Crowdsourcing is quickly becoming a powerful productivity tool in the modern market. In many fields, crowdsourcing solutions are ultimately cheaper and more efficient than traditional methods. This trend of increased efficiency and decreased cost is particularly noticeable in the realm of the voice-over; in an article from Marketplace, “Could Crowdsourcing Talent Online Create Jobs?”, author David Brancaccio explores the effect that crowdsourcing has had on the voice-over industry, and what these effects imply regarding the future of the market.
In particular, Brancaccio focuses on a company called VoiceBunny. VoiceBunny is an online service that allows clients and voice actors to more easily connect with one another; “client offers a script online and people who know how to read aloud offer their services”. Additionally, the software itself helps clients find the most suitable talent for their specific script.
Ultimately, this service is significantly cheaper for companies because of the lack of overhead costs. Rather than hiring voice over actors, perhaps renting studio space, and distributing the final recording themselves, companies are able to get a good-quality voiceover for “$11…plus a $2.20 service fee”. Because they work as independent contractors, the voice-over artists themselves are responsible for providing and maintaining their own equipment. Additionally, VoiceBunny offers podcasting services; through these services, clients can purchase spoken versions of their articles. These spoken versions can then be distributed by VoiceBunny or by the authors themselves.
Because of its cheapness and its ease of use, however, VoiceBunny does have interesting implications regarding the future of the voice-over market. Though many voice-over artists still receive the majority of their income “from bigger gigs outside of [the VoiceBunny] service”, many of the jobs available on VoiceBunny are ones that, in the past, would have gone to more local voice-recording artists. What was once a local market has become a globalized one and, consequently, more people are able to offer and be paid for their services. Indeed, services like VoiceBunny have the potential to change how the market as a whole operates; it is not inconceivable to imagine that hosting duties of local radio shows may one day be crowdsourced as well.