Breaking news: Children revolt get paid better than adults for online voice work

Posted on July 13, 2012 by


Did you ever look at voice over work on Voice123, and ask yourself, “Who gets paid the most?”. The majority of work posted falls under the demographic of “Middle-Age” male or female, but in the past 2 years, the jobs paying the most go to…

Unfortunately, for those who do character voices I am referring to “real children“. Almost every profile for only a child was set up by a parent, already on Voice123 as a premium subscriber. Why did this happen? For very simple reasons:

  • Disappearing privacy making online work more transparent
  • Children have become more visible online due to social media.
  • The majority of voice talent you find online, that do child voice work, are adults.
  • There is a greater demand to find a “real child” voice.
  • The demand is amplified by the simple fact that most child voice talent can only work during the summer months in North America. (Voice123 is 74% North American voice talent)
  • The shortage of supply with greater demand means higher value for a “professional real child voice”.

In the past 2 years, we began getting emails directly from agents building a talent stable (I received one, too. They found I was 39, and never wrote again), and clients asking us personally, “Do we knew any real child voices available?” Clients like this were only satisfied with hearing a “real child voice”. Clients still are apprehensive about contacting the child directly, and ask us at times if we know anyone. I believe this happens because:

  • Working with a child as a freelance artist is very new.
  • All states have child labor laws
  • From country to country, laws differ.
  • It is also up to the parent’s discretion as to how much the child will get paid

In addition, children have more spare time to communicate online, and therefore may be more visible than an adult. There are still lots of questions to be asked and answered on how to handle this, especially given that we have learned during Quality Assurance of demos, that adults have used child pics to cover their identities and appear “real”. At one point, we did not let children create profiles, unless we spoke with their parents first. We have an offer that we do every summer that some have taken advantage of. Without naming names,  in the last two weeks, we learned of a child getting $4000 and a recurring contract to do a series of children’s audiobooks, from a Voice123 contact. Also, a parent expressing to me today, that her child has made more money from Voice123 in the past month than she did, right before setting up a phone patch for her son.

Would you be ok with your child working in voice overs online, if you were managing the process?