Welcome to the new year and new decade. The 2020s. History could repeat itself, and we find ourselves in the roaring 20s (1920s) where everyone was partying like never and life was expanding in all directions.
That whisper from history is a good indicator of where the voiceover and content world is heading in 2020 and beyond.
Despite the coming of AI and Deep Fake, the voiceover world has been exploding and is set to continue this year. There is a content arms race in the world’s closely aligned with voiceover (commercial / corporate films, e-learning, animation, gaming, audiobooks, podcasts) which is mirroring the explosion in content for TV and Film thanks to the likes of Netflix.
When every year looks like it has reached the peak, more content, more projects come to meet the unstoppable demand.
We are in the perfect environment of technological capacity meeting incessant consumer demand for quality content. Content that is personal to them, has meaning, and has high production values. The demand for voiceover has never been as strong.
With that context in mind, here are 5 predictions for the coming year:
1. 50% of all viewing will be done on a mobile phone
TV viewership is losing ground and the viewing of your next commercial, e-learning or animation / gaming project will most likely be done on a mobile in 2020. Phone manufacturers now realise that the quality of speakers and sound is the next arms race as happened with cameras in the 2010s. They will focus R and D on making speakers that are capable of so much in such a little package.
This means two things:
A. The Audio quality of content must keep up
B. Optimising voiceover from the louder TV world to the more intimate voice heard through headphones
2. 5G launches globally
5G becomes the new normal as networks and compatible smart phones are launched. This means a boon for content as 5G enables higher quality video consumption on smart phones transforming content experiences.
All the more reason to let go of the TV and switch to mobile viewing.
3. Advertisers look for new ways to interact with consumers
The rise of Netflix and the like is a problem for advertisers. These platforms have no advertising as part of their model.
That means that Advertisers have to find new ways to interact with consumers. And, importantly, must make sure that the chance they have for a consumer to watch their content is taken advantage of. Content must be to the point, relevant and impactful to the consumer.
No longer will a so so video with a so so voice do it. It must be slick, tailored and moving. Otherwise the audience will skip quick.
4. The Rise of the Smart Speaker Market
Home speaker devices are set to be valued at USD 14.35 billion by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of 23.09% during 2020-2023. (see the article here)
This mirrors the rise of AI. Consumers are getting used to Artificial Intelligence. It is becoming more and more prevalent. But it is still in it’s early stages. So content from real humans has a chance to cut through and really impact it’s audience.
5. The Explosion of voices
With the above in mind, the hunger for voices is only set to continue. Parity will be achieved this year between demand for male and female voices. And diversity continues to be the theme.
Voiceovers in most categories will continue to be aimed at personalisation for the consumer. Not general, not mass. This means a voice capable of communicating the subtle, the intimate and the personal.
All these trends mean that you need a voiceover that is plugged in, consistently working on craft and projects in order to stay with the pace of change and truly connect with the audience.
Welcome to 2020!
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Paul Mclaughlin © Versatile Voiceovers