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WTF Dude?
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 6537
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:12 pm    Post subject: WTF Dude? Reply with quote

Two of my agents, so far, are excited about their talent joining this new spinoff site from “the HUB” called Voiceovers.com They are very similar in many ways to the P2Ps we know and “love”. They’re different because they will insist on decent rates instead of the chum the other P2Ps tend to offer. The cost to buyers? Basically zero. The cost to talent is $299 per annum with a discount if you sign up before they open. They promise to only take 20% of your earnings.

However there is one other membership level.... called the Gold plan. See if this doesn’t remind you of the dirt bags from Canada.

https://voiceovers.com/membership-levels/

I’m I’m I’m.... flabbergasted to say the least.

B
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Kim Fuller
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Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 467
Location: Portlandish, Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad. We were thinking of signing Ulf up for it on the regular $299 level until reading about the Gold member level benefits.

Can't manage the gold fee and no need to participate in yet another site where the majority of members get the audition crumbs offered after the promotion of the top 60.

For those who can pay that fee, though, it's probably a better deal than they'd get north of the border.
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
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Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

huh. i thought that was going to work differently ... oh well.
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juliaknippen
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Joined: 25 Nov 2012
Posts: 311
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yearly fee plus 20%? Hard pass.
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9921
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly, an ever increasing number of agents, managers and other "Make money from voiceover people" as opposed to "make money from voice over work" believe that yet another site will cure the world of sickness and poverty.

My job is NOT about buying more lottery tickets. The job of an agent is to make connections NOT virtual connections.

Sleeping at your desk is no way to run a business.
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Bish
Triple G


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3355
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm becoming more and more simplistic about my approach to this stuff. These sites are springing up like weeds and it can be increasingly difficult to appraise them accurately through all the hype and hoopla. I've whittled it down to three simple options when it comes to giving the critical eye to anyone trying to sell me job opportunities and get their grubby little paws in my wallet.

1) You charge a commission only.
Sounds like an agent to me... 10%-20% of the work they get for me. Yup... that'll work.

2) You charge a subscription only.
A P2P that acts as a simple matchmaker. I can make a judgement call on the amount and quality of auditions delivered based on my cost. That'll work as well.

3) You charge a commission* and a subscription.
It's illegal in the US for a legitimate union-franchised agent to do this. The internet has made it the wild west and the definitions are all askew. I have to pay you money to give you the opportunity to take more money from me? Nope... this doesn't work for me at all.... and I'm not impressed by the pseudo career management tools being packaged and thrust at me, telling me you're a proper "career management site".

Yeah... all a little simplistic... but really... it is that simple. The hand reaching for your wallet needs to be more that just attractive and well-manicured.

*commission... or whatever else you want to call it... escrow, service fee, management fee, handling fee... you're just playing with words.
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Eddie Eagle
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Joined: 23 Apr 2008
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Location: Delray Beach, FL

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spoke with a gal at voiceovers. I asked if talent and producer can work together outside the framework after auditioning and she said yes. Once you've done that you can work with clients freely. Producers could still post auditions and then depending on how they proceed they could operate freely with regards to payment and no commish paid by talent to the site if they chose to do so. At least you could get them to stick to the rates if you both decide to go forward.

The thing I see there is freedom to work outside and just get the audition. That may change depending on how the site progresses. I also asked about projected number of projects. She didn't have that info but was going to look into it.
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Eddie Eagle
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9921
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Special Voiceover Entrepreneur’s GOLD Welcome Kit physically mailed to you"

I have no idea what that means except "disappointment"
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Bish
Triple G


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3355
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie Eagle wrote:
I spoke with a gal at voiceovers. I asked if talent and producer can work together outside the framework after auditioning and she said yes.

"Yes" may be a technically correct answer... but it is misleading because it is not a complete answer. The complete answer is,"Yes, but only if the buyer initiates contact."

From their FAQ:
Yes, once a Buyer reaches out, you will be connected via our internal messaging system so that you can converse about the project they are interested in hiring you for. Buyers have specifically asked that the connection be made when they are ready and to be able to instigate the conversation from their end.

It's nicely couched in: This was a buyer request, so it's not us being controlling... it's them.

Apart from the VDC claim on ownership of submitted work, I cannot see the difference between them and pre-managed jobs VDC. I am totally at a loss as to why any legitimate agent would be so enthusiastically supportive of a P2P platform that will effectively connect buyer and talent without an agent involved. There are obviously some facts and deals we are not aware of.

Regarding the ownership of submitted work (which is one of the biggest reasons VDC are considered detrimental to the business... we'll, that and a whole bunch of other stuff)... here's some text from the Voiceovers TOS regarding ownership. I'd be grateful if someone could translate it for me. It seems a little obtuse and could be interpreted as a transference of rights. Maybe... I dunno.

By posting Content on or through the Service, You represent and warrant that: (i) the Content is yours (you own it) and/or you have the right to use it and the right to grant us the rights and license as provided in these Terms.

However, by posting Content using the Service you grant us the right and license to use, modify, perform, display, reproduce, and distribute such Content on and through the Service.

In addition, Content found on or through this Service are the property of VOICEOVERS.com, LLC or used with permission.

