How Voiceover Industry Changed Over the Years


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According to some historians, our voice is the oldest musical instrument. Our voice produces sound when the air from our lungs vibrates our vocal cord. The air in the hollow spaces of the chest, throat, and mouth also vibrates and amplifies the voice's sound. This vibration resonates in the cavities of the chest and the head. 


So, what exactly is the point of this article, and how will it benefit us? Well, let me give you the abstract of our discussion. 


Through this article, we will identify and analyze from an academic perspective the importance of voiceover. How it evolved and the future of this industry.


But first, let's take a look in the past and know.

How did the voiceover industry start?

To fully understand, we need to discuss the importance of the voiceover industry. It is necessary to know how it all began and how it makes an impact on our lives.

Many believed that Walt Disney was the first person who introduced voiceover in 1928. However, it was actually Reginald Fessenden who pioneered the concept of voiceover.

Fessenden is a Canadian inventor who devoted his life and career to developing radio technology. This includes the foundations of Amplitude Modulation or commonly known as AM radio.

On Christmas Eve of 1906, Fessenden made a broadcast of the weather for the US Weather Bureau. It is the first official voiceover recording of history. 

Six years later, Fessenden made a groundbreaking achievement. He was able to successfully transmit music and Christmas message to ships out at sea. Making it the greatest achievement of the era. After this, voiceover continued to evolve and grow together with technology. 

This is when Walt Disney comes up with the idea of giving life to his character named Mickey Mouse. In 1928, Walt Disney featured his own voice as Mickey Mouse. His cartoon, "Steamboat Willie" was the first sound cartoon.

The success of Walt Disney in producing a synchronized sound cartoon is the start of the new era for animated cartoons. Warner Brothers and Leon Schlesinger Productions adopted this approach in "Looney Toons".

While Walt Disney had been known as the voice of The Walt Disney Company, Warner Brothers and Leon Schlesinger Productions had Mel Blanc as their voice.

Blanc is a former radio personality and first joined Leon Schlesinger Productions in 1936. He then devoted his life to Schlesinger Productions for over 60 years. Blanc gives life to some of history's most famous cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety Pie, Porky Pig, and many other Warner Bros. characters throughout his entire career. As Blanc continues his voiceover career, he was given the nickname "The Man of Thousand Voices." 

Voiceover in the 21st century

Since we already know how the industry started, it is safe to say that many things had already changed. We learned in our first discussion that Fessenden's main purpose is to communicate and deliver messages. 

But as the journey continues, a lot of improvements were made by different voice artists. They continue to explore how far the voiceover industry can go. This made people realize the importance of voiceover in communication and daily life. 

Business sectors also adopted the idea of voiceover to innovate their services and reach a broader range of their niche market. In fact, according to a study conducted in 2017 showed that the global market value of the voiceover industry is $4.4 billion. It is now widely used by most of the businesses to promote their products and services.

In addition, the rise of modern technology and the online community in the 21st century made the industry even stronger. 

According to the Voice Actor Website, "within the last 10 years, the voiceover market has changed considerably with the online market place's rise. Now, voice talent can work directly with producers, lowering the barrier to entry, and making the field more competitive."

What the future holds for the voiceover industry is not yet clear. But for sure, with the continuous growth of different sectors, the demand for the voiceover industry will also continue to grow and evolve. It is proven that the more innovation we create in the world, the more it will improve the industry. 

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