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Voice Over Gig License Suggestion - Possible Alternative (Feedback Encouraged)


midsummervoice

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As a voice-over service provider, I would like to gather feedback and suggestions from fellow professionals in our field on an issue I believe could benefit from improvements on the Fiverr platform. The current terminology surrounding the "Commercial Voice-Over License" has led to confusion and friction between buyers and sellers, and I think a simple change in language could help streamline the process for all parties involved.

The term "Commercial" is commonly associated with "Advertisement," causing confusion when buyers learn that the Broadcast license is the appropriate choice for audio deliverables used in advertisements. This has led to an additional burden on sellers to explain that "commercial" refers to any business use, whether internal or external, rather than its traditional association with advertising. This then leads buyers to feeling bait and switched and that seller's are trying to create unnecessary upcharges when in fact they are just following Fiverr's terms and guidelines.

This issue appears to be an oversight on Fiverr's part, and I believe many voice-over sellers and customer service representatives would appreciate a resolution to this recurring challenge.

To address this confusion, I propose changing the term "Commercial License" to "Business License for Non-Broadcast Usage." This alternative terminology provides clearer guidance for buyers, sellers, and Fiverr staff alike, making the licensing process smoother and more efficient.

I welcome any thoughts or suggestions from fellow voice-over service providers on this proposal. Together, we can help Fiverr improve its platform for everyone involved.

Best regards,

David Piper
midsummervoice

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I agree, 100%. This would eliminate many unnecessary conversations between buyers and sellers about rights, and would result in a better customer experience for everyone involved. Also, given the fact that Fiverr essentially created this method of pricing voiceover services a la carte, and by extension the "commercial rights" and "broadcast rights" we all know, the onus should be on them to clear up the confusion. In every other negotiation scenario (direct work, other platforms that aren't fiverr clones, etc.) we normally just quote one rate for everything without tacking on "extras". 

In addition to your suggestion, I think Fiverr should consider amending the checkout process to include a usage question. If the buyer selects that they are using the voiceover content for business purposes, a pop up could display and inform them that usage rights are required. Same thing for advertisements. They already ask the (optional) question in the gig requirements, but by then the buyer has already purchased and might feel deceived by the checkout process. They were unaware such rights were needed, and now they have a bad taste in their mouth. And guess who takes the blame? Sellers. I got a 4.3 review weeks ago for this very reason. 

Looking forward to others' thoughts on this.

 

Trevor O'Hare - tro2789 on Fiverr

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I completely agree that a change needs to be made. I’ve had a lot of negotiations with buyers over rights, to the point where it was no longer worth my time to fight for them to pay for the appropriate rights so I ended up essentially decreasing my rates by including commercial rights in my pricing (costing Fiverr and myself revenue off each of my orders).

The term “commercial” is causing a lot of confusion for buyers and I think your suggestion, David, would be much clearer and more straight forward.

As Trevor mentioned, in most other cases we don’t quote pricing a la carte, and licensing is not considered an “add on”, it is based on usage and is a very real part of what a buyer pays a voice talent for. 

I would strongly recommend that Fiverr take action on pricing in the voiceover category to make it easier for buyers to have a great experience with the platform, pay a fair rate for the value they receive and be delighted with the overall experience instead of feeling they are getting ripped off by bait and switch pricing. 

I imagine this pricing scheme works well in other categories, but it doesn’t work for voiceover and is problematic for relationships between buyers, sellers and Fiverr. 

I also like Trevor’s idea of having prompts in the order process BEFORE payment or when pricing out a gig quote that allows the buyer to purchase appropriate rights up front with a clear explanation of what they are buying and why.  So instead of just basing their original quote off word count, allowing them to also choose their purpose and factoring in rights to the original quote they get.

I strongly believe that implementing these changes would enhance the buyer experience, create more revenue for Fiverr and allow more sellers to receive fair compensation for their work without having to navigate difficult conversations that are being unnecessarily created due to terminology and order flow. 

Regards,

Mike Cole (mikecolevocals on Fiverr)

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18 minutes ago, tro2789 said:

In addition to your suggestion, I think Fiverr should consider amending the checkout process to include a usage question. If the buyer selects that they are using the voiceover content for business purposes, a pop up could display and inform them that usage rights are required.

Yes- and Fiverr also needs to change the definition in the extras menu. Currently, the ? Pop up states that you need them for “non paid promotions” which is incorrect. They are needed for all business use and non paid promotions.

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Thank you for raising this topic, David and I couldn't agree more with what others said. This causes unnecessary friction and confusion between buyers and sellers. Buyers often feel that they are being "scammed" or "tricked" when it is explained to them. Additionally, many buyers never add the appropriate rights when ordering and when explained, they cancel which effects our stats as sellers  and even cause bad reviews.    

