinking budgets, and inexperienced producers not understanding the distinct roles engineer and talent play.

Voice Over Rates Rising

Rates will increase overall, but we may see a rate divide between new voice talent and seasoned pros. This could ultimately lead to a rise in union work and, hopefully, a settling of rate fluctuations amongst all talent. If you haven't yet, check out our rate guide!

What trends do you see on the horizon? Are  you ready to capitalize? 

We'd love to hear what you think will change. What positive trends will we see? What negative trends do you suspect will occur? Leave your comment. 

About the author 

Jerry Horwath

Jerry is a veteran audio engineer who has recorded and directed thousands of voice overs for fortune 500 companies over his 25-year career. He's the former lead agent of Voicebox Talent and current principal engineer at Buzz Cutz Audio.

His well-rounded experience is matched only by his well-rounded body. He's fat and good at what he does.

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