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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

Voiceovers and Working for Paise – The GKN Weekly Update 7/28/15

Every voice talent must know their worth. Here’s an example…

Last week a friend of mine sent me a casting notice for an e-learning project (no, it wasn’t from a pay-to-play site). The rate wasn’t announced until later on. It paid 10 paise per word. What’s a paise?


A paisa is basically an Indian penny. At the current exchange rate, a rupee is worth about 1 cent. Since a paisa is 1/100 of a rupee, 1 paisa is 1/100 of a cent. At 10 paise per word, that means the pay for this particular project is 1/10 of 1 cent per word.

The casting notice states that each project contains about 30,000-40,000 words. At 1/10 of 1 cent per word, that means each project pays about $30-$40. It takes about 200 minutes to narrate 30,000 words and that’s without making a mistake. At a roughly 2:1 ratio to account for mistakes, taking breaks, etc., that works out to about $5 per studio hour: $2.25 below the federal minimum wage, $10 less per hour than a fast-food restaurant worker earns in New York City.

Just so you know, a decent e-learning project pays between $15-$25 per minute. Per minute.

I’ve had a few Indian clients over the years and often the rate is lower than here in the States and that’s fine, but not this low. I saw Americans express interest in this project, and that’s after they saw the rate. The part of the casting notice that concerns me the most is, “Please note, this is a very low budget requirement. So Freshers will be expected to start this for experience and money of course.” Freshers? The poster of the casting notice then attempted to distance themselves from the post after shenanigans was called by some of my colleagues. Nice try.

Are you worth only $5 an hour? Will accepting a project like this advance your career? Your skills? Your reputation?


Don’t. Just, don’t.



Listen to the song of life. Katherine Hepburn

From my village to yours; this is Tom Dheere, GKN News…

Tom Dheere is a 19-year veteran of the voice over industry who has narrated thousands of projects for clients in over a dozen countries. He is also a coach at Edge Studio, voiceover business consultant known as the Voice Over Strategist, and is currently writing & producing the comic book “Agent 1.22”.


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