I honestly couldn’t tell you who started this internet-enabled business model, but certainly Voices.com (originally InteractiveVoices.com) and Voice123.com were the almost simultaneous originators of its general awareness. Those two remain at the top of the heap in marketplace traffic and money changing hands.
But there is no shortage of pretenders to the throne. Some have come and gone, some are still workin’ it (with various degrees of success), and others are in incubation or about to launch. Bottom Line: This marketplace paradigm is not likely to go away soon.
Here’s my short list that I know about:
I’m sure I’ve overlooked some…especially studios or services outside of the U.S.
It’s probably not fair to corral all these enterprises under the heading “P2P”. Some would argue against that moniker. Some are more private than others, limiting membership. I include a couple of services that don’t require you to pay, but still involves an investment of time to work the site, thus, you’re still “paying” with your investment of time. One claims to be directly related to a talent agency in a complex business model, and another resembles “Fiver” more than a fair clearinghouse for voice talent and voice-seekers.
Still others (Sunspots and ProComm) are more along the lines of a production studio model than a P2P… and there are a TON of businesses in this category.
Please take the time to read Paul Strikwerda’s Blog explaining why he’s dropping one of these services. It generated more traffic than just about any other article he’s written. So did his follow-up blog, explaining-away opposing viewpoints.
I think Paul is more comfortable being opinionated than I am. I do appreciate that he expresses himself this way as a style of journalism, and his analysis of the situation struck a harmonic chord with many readers. Of course, there is no shortage of debate about P2P’s in other forums.
I was recently added to Voice Realm’s roster. The company is NYC-based (with offices in UK and Spain), but appeals to a global audience of voice talent and voice-seekers. Since I have no experience as of yet with their service, I can’t offer much of a review. Their service asks a small up-front fee for being listed, but does require a percentage take of the successful completion of a job.
It’s great that VoiceRealm has reached 3K VO opportunities in a year’s time according to their News Release. Much like a quote of hundreds of thousands of subscribers by another service, though….it’s the quality of jobs, and the level of pay that are more likely to entice voice talent prospects than sheer numbers.