So as in an earlier blog post, I talked about the future change with Voice123. And now that it’s officially out…can we PLEASE go back to the old way?
Ok, it’s possible that you’re here because of my other post regarding Voices.com review that I did. If you haven’t read it, I would recommend that you do. So because of that company’s never ending lack of ethics, I was more than happy to report that Voice123 was stepping up and making a change to cater to the talent. I want to go on record now by saying that I believe this decision was made from a place of truly wanting to help the voice over industry as a whole. The result has been nothing short of a disaster that has caused hundreds of top talent to quit. Side note: When I refer to “top talent” and what they’re doing, it’s because a private group I’m part of on Facebook that has hundreds of the top voice over talents in the industry, mainly online casting.
New Site Format
In the nicest description I can give, it reminds me of the pre-social media days, when teenagers would try to build websites with those terrible free hosting providers that had so many bugs, the site never was never fully functioning. I mean seriously, it looks like they brought in a 15 year old to construct an elaborate website. The appearance looks fine, but the functionality is worse than Spectrum and Comcast internet combined.
There were countless issues in the first few months. Issues like having a messaging feature that never worked. I would get a message saying that I had been booked for the job or asking if I was available to record that week. I would respond and multiple clients informed me that they never received it. A good friend of mine lost out on a multi thousand dollar job because he “never replied to the message after 3 days”, when in reality, he had replied within a few minutes.
Now, the one that I literally cannot believe is how convoluted the auditioning has become. To be fair, it was pretty messed up on the old version of the site. What nearly all of the talent will tell you is that the majority of our auditions show up in the middle of the night. I’m talking about between 2am and 5am. Voice123’s weak explanation is that auditions go to talent’s in order, based on their qualifications for the job (voice type, language, age range, etc.). If that’s the case, I would like them to explain to me why jobs I’m 110% qualified for are showing up while I’m sleeping. It’s not like I’m on an island somewhere in a timezone you’ve never heard of. I’m EST! So, once I wake up (usually around 7am) and get to the inbox, there are typically 75+ people that have auditioned for each job, basically rendering it worthless.
Now, one thing that Voice123 has done right in the past is tell you how many auditions the client is seeking and how many people have auditioned for that job. Once that specific number had been reached, the auditioning for that project was cutoff. Voice123 would also let you know how many auditions have been reviewed for that specific project. So if you get to a job posting and see that out of 90 auditions, only 14 were reviewed, then the client has probably made up their mind. That way, you make more efficient use of your time with another audition, rather than auditioning for a job when you know you’ll probably never be heard. Well, as unbelievable as it sounds, not only was that removed from the site, but now, they don’t cut off at the client’s requested number of auditions! Seriously, read that last part again. I’ll wait……..Ok, need a visual look at this picture.
Just so I’m clear on this, that smaller number on the right is the number of auditions the client is seeking. Are you getting this? With the auditions coming in a 3am combined with the auditions coming in that they feel I’m qualified for, by the time I get the auditions, the client has sometimes received double and even triple the amount of auditions that they were asking for. Explain any part of this to me that seems logical. Now, through my multiple conversations with the Voice123 team, they insist that this part of the site hasn’t changed. If that’s the case, why do the top talent that are members on this site collectively agree that we’ve seen our bookings plummet since this new update? So far, Voice123 can’t and won’t provide an answer.
The site is still finicky since the update was released at the end of 2018. I don’t believe the people behind the scenes are unethical like Voices.com. However, they are very quick to seem like they’re listening to the voice over community and very slow to make any changes. As one top voice over talent said, “I get the feeling that they’re smiling and nodding without the intent to make any changes in a reasonable timeframe. For a period, the new site didn’t even have usage for projects listed, meaning that someone could post a job and not tell you what it would be used for, even if it was to air during the Super Bowl. It took them nearly 6 months to correct that issue and they didn’t even make it mandatory, which is what the major complaint was from the beginning. It’s like we needed a stool to be built and they gave us 2 legs. Just extremely odd behavior. It took them almost the same amount of time to get the messaging feature working.
I still believe these people care about helping the industry. Unfortunately, since the new update, that’s all I can give you.
Collectively, the voice over community has the same story. All of us went from booking regularly on Voice123 to not booking at all. I could count on 3-4 jobs a week from Voice123 out of about 40 auditions. Since the update, I have booked one job. You read that right… one job. Yet, they’re the ones insisting that the invitation process is still the same and auditioning process is even better. I would rather them call me stupid to my face than think that I or any other talent would accept such an obviously false statement. Overall, Voice123 is currently a disaster. It’s definitely not worth the time and money, especially for someone starting out.
More sources will be added as they come in.
1. Top voice talent J. Michael Collins has compiled a list of things that Voice123 is currently doing, including changes they are making, have made, and will make in the future. That can be read here.
I will post important updates here so you can know about them as they come in.