A Mandy Voices Subscription year in numbers

David Sargent
Voice Over: English

Hello All

I subscribed to Mandy voices on May 11th 2020. To put the following into context, I have been an actor and voice artist for 33 years having trained at Mountview Theatre School. I have an extensive track record and have done many TV and radio commercial campaigns, corporates, dubbing, narration, cartoons etc. I have 2 very good agents (Theatrical and Voice-Over) but I paid for a year on Mandy Voices last May when the world shut, in an effort to do at least some work from home.

In that year I have (so far - with 5 days to go) made 288 job applications. Of that 288 about two thirds have required a bespoke audition recording. About one third of them were never even listened to.

I spend about two minutes on an application without recording and about 10 minutes if I need to record something. I have extremely good equipment and have done commercials, an audio drama for 'Big Finish', an audio book and corporate work all from home with no issues. I calculate that I have therefore spent 33.5 hours solid on auditions for 'Mandy Voices' -about 11 hours of which has not been listened to or looked at.

From all that work I have had TWO jobs and made £250. A profit (once the subscription is removed) of £122. I calculate this to be £3.64 for each hour I have spent on applications.

Unfortunately this is not an efficient use of my time or money and I therefore, regretfully, will not be renewing my subscription.

Good luck everyone.

Editorial Comment Hi David,
"Thank you for posting with us. We are sorry to hear that you have been unsuccessful in securing work via our platform and that you feel this way regarding our system. We cannot guarantee success for applications, however, we would be happy to offer advice on how to optimise your profile or application, alternatively we do check out our guide to profile optimisation here: https://www.mandy.com/guide/how-to-make-your-performers-profile-stand-out-on-mandycom"
Kind regards,
The Mandy Admin Team

  • 2 years ago
  • 2,073
  • 21
Brendan McCoy
Voice Over: English

I totally hear you sir! The P2P sites like Mandy can be a tough slog for very little reward, and the amount of demos not being listened to has sky rocketed in the last 12 months. I know that Bodalgo have altered the way that potential clients can view the applications, by not allowing them to see how much you'd charge for a gig until they have listened to your demo, but what with Mandy having the people who post the jobs set the fees/rate, I not sure how they could help make the advertisers listen to more of the demos we go out of our way to record.

Maybe if Mandy could introduce an incentive for advertisers who listen to 100% of the demos they receive and something to discourage those who repeatedly listen to less than 50-70% of the demos they receive, and then those who repeatedly listen to even less get could be barred from posting castings in future for wasting Mandy's paying members time?


  • 2 years ago
  • 1
Brendan McCoy
Voice Over: English

So Mandy's Admin team response to the above post raising legitimate issues, that I fear are shared by most, if not all of the sites users, including the whole advertisers not listening to all the applications sent in, is basically... "Well sorry but that's not our fault... maybe your profile isn't up to snuff?!"
I honestly couldn't believe how pathetic that response is, that I thought it might be a direct insult, so had to check out David's profile, (which be the way looks great to me David!) and it definitely seems to fulfil all the obvious, supposed "pearls of wisdom" listed on Mandy's How-To guide.

Mandy's Admin team, I know you're reading these messages, so please do try harder to actually take on board and try to actually address and maybe even look in to how to fix some the issues raised by your sites paying customers, rather that going straight to what often reads like obtuse and condescending responses.


  • 2 years ago
  • 2
Sally Walker-Taylor
Voice Over: English

I would love to see a feature, such as Bodalgo offers, whereby you can see how many auditions a job has received so one can make an informed decision about whether to apply. I'd rather not spend time recording a custom demo for a job with several hundred responses. (Indeed, most Bodalgo jobs have 300 plus applicants for each job - I suspect Mandy has a great deal more despite 99% of jobs having lower than industry standard rates) Direct marketing is a much more effective way to spend those hours.


  • 2 years ago
  • 3
David Sargent
Voice Over: English

It would certainly be good to know how many applications a job has received although I think we know that the numbers are extremely high. I agree with everything Sally says and thank you Brendan for your supportive words which are , by the way, quite true. I did not come down in the last shower of rain and I took a look at The Mandy Guide to optimising your profile. All very nice if you have absolutely no experience whatsoever and have only joined because your friend said 'you've got a nice voice. You should do Voice-overs'. Otherwise the bog standard Mandy response can be seen as patronising, arrogant and full of platitudes. As of the end of today I'm out of here . My profile will remain as an actor and Voice-Over but I'm certainly not handing over any more money!


