There’s An App For That
Before I get started, let me assure you that this blog is not an iPhone commercial. Nor is this entry solely about technology, so even if you’re not a big tech junkie please keep reading.
I own an iPhone. I think it’s a great device with an incredibly wide array of functions that I utilize to make my life easier. It dawned on me recently that many of the things my phone does, though, are either useful for voice actors or can present opportunities for voice actors. What do I mean? Well, continue on, fearless reader!
A little background first: I currently have 65 apps on my iPhone, and that doesn’t include the 15 or 20 that come standard with the phone. These are all ones I’ve downloaded through the App Store, either for free (most of them) or for a small fee. That might seem like a lot, but I know many people who have hundreds of apps on their phones. The ones on my phone range from games to social media apps to organization tools to internet accessories. But here’s where it gets interesting: of those 65 apps, an impressive 13 of them have some form of voice over in them.
That means that 20% of the apps on my phone have utilized at least one voice actor in them. Which begs the question: why aren’t you marketing yourself to companies developing iPhone apps? There are over 100,000 apps currently available, with dozens (if not hundreds) being added daily. Using some fuzzy math here, with over 100,000 apps in the App Store, if roughly 20% of them have voice overs in them, that equals 20,000 voice over jobs. Seems to me that THAT is an excellent market for voice actors. Why not research a few software development companies in your area and find out if they’re developing any apps for the iPhone or any other phone (such as the Droid or the Blackberry)? If they are, that seems like a pretty great place to pitch your services as a voice talent. Remember, it’s not just big companies that are developing apps anymore. Everyone from college kids in their dorms to the major TV networks are working on apps these days. Just recently, I received an e-mail from my bank (which is regionally limited to just 13 states) advertising their new iPhone/Blackberry app.
How about some apps that might come in handy for you as a voice actor? While there are none that I know of that will allow you to record professional voice overs from your phone, there are certainly some that make for great practice tools. There are several voice memo recorders out there. If you want to practice reading out loud (or perhaps you want to practice a particular accent or character voice) and you want to hear yourself back, instead of booting up your computer or a handheld tape recorder, simply press a button on your smart phone and you’re recording. Since you almost always have your phone with you, you can even practice on the fly; if you find yourself with some downtime, you can use the voice recorder to capture your reading practice for review later.
A podcast I listen to has developed a basic app that allows me to listen to the latest episodes (as well as archived ones) without even having to download them to iTunes. Do you host your own podcast? An app might be in your future. I even recently found an app that allows you to stream live video and sound directly to the internet from your phone. I haven’t quite figured out all the potential uses for that app, but I imagine it might be used in a potential home recording session or self-marketing event.
The ultimate point of all this isn’t even that you should utilize technology as a voice actor. It’s that creative opportunities and new ideas are presenting themselves to us all every day. Open your mind and brainstorm on what ideas lie out there that you haven’t even thought of yet. Find unique, exciting, innovative ways to develop your skill and market yourself, and the future is wide open to you. And if there’s one thing that having an iPhone in my pocket has taught me, it’s that the future is never very far away.
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