Going Rate for Commercial Voice Recording?

I’ve been asked to do some voice recording for a company apparently producing listening tests for Taiwanese High School students. Contact is an ex-student of translation here, now working for them.

Apparently they wanted a British native speaker (bit surprising?). Havn’t seen any script yet but expect the worst.

Whats the going rate for this kind of thing? I expect they’ll be going cheap, milking that guanxchi thingy with the boss, and, while it probably won’t take long enough to be a significant amount of money anyway, I don’t want to accept a rate that undercuts the market.

Bit more info. They are apparently offering 600NT an hour, which I think is roughly my pay rate here for class teaching.
Is that an acceptable rate for commercial voice recording?

This question gets asked at least once a year on Forumosa. Not to be snarky, but you could do a little search first before posting.

Recording English teaching material is not the same as recording CF (commercial film). CF voice work includes things like TV commercial voice-overs, product intros, documentaries, shopping channel stuff, etc.

Standard rates for recording English teaching material is $1000 per hour and most announcers have a 3 hour minimum when getting booked for a single gig. I would strongly advise you not to take less than $1000 per hour. These rates have been in effect for roughly 25 years now and really need to go up, not down.

[quote=“k.k.”]This question gets asked at least once a year on Forumosa. Not to be snarky, but you could do a little search first before posting.

Recording English teaching material is not the same as recording CF (commercial film). CF voice work includes things like TV commercial voice-overs, product intros, documentaries, shopping channel stuff, etc.

Standard rates for recording English teaching material is $1000 per hour and most announcers have a 3 hour minimum when getting booked for a single gig. I would strongly advise you not to take less than $1000 per hour. These rates have been in effect for roughly 25 years now and really need to go up, not down.[/quote]

Thanks. I did do a search but didn’t find anything. Armed with your info. I searched again and found this “What’s the pay for voice recording?” thread

forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtop … s#p1135033

There seems to be some disagreement/variation in rates, with a couple of mentions of 1000 NT as a standard rate, but a couple of other posters suggesting that the rate has dropped, though its not always clear what material they are recording, which might make a difference.

“I did it for a couple of years to earn some extra cash while I was building my business and at the beginning it paid very well. Usually at least 900/hour, however that quickly changed and all the offers were around 600/hour and even lower. Hence, I can’t be bothered with it anymore.”

“I used to do some voice recording for TV commercials in the early 2000s. It was hourly and the pay was excellent (NT$2000/hour). It was great work. But the studio moved to Shanghai and I hear from people who still do this that the pay is much lower these days.”

k.k. is the real thing and knows what he’s talking about – particularly with reference to the rates not having changed for many years and needing to trend upward, not downward. (Plus, he’s fun to record with…)

My then nine year old son was paid 1500 per hour in Kaohsiung. That’s been 8 or 9 months ago.

Thanks ironlady. (The feeling is mutual of course.)

Good for him. If people are able to get above $1000 per hour for recording of English teaching material, that’s a step up from where it’s been at for all these years.

Those who do ‘explanation’ recordings usually get $1500 per hour. Those include EZ Talk (which I believe is now toast), and Live ABC, among others.

It’s much higher actually, and always has been. TV commercials are paid by the job, not by the hour, but I’m sure some have been fleeced into doing it for that hourly price scheme. A 30sec TV commercial on average pays $5000, and that’s if it’s only broadcast domestically. If it is being sent to other regions or used globally, you can be talking about some serious coin. A client who gets someone in to do TV commercial recordings by the hour is taking advantage big time. If you’re good at what you do, you could reel off several TV spots in an hour’s time, for example. Normally each 30sec spot would be worth $5000 minimum, but the client paying just $2000 for the hour is really ugly.

I suppose that is no different than foreigners getting recruited off the street to appear in TV commercials or photo shoots and getting paid a few thousand NT$ for their time. If you’re in the know and work in the industry, you know the rates for such work are much more than just a few thousand.

OK. I’ll turn it down then.

Hope they don’t get some American to fake British, though.(Chin-chimmery, cor blimey, strike a light, forty fahsand fevva’s on a frush, milady.)

[quote=“k.k.”]This question gets asked at least once a year on Forumosa. Not to be snarky, but you could do a little search first before posting.

Recording English teaching material is not the same as recording CF (commercial film). CF voice work includes things like TV commercial voice-overs, product intros, documentaries, shopping channel stuff, etc.

Standard rates for recording English teaching material is $1000 per hour and most announcers have a 3 hour minimum when getting booked for a single gig. I would strongly advise you not to take less than $1000 per hour. These rates have been in effect for roughly 25 years now and really need to go up, not down.[/quote]

Yeah, we sometimes outsource this at my job, and it’s at least 3000 (usually more) per 3-hour session, regardless of if it takes the entire 3 hours.

Good for him. If people are able to get above $1000 per hour for recording of English teaching material, that’s a step up from where it’s been at for all these years.

Those who do ‘explanation’ recordings usually get $1500 per hour. Those include EZ Talk (which I believe is now toast), and Live ABC, among others.[/quote]

I just gave my information as reference. I’m not an expert at this. When I did voice work, years ago, recording teaching materials, I was paid sometimes 1000 per hour and sometimes 600. I never knew there was a standard price. My son was maybe a bit of a special case because he has no accent in English and advanced English reading skills that made it easy for him to pronounce “big” words. They did mention that a child like this is difficult to find in southern Taiwan.

Turned it down citing the pay rate as my reason. Contact said he’d speak to his boss and get back to me, but I don’t expect to hear from them again.

I’ve also been told that signing a contract with the recording company (which they apparently require to get copyright on the sound) might endanger my ARC/work permit. Dunno if that’s true but it doesn’t seem worth risking.

Sorry for digging out an old thread, but perhaps an update would be useful not only for me. My questions:

-Is 1000NT/hour still the going rate for recording teaching material?

-As I believe that the above discussion was aboutvoice only recordings, what about the rate for video?

-What about recordings of teaching material in languages other than English (German, French, Spanish, Japanese, etc.)?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Not current information but maybe showing a relationship: I used to get offered less money to record Spanish than for English. Don’t know if that is still the case of not. Might be because of the perception that English speakers come/came from the US/Canada but Spanish speakers from poorer countries (not true, I realize, but we’re talking about perception, not reality)?