  • 2 years ago
  • 4
Nicola (Nicky) Barranger
Voice Over: English

This is SO interesting. If an experienced actor such as David is finding it difficult to find work on Mandy, it confirms my suspicions about the site.
I already written to Mandy to ask about being able to see how many people have already auditioned before myself, but the response was there are no plans, which is a great shame. Most weeks I feel it's an achievement if the client actually listens to my audition. I have all but given up thinking I'll ever get a job here.


  • 2 years ago
  • 5
Nicola (Nicky) Barranger
Voice Over: English

But on a positive note.. (sorry I couldn't edit the above). There is a form for chat on the site, which other P2Ps don't offer!


  • 2 years ago
  • 6
Michael Burrell
Voice Over: English

The only chance of being heard is by being one of the first few to apply, and that can be very difficult to achieve. The problem is the MASSIVE boom in people trying to do Voice Over (especially with lockdowns). It's great that people want to try things, and everyone starts somewhere, but we have all heard voices that are simply never going to be suitable for VO work. Of course, it is in Mandy's (and all P2Ps) interests to have as many members as possible in terms of subscription fees, but in reality, it hurts the industry because serious VOs struggle to be heard, and Clients have to wade through an untold number of unsuitable auditions before they can find a handful that are 'Good enough', rather than 'the best'. The only real solution would be to have an audition when applying for a Premium Account, to make sure that those paying for the privilege are actually suitable.


  • 2 years ago
  • 7
Sally Walker-Taylor
Voice Over: English

An audition/vetted subscription would indeed be a great solution for voice talent, but you're bang on that it wouldn't be in Mandy's interest to limit subscription payments. And I'm on the fence about whether it would be better for the client too - those vo's that would 'pass muster' are far less likely to apply for the vast majority of jobs currently published - that are generally paid far below minimum recommended BSF and don't even mention usage, rather just tag on 'full buyout in perpetuity'. I would imagine they would struggle to get applicants. Something I would like to see would be Mandy adopting the GFTB rate card for all paying jobs, educating clients on what they should be budgeting for vo, and protecting the industry from the race to the bottom. There are some p2ps that do vet talent and do have properly rates attached to jobs, but even on those the number of applicants are huge. I have realised that time auditioning on p2p's is better spent direct marketing and networking.


  • 2 years ago
  • 8
Michael Burrell
Voice Over: English

This is true Sally, the problem with P2Ps that vet and insist clients charge reasonable rates is that they charge way over the odds to the VO talent, meaning that many VOs (myself included) cant use them because they can't afford the initial outlay on the 'possibility' that they may get work. :/ You're also correct about the direct marketing and networking, although I've had no success in that regard yet, only conversations where the potential client sees the value, but then doesnt follow through. I also can't afford marketing. Or a website hahaha:D


  • 2 years ago
  • 9
Michael Burrell
Voice Over: English

This is true Sally, the problem with P2Ps that vet and insist clients charge reasonable rates is that they charge way over the odds to the VO talent, meaning that many VOs (myself included) cant use them because they can't afford the initial outlay on the 'possibility' that they may get work. :/ You're also correct about the direct marketing and networking, although I've had no success in that regard yet, only conversations where the potential client sees the value, but then doesnt follow through. I also can't afford marketing. Or a website hahaha:D


  • 2 years ago
  • 10
Sally Walker-Taylor
Voice Over: English

That is very true of some sites - higher charges etc, but there are online casting sites (not p2p's) where it's worthwhile to have a presence so it's worth researching those. Proper rates offered and vetted reels. Usually a studio test too. By marketing - I just mean emails and phone calls! I've found a website a necessity for this but you can build one yourself these days - it doesn't require much skill and can be done very cheaply, if not free, and is somewhere for your reels to sit and to direct people to. But to be a vo you're running a business which does require some initial investment to get going. It's tricky, I know. Took me a long time to save money from other jobs to get started and I'm still reinvesting earnings in more specialist coaching, kit upgrades, updating reels etc.
Sorry - I've taken this thread on a tangent!


  • 2 years ago
  • 11
Annie Warburton
Voice Over: English

I totally get you David. I've done the same and not renewed my sub. My Mandy sub used to pay for itself and more but this year it hasn't so I've decided to give it up. Barely any of my auditions are getting listened to any more, most fees are awful and I'm just not getting booked here.