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Karyn OBryant
Been Here Awhile


Joined: 23 Jul 2013
Posts: 297
Location: Portlandia-adjacent

PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2019 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, I was just reading those TOS out loud at a luncheon today with some other VO folks. No one was impressed. (I'm sure it was the copy, not the read. Wink )
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Philip Banks
Je Ne Sais Quoi


Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 9921
Location: UK Portgordon, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "legal" wording means whatever they want it to mean UNTIL tested. Should it be tested, like the ridiculous stuff VDC insist upon, it would crack like a giant cracking thing.

"Content found on or through this Service are the property of VOICEOVERS.com, LLC or used with permission."

For the most part, no it isn't.

Go to my website, listen and watch. No permission exists, written, verbal ,implied or otherwise to use the "demo material" found there on. NONE! Most people visiting my site KNOW that I am not cynically exploiting the creative work of others for financial gain. Really? No! I am. Whilst there is implied acceptance I must acknowledge the fact that should ANY creative involved in anything on my website ask for payment or removal I do not have a leg to stand on.

All those logos on YOUR VO website "Yay! Look at who I've worked for Doods!" Every one of those logos belongs to someone, was designed by someone and my guess is that no permission was sought or given.

At the next WoVo conference or during a VO Webinar or as part of VOAtlanta the experts (yeah, right) should do a talk/group thing called "We'll stop stealing from them when they stop stealing from us!"

US Lawyer when challenged will bury the challenger in paper work. UK Lawyer will ignore the lorry load of documents and simply say "You're wrong and here's why."
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Bish
Triple G


Joined: 22 Nov 2009
Posts: 3355
Location: Lost in the cultural wasteland of Long Island

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Philip Banks wrote:
US Lawyer when challenged will bury the challenger in paper work. UK Lawyer will ignore the lorry load of documents and simply say "You're wrong and here's why."

Cost of option one (US lawyer): $28,732.37 per hour.
Cost of option two (UK lawyer): Thruppence ha'penny and half a bag of humbugs.

The extent to which US society if framed by the fear of litigation never fails to amaze me.

If any Terms of Service are unclear because they're written in convoluted legalese which obfuscates the meaning... then it is done purposefully to achieve that precise objective. Terms of Service are never accidentally unclear. The point is that I don't know what their intent is... and in many ways it matters not-one-jot that it may not be legally enforceable... I just need to know their intent/philosophy so I can make an educated business decision. My current take-away is that they are presenting impenetrable Terms of Service... and I will base my decision on that. A simple line in the ToS that states something like: "The ownership of rights for work submitted through this site remain with the talent and/or buyer as agreed between those two parties. The site claims no rights to the ownership or usage of such work." See... that was easy. NOT including something like that is not an accidental omission... it's a purposeful choice.
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Bish a.k.a. Bish
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todd ellis
A Zillion


Joined: 02 Jan 2007
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Location: little egypt

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The ownership of rights for work submitted through this site remain with the talent and/or buyer as agreed between those two parties.


according the US copyright law (as far as i know, which, admittedly, ain't much) this statement is true --- nothing about an agent, manager or 3rd party website.
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vox1
Contributor IV


Joined: 14 Nov 2004
Posts: 122

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:42 pm    Post subject: WTF indeed... Reply with quote

So how do they justify the 10% on top of the 'subscription.'

This is race-to-the-bottom stuff. Call it what it really is -
yet another P2P, yet it's being condoned and even facilitated
by none other than Agents - the very institution whose conventional business model has been mortally disrupted and dismantled,
at the talent's ultimate expense.

It's a huge cop-out by agents to endorse more of this "hands-on-buzzers"
virtual footrace audition format, where talent are commoditized and
our services presented to buyers like items in a vending machine.

What's more, the owners build in a 'premium access' "tier" taking
cash to give some talent a paid "edge" over those already paying
the 'general admission' and presumably still get their 10% for those
"platinum members" or whatever they've named that club 'member level.'

Here is the disconnect to me... from the FAQ as to why this site was created

>>There is an industry gap between higher-level, more complicated or larger jobs that are handled on Voice Casting Hub and the everyday quick-turn jobs that demand more automation and a faster, easier process for the Buyers – many of whom are small business owners.<<

Here's an idea agents. Staff yourselves sufficiently to retain management of these 'everyday quick turn jobs' and uphold industry standards to keep such jobs within your realm, and at reasonable rates. Invest your resources to refine and reform your methods, to simplify the casting process for buyers in a way that doesn't instead further embed P2P as the new normal. You could even use some variation of this site's platform for the audition submission process.

4+ decades in this business and it's more than a little disingenuous and disheartening that the Agent community would be complicit in what
amounts to billing talent for their representation and taking a commission
on top of that. C'mon now. This is not a positive trend no matter how
much icing anyone wants to try and layer over this pile of BS.

I'm curious if the 'sponsoring agents' have any empathy or appreciation
for #ADSGOUNION. If so that's some rich hypocrisy.

Nonetheless apparently the train's left the station... and to add insult to injury they really landed the GrandDaddy of all VO URL addresses for
the platform.

I guess what I'm saying is, I don't like it: )
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Bruce
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Joined: 06 Jun 2005
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Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I wrote to Voiceovers.com to ask about the "Gold' program details they didn't highlight that you would be one of up to 60 members (30 men and 30 women?) who would get first crack at auditions before the "regular" members. If you remember discussions about other P2P sites, clients would often choose their voice talents minutes after posting the job.... so there's your $299 membership right down the loo just on that factor alone.

From their email response, features include:
Quote:
- First to receive auditions
- Show up as "Suggested Actors" during project posting process for Buyers
- GOLD Membership badge next to your name on all audition submissions


Ninja B
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