VOICEOVER ARTIST RADIO STATION IMAGING
by David Kaye
I do a lot of radio imaging.
Many people call it “Radio Station Imaging,” or as I like to call it, “Promotional Branding and Station Identification.”
In this realm of the business, it is important to make sure that you’re set up as a proper company, that you’re a business. It is not a fly-by-night deal by any stretch of the imagination.
You’d better have the equipment. You’d better be prepared to work a lot and take care of your voice, because radio stations like to use you a lot.
In a contract, traditionally you’re committed to recording a page or two a month, whatever your agent negotiates, or whatever you negotiate for yourself. They’ll stretch that out. They’ll try to get as much as they possibly can out of a page. So radio station voice imaging is little bits and pieces and stuff and there is a page and stuff.
Typically, on a Monday or Friday a bulk of stuff will come in. That’s just the nature of the business.
The business has changed over the years, especially because of the Internet. There’s not as much money flowing around as it used to be. Some of the big companies are changing hands. We all know how that’s gone. The economy is different. But stations are still spending money on station voices. They are still going out and searching for them.
When someone listens to the radio station, in their head they’re hearing the imaging person the voice as the owner. If you’re hired to be the voice of a radio station, you’re that station’s identifier. You represent that station. It is a big responsibility. It’s not just, “You know, I do the voice.” No, that’s the sound of the station. So think of yourself as the radio station’s boss.
So if you’re going to be voicing stuff for radio stations, note that, first of all, the business has changed. There are even more opportunites now because there is satellite radio. There still are revenue stream issues, but if you want to get into it there is places you can put your voice. There are Internet radio stations.
You can do a lot of marketing on your own on the Internet to radio and TV stations. But be prepared to be a business. You’re a businessman. They want to hire you. They want you available. They want you versatile, and there is a certain style you need to keep in mind.
There are perimeters to being a radio imaging voice. So that means listening to what’s out there now, listening to what’s out there in the past, and maybe developing your own style…but within the perimeters. You’re selling the station. You are the station’s voice. That’s a big responsibility.