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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Are Pay-to-Play Websites Right for You?

Pay-to-play, or P2P, sites are one of the primary methods for non-union voice over artists to connect with clients and land work. For a fee, voice actors can upload their demos to these sites, which prospective clients then peruse to find just the right talent for their project. It’s a great way to put yourself out there and increase your online presence, but like anything, there are pros and cons. Read on to learn these and help you decide if P2P is right for you.

     Opportunity to connect with far more clients than through other marketing methods.
     The chances of obtaining work is greater through P2P sites than other methods, by a large margin. For every 20-30 auditions, you can expect at least one booking, while other marketing methods have a booking ratio of 1:100. (Just my rough estimates)
     You have a better chance of booking work directly from your demo, at a rate of more than 50% of the time.
     There are around 10 to 20 opportunities per week, and they come from all around the country and even the world.
     Jobs range from low-paying small gigs to high-paying larger projects, so there’s a lot of variety.

     There is a fee - usually around $300 per year - to put your demo on P2P sites.
     You are required to come up with a rate for your work - which many actors aren’t familiar with. However, talent directors and others ultimately legitimize and determine what you are paid. Some sites have preset rates... sometimes good, sometimes not.
     Many of the rates offered (and paid) are far below what they should actually be, which degrades the work of the talent.
     On most sites iif a client refuses to pay, the P2P site has no responsibility to seek payment on your behalf.
     Many sites assign arbitrary ratings to talent, which can affect their chances of landing work, or they have restrictions in place (i.e., how many auditions can be had per month).
     It can be easy for talent, and especially new talent, to be taken advantage of, as many of these sites ask for actors to provide far more work than what is reasonable or what is fair for the price. New actors who are trying to build their portfolio may fall prey to these scenarios.

So is P2P right for you? Maybe, maybe not. It obviously depends on your unique circumstances. For non-union actors, it’s best to think of these sites as another marketing tool. Use it in addition to your other strategies, but it’s best not to rely solely on these sites. Don't use these sites to set your rates either. Do a little more research. And get paid what you are worth. And don't underestimate what you can bring to a project. Learn to USE these sites to YOUR best advantage, instead of the other way around!

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