When Voice123 started in 2003, it was a website whereby anyone could post a job, and anyone could audition for it. At that time, people mailed CD’s and staff uploaded them manually, too! It was new for everyone.
This all may sound wonderful in theory, but the problem with such a scramble of jobs and auditions is that it leads to lesser quality auditions, bidding wars, and lesser quality jobs. To combat this issue, in July 2007 , around the time I had started here, Voice123 released a voice casting system called SmartCast. Like any creation, once released to the general public, it took on a life of its own. I think it took me a while to realize how to describe ‘what Voice123 does’ and have it make sense, but this is Voice123 as I see it:
- Voice123 uses a software called SmartCast with the intention of giving voice talent a tool that will listen to the types of jobs desired by the voice talent through their auditioning behavior.
- In deciding on these jobs, they are teaching voice seekers how to post better jobs, and setting a tier level for themselves.
- I have witnessed the folks who are aware of this do much better than those who believe, “I need clients. I only get that through auditioning.” If only the web were that simple.
Sound confusing? Try this maybe?
- Voice talent determine what jobs are posted on Voice123 by the jobs they decide to audition for, and their budget quotes.
- Buyers go to websites for a product that people sell.
- If that product does not exist, no one will buy.
- The software is set up to promote professional industry growth.
- Voice123 is set up to help voice talent build relationships with clients, and foster future voice jobs by using technology to make sure they meet again.
Why does it not work for some? Not all websites are the same, and Voice123 is the only one that has relationship-building technology built into it. Many overlook that at times they could be auditioning for things to “get a foot in the door because they need work”, but they really just appear to the other person posting work as someone who did not read what was requested. So…How does Voice123’s SmartCast work? I will explain the algorithms behind SmartCast, not including the math formula. Have I seen it? Yes. Do I know how it calculates? Clueless. I am not a computer scientist. I do not know how to build a car, also, but it does not mean I cannot drive safely. I know how to use SmartCast, wisely, and in figuring that out I discovered that the software keeps in mind “web etiquette”. The algorithms in place promote professional behavior of voice talent, which includes selecting jobs that should be the mainstay of a healthy voice industry.
Even though I show this here, it does not change the fact that voice talent have to pick jobs targeted to their ability, audition with audio quality, understand online communication, and build relationships with clients. The heuristic algorithm will support a professional, smart way of working in the voice industry online.
What does SmartCast look for when matching you to jobs?
The following are some of the factors that are used when calculating who gets invited to audition for what and when:
Relevancy – How well do you match the project based on:
- Language, Gender and Age
- Pre/Post Production requirements
- Demos uploaded in the specified category?
Priority – How quickly should you be invited to submit based on:
- Audition ranking
- Exposure Priority (have you been picky with auditions?)
- Profile Seniority (age of profile)
Each one of these algorithms (and a few others) is set up to protect professional voice talent from having to deal with the dreaded ‘early bird gets the worm’ syndrome, which you cannot have in a global market…unless you like auditioning against 200-400 people each time, and having to under-quote to get work. Many lose sight of the fact that 1000 jobs for $100 is not as profitable as 100 jobs for $1000, over the course of a year. Basically, Voice123 is not a career. It is a business tool to get work. Current averages in surveys show 60% of auditioning voice talent book at least one job a month. Between 10% – 13% book at least five jobs a month. Is this perfect? I think if a person wants perfection, a career based on creative opinions to be hired is the wrong career. The only perfection comes in relentless pursuit of something that is fair and healthy for everyone. I know we have that going on here. Voice123 was founded by a web developer and a voice talent.
As of 2011, I work with several voice talent on staff to translate needs to technology, in order to attract the best work. It is always a work in progress.