Shootout at the O-K Corral

by | General

Here we are back again talking about the “wild wild west”.  (What a great dance tune!) The discourse is about the winds of change and the “writing on the wall” of the voice-over industry with respect to the old paradigm; Talent Agengy, Ad Agency, talent and unions, versus the online “Voiceover Marketplace” of today.

The Voxdaily blog entry yesterday stirred the pot and there are excellent links to follow and the threads to the discussion are interesting, to say the least.

Be sure to read the post and observations by my blogging guru, Bob Souer, “Change is the only constant”. It’ll get you thinking about where you are (or aren’t) in your v-o career.

While the Voxdaily post naturally offers their own arguments ( although it’s almost like a commercial announcement with numerous links to their own pages within this post) it makes for an interesting read. All the links back to the site will be especially beneficial to new entrants to the business, ie newbies.

Of course, the “big mouth” in me compelled me to chime in as one of the last comments in the threads:

“All I can offer here from my perspective, so as not to repeat what’s already been stated; in general, anyone in the industry (especially start-ups in these challenging economic times) is that only time will tell who the strongest are, as they will remain standing.

The prevailing economic climate and its impact,and overall industry paradigm is unfolding before our eyes. It is a wild ride.

It is a fine line we straddle for success as a voice artist, balancing our art with solid business sense, requiring sometimes simultaneous left and right-brained activity. Sure, just about anybody can talk, and undoubtedly many will be told they have a great voice, and there is a low barrier to entry. Seems like everyone and their brother can teach, too. Parlaying all this “stuff” into a long successful career is another matter.

Like any business cycle, some will acheive or sustain success, go out of business, or simply give up and move on to work that WILL pay their bills.”

SOMBODY, leave me a comment, please.


  1. Hi Bobbin,

    Thanks for covering the article on your blog! It certainly has garnered a lot of attention and I’m eager to see the responses waiting in the wings from those who haven’t commented yet.

    Just to note, the links in the post are there to support the argument and direct people to read the comments of others on those specific topics. I hope it doesn’t come across as a commercial… it was meant to be a resource and way to provide that info without having to make the blog post into a thesis 🙂

    Have a great weekend and enjoy that glorious weather. We’re going to have 32 degree celsius days here. Oh boy!

    Best wishes,


  2. Hi Stephanie,
    First of all, you’re a respected friend, and you’re completely entitled to support your argument as you see fit.  Without a doubt, your site has some valuable resources. If were my business, I’d absolutely do exactly the same, and yes, sparring the thesis!

    Weather here in So. Cal is gorgeous today. Have a lovely weekend!



  3. Ok, this will be my first posting and it comes with only a few (2) years of experience. So this is how I see it:

    The VO industry is a service industry just like Accountancy or Law. In those industries, firms have specialized departments – tax, audit, accounting, real estate, etc…like audiobooks, commercials, promo’s, corporate, etc.

    When economic times are tough, we see 2 things happen – Bankruptcy and Consolidation. Bankruptcy is self evident but Consolidation is when firms will look to purchase other firms. BUT, they make a choice based on their market – either purchase other firms that specialize in areas they themselves are not strong in – for example the tax department of another firm; or they purchase a firm with the same discipline to take advantage of economies of scale and become bigger and better than the rest.

    In other words, we, as self employed businesses, need to know our markets. Who are our target customers? What can we offer to our customers in those markets? What is the current demand in those markets? Do we want to be the best corporate voice out there or can we survive as a specialized audiobook talent or will we better off as a “jack of all trades”? Yes, I realize, it sounds like a marketing lecture but that isn’t my intention. I believe that there is enough work out there for everyone who single-mindedly goes out and gets it and that means putting in the time, effort and research to answer those questions above.


    Some years ago, after many tournament wins and millions of dollars in prize money, the legendary Tiger Woods went back to his trainers and re-learned his swing. Why? Because he saw where his industry was going and he saw his own flaws and he realized to continue to compete at his level or better he would have to re-educate himself and adapt to his new environment.

    Yes, our industry is highly competitive, and as in every industry you need to hustle – that’s the same in every industry in the world.

    If you love what you do, you learn the rules of the game like the back of your hand, you’re ready to adapt to industry changes, you’re very flexible with your time, you take a moment to think about your next move, you keep educating yourself and you go and get what you want and deserve.

    James Clamp (the very optimistic Brit)

  4. Excellent commentary, James, and dead on!  Thanks for sharing your opinion here.

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