– In part 1, you learned how we got to the point in the industry where the Rate Guide was needed. Now, in part 2, find out about the origin of the Rate Guide and how it all got started!


“So how’d you guys come up with the Rate Guide?” Man, if I got booked for every time that’s been asked! It’s an interesting story actually. I’ll try and give you the cliff notes version.

First, let’s take a look back at the genesis of the Rate Guide. As a student of the GVAA, I asked Cristina Milizia for help determining rates for one of my first clients. Cristina was amazing, of course, helping me with my quote and then sending me some rates resources to look over I decided to make a rate sheet for myself with the resources provided, in hopes of avoiding the same issue with my next client. After sharing this sheet with Cristina, she instantly envisioned the opportunity to create what would become the current Rate Guide. Little did I know, Cristina was already discussing fair rates with fellow VO colleagues.

We compiled numerous rates from various industry professionals with years of experience spanning the many categories of Professional Voice Over including multiple industry rates resources. The result of which became the first GVAA Rate Guide. The timing couldn’t have been better; Cristina had the VO connections and I had the practical skill set from my previous life as an analyst.

The goal of the Rate Guide was to educate voice talent of every level to what fair rates are, impress upon the importance of fighting for fair rates, and provide a medium for fair rate education to take shape. With the overwhelming interest, adoption, and support from the VO Community, the Rate Guide quickly blossomed in size and scope – adding categories, usage options, market rate data, best practices, and international rates to name a few.

We are now proud to say that talent across the world is using the Rate Guide to help quote their projects and educate their clients. Recently, the Rate Guide has been referred to as the most comprehensive rates resource in the industry and we couldn’t be happier 🙂

Guide to the Rate Guide

“I love the Rate Guide, but it’s a little confusing” is a common theme we see in requests for assistance on how to understand and utilize the Rate Guide. We love answering questions and helping fellow VO talent but it’s obvious a little explanation is in order. The following “Guide to the Rate Guide” will hopefully make things a little clearer.

The Rate Guide is broken down into VO categories and subsections within each category. Here are a few examples:

  • Commercial – TV, Radio, Online, Internet Streaming
    • TV/Radio – National, Regional, Local
  • Promo/Imaging – Radio, TV, Trailers
  • Non-Broadcast – Narration, Corporate Videos, Industrial Narration, Medical Narration

Within each category and subsection rates are listed based on job type, job length, type of usage, and usage length (buyout).

  • Commercial – job types refer to the geographic reach of the spot in terms of the usage length.
    • National TV – 1 Year Buyout
    • Local Cable – 1 Year Buyout
    • Internet & TV Broadcast – 8wk, 6mo, and 1yr usage
  • Non-Broadcast – job types are similar so we break rates down by job length and usage
    • Corporate Video Narration – 1-2 min video, 3-5 min video
    • Narration – 0-5mins, 5-10mins, etc
    • E-Learning – Per Finished Min (PFM) & Per Finished Word (PFW)

This convention repeats through the different VO categories – allowing for relevant adjustments based on category content.

We realize that talent have different levels of proficiency and business models, so we implemented an average rate structure. This allows flexibility when quoting, empowers talent to take control of their worth, and gives confidence that they are quoting a fair rate that doesn’t diminish their value or the value of the VO industry.

Notes with pertinent information regarding each category, subsection, job types, etc., are included as well. These usually focus on usage rights.

There you have it! Remember, our rate guide is a live document and is always evolving and improving! If you have rate information you’d like to contribute or questions about the Rate Guide itself, please send them to me at dtoback@globalvoiceacademy.com


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