Who needs voiceovers? I hear you asking…. well, you’d be surprised – they really are everywhere. No matter how many emails and messages we send, the human voice is still our primary form of communication…
When did voiceovers emerge?
Voiceover emerged on the radio in the 20s with the first ever radio programs and commercials, and then the global phenomena that were the talkies and the rise of voice over an animated film.
Where would we be without Disney’s Snow White or Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, which first graced the silver screen in the 30s?
Then there was the development of documentaries and the first ever TV commercials in the 40s. They were dominated by the plumy RP voices of the post-war era that saw the evolution of TV in the 50s. Nowadays, it’s totally acceptable to hear regional accents in the TV continuity especially if you’re in the Big Brother House!
Would you believe that voiceover has been with us for nearly 100 years?
The recent rise of YouTube, (which is only 10 years old!) has seen the exponential growth in voiceovers in all forms of entertainment.
From commercials, documentaries, corporate films, ‘how-to’ films, to a tsunami of films featuring the ubiquitous grumpy cats or hilarious dogs, these are all lead by voiceovers!
In fact, around 60 hours per minute are uploaded onto YouTube and a vast amount of them have some kind of voiceover. This has been termed the ‘humanisation of the web’.
When you call a company it is likely that you’ll hear an automated voice or IVR, although these sound robotic, they would’ve been recorded somewhere, by someone!
Voiceover provides learning resources to millions who don’t have access to normal education. It furthermore provides further education for many more.
I think it’s about time I mentioned the elephant in the room. I’m talking about the emergence of the omnipotent video games whose characters have created stars of their actors.
Video games are one of the biggest forms of entertainment, generating 74 Billion USD – bigger than the movie business! In the US, it’s the third biggest entertainment sector behind broadcast and satellite TV.
The fact is, voiceovers have infiltrated every part of our lives…
Whether you want to ask Siri the facts of life, take a museum audio guide, listen to an audiobook or find your way with Google maps, it’s here to stay and it’s only getting bigger.
So who uses and needs voiceover? Well, we all do!
Considering hiring a voiceover talent?
If you are considering hiring a talent, read our latest blog on tips for directing voiceover artists.