Generally, my plan is to focus more on directing marketing than P2Ps also Sally! I've had my best year so far in VO and finally gone 'full time', so have saved up to afford more time to invest in direct marketing, upgrade my booth and get more coaching. Will see how it goes.


  • 2 years ago
  • 12
Jim Cassidy
Voice Over: Scottish

Thought I’d give Mandy a go early last year. Now coming up to first anniversary.
Like many folk, tons of auditions with no results. Not even sure how to find how many have been listened to. Realise given the terrible year we’ve all experienced that every out of work actor is desperate for work, but thought I might have picked up one or two gigs....Will I be renewing my subscription?


  • 2 years ago
  • 13
Cia Allan
Actor

I've been working as a voiceover since 2007 and over the years, joined all the P2Ps I could find. Although I have both now, back then I didn't have an agent for acting or voiceover so I joined Voices Pro, Actors Pro, Bodalgo, Voice123, Piehole, Voices and probably others I've forgotten!

I regularly got work from Voice123 for several years but then they sold out, banged membership prices way up and brought in ridiculous rating/grading systems. I've stopped getting work and most auditions aren't even opened, so I'm leaving.

Bodalgo was a waste of money for me so I left.

Piehole closed down. End of!

Voices budgets were too low and had all sorts of fees added on and it rather looked like they were charging talent and employers feed on the same jobs! Most of the full time VOs left because they discovered that employers were posting the same jobs elsewhere at higher rates. I left 4 or 5 years ago, yet most weeks they're still inviting me to audition for jobs where I'm not a match to the requirements!

I stayed with Voices Pro and Actors Pro for years because I could see when auditions were opened, I could also see how many times an audition had been listened to and exactly when, and most importantly, I got BOOKED! Also, my agent could sub me for jobs. However, employers weren't paying the right session or usage fees so it wasn't perfect by any means

Then Mandy bought out Voices Pro and Actors Pro and everything changed for the worse. All transparency has completely disappeared. Notifications come in hours and hours too late despite my site settings, you can no longer see when an audition has been opened or who has viewed your profile, and the budgets are mostly at a very low level. Why? Because media companies have realised they can pick up cheap talent and aren't held to account by P2Ps on their budgets. Work has dried up for me and I'll leave come next renewal date.

I reckon P2Ps have had their day and it's a slow race to the bottom. As other posters have said, direct marketing is the way to go so I shall continue with that and also stick with my agent!


  • 9 months ago
  • 14
Ian Seale
Voice Over: English

I think you're right Cia.

I wonder what the original poster, David, would think of the current Mandy, 2 years hence?

When Voices Pro (Mandy started going pear shaped just over a year ago, I started to lool around and beard good things about Bodalgo, who I joined last Autumn. Unfortunately, I too fimd them with very much to be desired. I've been shortlisted a few times l, but no work. I am particularly irked by them not posting jobs at a set rate, but a 'span' - instead of £500, say, they post a 'range' of something like £249-£499 leaving it up to the respondees to prostitute themselves or ask for a decent rate. I suspect my responding with the higher of the 2 rates doesn't go down well, but why pitch at the bottom, when you know that its wrong?


  • 9 months ago
  • 15
Ian Seale
Voice Over: English

Funny. I made the post (above) and I've come up as 'private user'.

I haven't changed anything - apart from not renewing my subscription payment.


  • 9 months ago
  • 16
Cia Allan
Voice Over: English

Hello "private user". I wonder who you are


  • 9 months ago
  • 17
Cia Allan
Voice Over: English

And the rest of my post above was removed!!!


  • 9 months ago
  • 18
Jacob Z Klimaszewski
Voice Artist

This is making me question whether to continue my free trial.
Could Mandy staff clarify what the average is for auditions sent vs auditions listened to?


  • 8 months ago
  • 19
Rob Richards
Voice Over: English

I left Mandy two years ago and rejoined a few months ago as I was gaining regular work via my agent, so I thought I'd give Mandy another go as I was on a role! I am questioning why I bothered. Do the jobs they post even exist? It wouldn't surprise me if they have a team of creatives making up the briefs and then posting them in the jobs section! More fool us for joining this pathetic scam. I want my money back!


  • 8 months ago
  • 20
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