With 2016 still in its early infancy, it’s a pretty good time to talk about upcoming trends in the voice-over industry for the year ahead. There’s plenty of change on the horizon and business owners and voice artists alike should take heed. Here are six upcoming trends in particular that could shape the voice-over industry for many years to come.
#1: Video is becoming ever more important
Ask any digital marketer which format is content gold and almost all of them will tell you it’s video. Firms are investing more in video content every year and that means voice-overs will be playing an integral part of their content marketing efforts as well. A voice-over can tell stories and enhance the visual messages, acting as the voice of the brand. This leads me on to…
#2: Business wants a single ‘brand’ voice
Gone are the days where you can settle for any decent RP voice artist with a microphone in one hand and a packet of Strepsils in the other. In 2016 you need a voice that connects with your customers and staff in equal measure. Business needs a voice for their brand that isn’t lofty and authoritative; their brand needs to be approachable, one of us i.e. a brand voice that epitomises everything your audience expects from you as a business.
This means the selection process will be more calculated than ever and you’ll see more firms employing a single voice artist (or a select few) to be the consistent voice of their brand in everything they do from TV Commercials and product promo’s; to eLearning and telephone messages.
#3: The art of storytelling
Storytelling is now fundamental to every interaction brands have with their audience – and to tell a story you need a voice. Stories are easy to remember and can give brand’s a positive association.
Luckily, scriptwriters in this field are no strangers to crafting compelling stories. However, the key to brand storytelling is that tales begin long before the opening line and carry on beyond the final credits. Every piece of content works as a building block for the wider story and that means a voice-over will be act as one chapter in a much bigger picture.
#4: Foreign audiences are growing
We recently blogged about the increasing focus from video game publishers on the Arabic audience, and this is true for every other sector too. One of the biggest selling points of voice-over in global marketing is the ability to produce a single video and localise it for an international audience by translating and recording dialogue in every language you need. And this will be vital for firms that invest more in video this year, but languages aren’t the only variation you have between different audiences.
In any given language you’ll be interacting with people at different stages of the buying process – from casual browsers to people itching to click that buy button. So why not target these users at different stages with explainer style voice-overs scripted to nudge them further along the buying process?
#5: Home studios are in demand more than ever
The cost of setting up a professional home recording studio has gone down significantly in recent years. Voice actors with home studios continue to be in high demand, more than ever before because they can offer a high quality, a fast turn-around and at a lower cost than you may pay to an agency or studio. It can make producing multiple languages simultaneously much less time consuming. For example a 2 minute corporate promo voiced in 20 languages may take a traditional studio 2 weeks or more to turn-around, but a studio that uses talent with home studios could have it all done in a matter of days.
#6: Celebrities continue to take high-profile voice acting roles
Hollywood is obsessed with casting nearly every character voice role with an A-list celebrity and this trend continues to work its way into the videogame industry and the small screen as well. This leaves little room for the traditional voice actors to land the big title gigs. As celebrities fill more of these roles, voice-over professionals will need to look to indie game titles and the corporate markets to make do. Both these sectors continue to grow and there is plenty of opportunity for voice actors who can market themselves to studios working in these sectors.
So there you have it – the voice-over trends that really matter in 2016. As video continues to dominate the content marketing scene it will shape a lot of what we do here at Matinée. And as Indie game development continues to explode, we’ll see more and more voice actors getting character roles, but not necessarily with the biggest paying roles. We hope you’ll join us in being part of the journey.