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French voice over
What are the French voice over rates ?
February 16, 2017
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Voice over rates in France

What are the usual French voice over rates ? How much does a commercial voice over cost in France ? Can any voice talent send an invoice ?

 Pricing for a corporate project

Corporate projectTime is money

Here is a voice over rates card of what I have been seeing on average for the past two years in France:

  • 100 € minimum whatever the duration.
  • 300 € from 5 to 10 minutes
  • 500 € for 30 minutes
  • 750 € for 1 hour

Please note I only took into consideration French professional voice artists. You may always find cheaper prices searching for very new French voices or translators with basic recording equipment.

Commercials voice over rates

The cost of a commercial voice over depends on two things : the recording session and the buyout.
For those who don't know what buyout mean, it can be translated as royalty in UK and usage or residual fee in the US. Basically, this is the money perceived by an actor or a voice talent for the time the commercial will be broadcasted.
So now it's getting a bit more complex, let's see the different buyouts according to the broadcast media.

TV commercial's buyout

First, for a national TV channel, the buyout will be around 400% of the session. Let's say the commercials was 30 sec dubbing voice over, it will cost more or less 150€ for the recording session + the 400% which gives us 600€.

That's an average and you would always find cheaper if you are looking for newest voice artists on the market. On the reverse, you might also be surprised to see that other voice over artists don't charge under 1000€ whatever the commercials.

Radio commercial's buyout

Then, radio's buyout is cheaper than on TV as the radio industry is much more competitive:

Considering both the buyout and the recording session:

  • National broadcast of a radio commercial costs between 200 and 400 €.
  • French regional rates fluctuates between 100€ and 200 €
  • Local French radio spot is quoted around 50€

 

Internet commercial's usage fee

Due to the lack of standard on Internet, most of the time the buyout and the recording session are gathered. On average, French voice overs quote it from 200€ to 500€.

The ratio quality/price and offer/rate

Of course you have to take into consideration the audio quality in a voice over project. A voice over artist recording in another studio outside will probably quote higher amount than a home studio voice over. If you choose to work with a home studio voice talent, make sure he uses professional recording equipment.

About the offer/rate, think about the what service you will receive. Could you need retakes ? Are you looking for a final edited audio ready to use or broadcast ? Or are you only looking for the raw recording ?

Always ask the voice over about his equipment and what does his offer include. How much does he charges for retakes ? Maybe those could be free of charges.

The French voice over specific status

Is there a specific way to pay a French voice over talent ? Of course there is, this is France, what did you expect ?French egg

The first thing you have to understand is that in France a non professional person is not legally capable to send an invoice. Thus voice overs have two choices :

  1. To register as an "intermittent du spectacle".
  2. To create a company.

Traditionally, voice overs were 99% of "intermittents du spectacle". But since 2009, the government have drastically simplified individual company creation. Today's voice talents are divided between individual entrepreneurs and "intermittents du spectacle". The share between those 2 status is probably even now and tends to go towards individual entrepreneurs.

An individual entrepreneur is legally capable of sending an invoice. On the otherside, an "intermittent du spectacle, also called a "casual entertainment worker", is not legally allowed to invoice his/her clients. He/she has to be paid with a specific fee also called "cachet". About that, only companies within the entertainment industry are allowed pay for this particular fee. That is why it is pretty complicated for a foreign company to undestand this system which is very specific to artists and technicians working in France.

Hope I could help you to have a better understanding of the French voice over market and pricings. Feel free to ask me any question or suggestions in the comments.