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Question regarding compensation for voice work per finished hour

Hello all,

I have a buyer interested in paying me per completed hour of audio as opposed to by the word. It’s not uncommon in the VO industry and I am interested in working with the buyer to make the project happen.

Here’s the catch. Until I voice all of the various scripts, I have no idea how many hours of completed audio will be involved. SO, can’t charge for 1 hour of audio if it turns out to be 45 minutes, and I sure don’t want to create a gig for one hour and it comes back at 1.5 hours.

I considered asking the buyer to start the gig at a certain amount then at completion, when we know exactly how long the final audio is, tipping the rest to bring the payment to the proper amount. But when I use the word “pay”, I get the dreaded red warning about asking for direct payment. I don’t want to lose time having every message reviewed, or of course, get dinged for accidentally violating TOS.

Any other VOs have this come up, and how did you negotiate payment? There’s just no way to know exactly how long the final audio will be until it’s done.

Isn’t there a formula you could work out to give an approx number of hours it will take? eg. take the total word count of all the scripts and your average speaking rate per word, add on time for other required tasks (eg. re-takes), then send an offer for the total calculated time. In the offer you would say it is the estimated/approx amount of time it will take.

Or you could have a gig where you charge for “up to 30 mins” of your time doing voice-over work (or up to 15 mins or whatever). The buyer can could then buy 1 gig and you deliver what you have done in that time. They could then re-buy the gig if you didn’t complete all the scripts and keep doing this until all required scripts are complete. This has the disadvantage of the buyer potentially having to re-buy the gig multiple times.

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You’ve echoed both one of my ideas and one of my concerns. I think I may need to suggest purchasing one 30 min gig at a time. But again, now the buyer is having to purchase multiple gigs.

Here is what you could do. Ask the buyer to order for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. Then instead of asking for a tip you should send the buyer gig extras. Why do I suggest extras? When a buyer promises to tip it won’t guarantee that he or she will honor but when you send a gig extras they have to pay in order to get the extra. He or she will pay for 20 or 30 minutes and when you discover the whole thing is 60 minutes, you will then send and extra for 40 minutes.
About your concern about using the word pay. try using the word “order”… ie. “Pay for the rest of the audio after …” to “Order for the rest of the audio after …”

Am I able to send gig extras after the original custom offer has been accepted?

Yes even after you have delivered the option is always there

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Well I learned something today. That might be the solution I’m looking for. Hopefully the negotiations work out with the buyer and we can implement something like that. Thanks a bunch for your help!