2015 could be called the year of transparency, or lack thereof in the case of Pay2Play site Voices.com. It was the year the site’s Professional Services Division became a major focus of the company and a major source of contention for talent and producers. For years talent had been booking jobs directly with clients through Voices.com, paying an annual subscription fee of $399 for access to auditions plus a mandatory “transaction fee” of 10% for each job booked. This 10% was either added to the talent rate or deducted from the talent rate depending upon whether the client had a fixed budget. But in 2015 Voices.com began focusing on its newly created Professional Services Division, whereby they took charge of the job, managing it and preventing talent and client from communicating with each other. More and more jobs were funneled through this division and it wasn’t long before talent discovered they were being paid less than 50% of the rate these jobs had offered when posted directly.
Voice Talent Andrew Randall went public with an account of his experience. http://andrewrandall.com/voices/ Others chimed in with their tales and in the fall of 2015 a producer told of how he found out that not only were talent he hired being paid only half ($125) of what he was paying to Voices.com ($250) to pay the talent, fully expecting talent would receive the entire amount, but Voices.com was telling him that talent was demanding double ($590-650) the rate talent was actually quoting ($300).
Voices.com was also adding to their membership levels, creating a new “Platinum Unlimited” membership for a $5000 annual fee. This annoyed those who had subscribed to what had been the top level membership, the “Platinum” membership for which they were paying $2500 annually.
It was on this backdrop that a series of interviews was scheduled with Founder and CEO David Ciccarelli. The first was a webinar with Edge Studio’s Graeme Spicer. As Spicer began asking Ciccarelli about specific cases, it became clear that this wasn’t going to be a simple PR piece and the discussion became heated. This webinar was supposed to have been posted online following the interview, but it wasn’t. The audio however can be found in a number of places and we’ve linked to it here. Discussion about these and other specific examples begins around roughly the half hour mark.