Not only should Fiverr change the name, but it should be mandated to purchase the correct rights before your order is completed. "personal use" is not an acceptable reason or if they select personal use then they grant permission for a "watermark" to be added to their file so it cannot be used publicly. Other services on Fiverr watermark files upon delivery until they are accepted, VO should have the same option if someone chooses "personal use" so we can ensure our work is not stolen. 

I truly hope Fiverr can continue to implement these changes to make it a more pleasurable working experience for all. We are all hard working individuals and deserve to be correctly compensated for the work we do. 

I strongly believe that implementing these changes would streamline the buyer experience, create more revenue for Fiverr and reduce the unnecessary "back and forth" with buyers about usage/rights and price. 

Best,

Elizabeth (e_benincasa)

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Oh yes, this is certainly a great suggestion! I am confident that this is a sore spot for many sellers. A while ago I tried referring to it as "business-usage" rights but it was so against the grain that I gave up. Now I'm one of those who lumps their commercial rights into their base price because it bypasses the confusion experienced by me and so many sellers out there. Personally, I'd rather avoid the hassle. 

Another thing I would like to see - what if all 'standard business usage rights' -AKA commercial rights- were *automatically* added to every organic order?? Aren't we all doing a vast majority of professional business jobs anyway - like I'm saying close to 100%?! IF someone has a personal project they can contact us directly. It should be set up for the majority of cases, not the exceptions. Even well meaning people don't read or follow instructions. Letting people write their own bill will always be a recipe for disaster and lead to money left on the table.

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As a voice over artist on the platform I wholeheartedly support this suggestion. The term “commercial” is misleading to buyers and often results in confusion and frustration. The less friction from conversation to order placement, the better our conversion. 

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I agree there is confusion, but simply making a new definition for "commercial usage" is just a start. I find the confusion from buyers is more centered around not knowing the difference between an ad to be used on Facebook, vs actual broadcast media. Or buyers mistakenly thinking that "non profits" get discounts. There are far too many scenarios that would be left undefined. To see all the possible uses you can look at the SAG/AFTRA rate sheets, or even better the rate sheets at https://rates.gravyforthebrain.com which also include a SAG/AFTRA calculator. 

I realize that you are discussing terminology rather than rates, but I'm suggesting that a deep dive reveals a most important point, being: 

The current Fiverr naming conventions and the ones proposed in this thread only scratch the surface of possible usage and pricing. With just a binary selection of usages we will still not have the pricing opportunities that would be optimal for each individual buyer. For example, failing to distinguish between a Facebook ad for a sandwich shop in Tupelo vs an ad to be broadcast on terrestrial TV and radio, and for how long, 13 weeks or forever? What about a national ad vs an ad that runs on TV in LA and SFX only?

I have considered removing the "Order Now" function, and enabling the "Contact to order" function in order to have a more serious discussion about usage prior to each order being placed. Fiverr could never capture all that needs to be considered in the menus, and even if they could, buyers would still be confused by them. I think it will remain largely up to us to ask about usage and quote appropriate fees. 

Edited by newsmike
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I completely agree that customers creating their own billing is a mess. I also agree that commercial rights should automatically be added with the order because won’t do it themselves. I am one that also included commercial rights in my base price to avoid cancellations and to have truth in billing so that there’s no unpleasant surprises for my customers, however, that also means my prices look higher than other VO artists, when in reality its the same or lower.

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This is a very good suggestion.  The current terme definitely leads to frustration on the clients part, unnecessary and repetitive conversations and cancellations of sales/lost revenue for sellers.  If I was the client and new to the process, I would think the seller was trying to scam me for trying to charge a commercial license on something that isn't a commercial.  Tainting my potential relationship with the seller and causing a general lack of trust in the fiverr site, thinking it was full of scammers. 

The wording change could certainly help alleviate that. 

Also having a requirement or at least a reminder/clarification for the correct licensing to be purchased before the order can begin, done by fiverr vs the seller would be ideal.  So many sellers accept non-licensed sales because they don't want to upset clients or have cancellations.  

 

Renee

WC_narration on fiverr

Edited by wc_narration
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100% agreed with both David and Trevor. The 'commercial' term in commercial usage consistently creates confusion with buyers. I know some of us have resorted to just lumping commercial rights in with our base price (and increasing base price accordingly), but that then creates its own set of issues with price visibility vs other talent. A more clear term such as the aforementioned "Business Use" would be incredibly beneficial.

 

With Trevor's comment, this is something I actually brought up to my SellerPlus rep awhile back (who said it was something they are looking into). But mandatory questions regarding use and automatic selection of the appropriate rights associated with that use, would also help to mitigate the buyers who try to 'game' the system and place orders then argue against the usage when you catch them on it.

