If we learnt one thing in 2020, it’s that you can’t predict what will happen in a year. The last twelve months have taken a bumpy path, to say the least, having an effect on pretty much every industry, including the world of voice-overs.
But now, we’re a few weeks into 2021 and looking forward to what will hopefully be a more positive year. So, we’ve decided to take a look at the trends predicted to shape the voice-over industry over the next twelve months, whilst also considering how Covid-19 impacted the industry in 2020.
What can we expect from developing voice-over technology? What kind of content should we anticipate seeing more of? Here are the six upcoming trends that you should have on your radar for 2021.
1. Levels of remote working will continue to rise
One of the biggest changes we saw in our day-to-day lives in 2020 was the shift to remote working, and that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for 2021. With #WFH culture also came a need for home recording studios, with more and more voice artists setting up shop in their homes in 2020.
Now, although we’ll hopefully see a gradual return to office working in the coming months, there’s no denying that remote working has its benefits. The use of home studios allows for more flexibility when working, as well as opening up more opportunities for voice artists, as they can work from home recording their voice for clients around the world.
2. Demand for e-learning and training content will increase
Naturally, as a result of remote working, the demand for e-learning voice-overs soared in 2020. This is set to only increase further this year, as educators seek professional-level quality for their e-learning and training content to benefit their remote workforce.
Closed schools and universities will only add to this demand, as the e-learning industry sets out to find new, innovative ways to keep learners engaged. One way in which to achieve this is of course with an effective voice-over. So, we can expect the demand for e-learning voice-overs to continue increasing well into 2021, reflecting the drastic change in the way we train and educate.
3. Popularity of online video content will continue to soar
Now, we all know that the presence of online video content is not a ground-breaking trend ready to take over the world in 2021. The popularity and effectiveness of video content is already indisputable. But, with us spending more time at home than ever before, 2020 saw a drastic increase in all kinds of video content.
It comes as no surprise then that video has become a staple in many marketing strategies, as companies and brands attempt to keep their audiences engaged. Although we’re all accustomed to video content and may not see this as a new trend, the popularity of online video is only set to increase further in 2021. This naturally leads to the need for a professional voice-over, so we can expect to see a surge in demand for video voice-overs, ranging in purpose from educating to entertaining.
4. Use of voice assistants and AI voices will increase
As we grow more accustomed to an increasingly ‘touchless’ world, we should expect to hear more from computer-generated voices and voice assistants. Not only have AI-powered chatbots helped to reduce unnecessary contact during the pandemic, but voice assistants like Siri have also stepped up their game to adapt to a socially distanced world. In the US, to minimise the need for face-to-face medical consultations, Apple adapted Siri to assist users in answering Covid-19 assessment questions.
Now the world is somewhat defined by social distancing and a lack of actual contact, we should expect to see even more from voice technology in 2021. This could include automated voice systems for doctors’ surgeries, or businesses implementing voice technology to make for a safer, more sanitary customer experience.
Either way, we can expect to see a further increase in demand for voice assistant jobs, as voice technology continues to be powered by a mix of human and synthetic voices.
5. We’ll see more conversational-style voice-overs
As we know, there’s a massive range of different voice-over styles, with the perfect voice available for pretty much any purpose. But, recently, it’s the natural, conversational style of voice-overs that has seen a rise in popularity.
With stringent social distancing measures in place, it’s possible that people have sought the feeling of human connection more than ever before. So, a more conversational and friendly style of voice-over is increasingly important, allowing for a meaningful connection with viewers.
As well as this, as we continue to adapt our lives to the ‘new normal’, it’s vital that information is delivered in a reliable and genuine way. With a more conversational and natural style of voice-over, consumers are likely to feel more reassured and have greater trust in the information being delivered, which is crucial when communicating a message.
6. The introduction of voice-integration in video games
Voice-led gaming has been on the scene for a while now, growing in popularity year-on-year. However, 2021 is the year the technology is predicted to really take off.
It’s worth mentioning how Google and Amazon are getting ahead of the game (no pun intended) with the developing role of voice in video games. Not only are there an increasing number of voice-powered Alexa games, there’s also the controller that can be enabled through Google Assistant.
But, it’s how voice can be used and integrated into the actual gameplay that’s really important. The next trend expected from voice-enabled gaming will see voice assistants integrated into the game in real-time, offering strategy advice to players. As well as this, we could see a change in the voices of in-game characters. To save time, in 2021 it’s predicted that developers will utilise the most up-to-date technology to provide synthetic voice-overs that mimic human voices.
As the industry continues to grow rapidly, the opportunities for voice-powered games and voice-integrated gaming could be endless. The world of gaming, and their use of voice-overs, is definitely one to keep your eye on in 2021.
So, there we have it. The six trends predicted to dominate the world of voice-over in 2021. It would be impossible to ignore the effect Covid-19 has had on this list, shaping the demand for different kinds of voice-over, and the way in which we record them. So, as we move forward into another year where Covid is still defining our lives (for now, at least), we are interested to see how the voice-over industry continues to adapt.
Here at Matinée Multilingual, we expect more of our voice artists to utilise home studios, whilst responding to an increase in demand for jobs in e-learning, online video content and video games.
Whatever project you’re working on next, we’ll be able to help you find the perfect voice, using our vast database of hand-picked, highly experienced voice artists covering over 80 languages.
Why not get in touch with Matinée Multilingual today to find out how we can help you?
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