An additional point, to somewhat touch on some of the points newsmike brought up, would be market breakdowns and duration breakdowns for broadcast use. While I think with Fiverr's format and the blanket ownership for sellers outlined in the ToS once the product is delivered would make usage duration difficult if not impossible to implement, I think it at least does deserve consideration. In contrast, allowing distinct rates to be set for market usage (local, regional, national, worldwide) would allow us to fine tune our rates and more directly target rates that are somewhat more in line with industry standards without pricing ourselves out of competition with base prices or a single Broadcast Rights option.

 

Respectfully,

Clark Casey - ClarkCaseyVO on Fiverr

Edited by clarkcaseyvo
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I am in complete agreement with this suggestion. As David and others have mentioned, the term "commercial" in itself is often quite confusing for buyers and another naming convention would be a simple change with a large impact. 

I currently bundle commercial rights with every order automatically in my baseline pricing, and chose to do so because of the constant problems this term created with buyers. I would confidently estimate that 99% of the buyers I have ever worked with on the platform have needed commercial rights per the TOS, but the number of people who argue against them on the basis of "I am not going to make a commercial!" has been astounding. Before I chose to bundle these rights into every order I spent an entirely unnecessary amount of time having to review the TOS with buyers to convince them I wasn't trying to scam them with an unnecessary upsell. 

This is not an issue I have ever run into when working with direct clients outside of Fiverr because the phrase "commercial rights" does not exist anywhere in the industry except for Fiverr's TOS that I have seen. Please, change the naming convention for these basic business usage rights. 

I also agree with @newsmike's take that the opportunity here goes well beyond just changing the name of these rights. To me there is a lot of potential for Fiverr to partner with experienced, professional voice actors to achieve an end result around rights negotiation that is both beneficial to us as professionals while still maintaining the focus on "simplicity" that Fiverr leans on heavily in their advertising. That said, I would like to at least see this change at a minimum to eliminate at this grievance in the short term, with a deeper dive long-term to bring Fiverr into the modern age of usage negotiation. 

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Thank you @midsummervoice, @tro2789, @e_benincasa and @texvox for bringing this to the attention of Fiverr. 

 

I am a brand new seller, I've only been on the platform for a total of 3 weeks. I was instantly confused on the subject matter and made sure to not include "commercial rights" as an extra to prevent any sort of customer dissatisfaction while trying to gain stats and traction on the platform.

 

It's difficult to be compliant with 5ers Terms of Service and I want to make sure that whatever I pitch, it doesn't make me lose potential work because of a seemingly "lost in translation" issue that could be easily rectified by rewording the phrase. 

 

thank you,

 

Julio Leon (@juliosvo)

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  • 2 months later...

Haven't looked on the forum for ages but so pleased to have come across this thread as everyone's comments regarding license resonates with me. I have been on Fiverr for many years and have always felt frustrated by the blunt tool of the commercial and broadcast rights options. Like many others I now include commercial rights to avoid discussions with clients and don't list my broadcast rights at all. I ask if the client requires broadcast rights and generally they don't. However when they do I feel very constrained by Fiverrs explanation of what Broadcast rights included in the T&C's. Recently I have seen that some VOA's have a drop down menu in their commercial and broadcast rights options with a number in brackets and a variety of price options.  eg (1) $200 (2) $400 (3) $600. Does any one know what this signifies (or perhaps I should just contact those sellers and ask them. ) Whatever I imagine the sellers still have the whole hassle of explaining to buyers what this means.

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This would be far more suitable indeed. As a Dutch voice over I can also say that this also is the case in Dutch and I would be happy to advise in the correct translation of the mentioned suggestion. 

And when working on this... please also fix the rights being hidden after a click. Since a few weeks literally 90% of my customers 'forget' the rights, because of them being hidden in some sort of dropdown-area of the menu. 

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On 7/10/2023 at 10:09 AM, derynoliver said:

Haven't looked on the forum for ages but so pleased to have come across this thread as everyone's comments regarding license resonates with me. I have been on Fiverr for many years and have always felt frustrated by the blunt tool of the commercial and broadcast rights options. Like many others I now include commercial rights to avoid discussions with clients and don't list my broadcast rights at all. I ask if the client requires broadcast rights and generally they don't. However when they do I feel very constrained by Fiverrs explanation of what Broadcast rights included in the T&C's. Recently I have seen that some VOA's have a drop down menu in their commercial and broadcast rights options with a number in brackets and a variety of price options.  eg (1) $200 (2) $400 (3) $600. Does any one know what this signifies (or perhaps I should just contact those sellers and ask them. ) Whatever I imagine the sellers still have the whole hassle of explaining to buyers what this means.

The drop-down menu showing (1) (2) (3) etc. for broadcast rights allows a buyer to purchase more than 1 set of those rights. 

For instance, if a buyer hires you to voice 2 individual paid advertisements, each one of those paid advertisements requires its own set of broadcast rights - 1 per unique ad spot. So if they placed a single order for those two scripts they should use the drop-down to select (2) for Broadcast Rights. 

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