Pavis, Tulti and Pye (2019)
|Pavis, Tulti and Pye (2019)|
|Title:||Fair Pay/Play in the UK Voice-Over Industries : A Survey of 200+ voice-overs|
|Author(s):||Mathilde Pavis, Huda Tulti, Joanne Pye|
|Citation:||Pavis, M., Tulti, H., & Pye, J. (2019) Fair Pay/Play in the UK Voice-Over Industries : A Survey of 200+ voice-overs. Available via: Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3340920|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were obtained via an online survey of voice-over performers. Respondents were sourced by convenience by contacting a range of unions, societies and associations representing voice-over performers, totalling 249 respondents, of which 239 comprise the dataset.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“The emergence of online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms, which have introduced Uber-like business models for the commissioning of creative content, brings both threats and opportunities to the UK creative economy. This research investigates the impact of these platforms from the perspective of a specific market: the UK voice-over industries. This is done by analyzing levels of remuneration, recruitment and contractual practices as well as the role played by intellectual property rights in monetizing the work of voice-over performers.
This pilot study follows two recent reforms of EU regulations: the first regards fairness in relation to authors’ and performers’ remuneration (via intellectual property rights); the second focuses on fairness and transparency in the contractual terms and conditions practiced by online intermediation services (such as online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms). This research is also preceded by a report on the remuneration of creative labour in the digital environment published by the World Intellectual Property Organization and important seminal academic work on this question.
In a two-part analysis, this study demonstrates that online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms defeat the framework of intellectual property (copyright and performers’ rights) on a global scale. The research findings are outlined in two reports. The first report (this document) analyzes the findings of the online survey carried by the research team to capture the experience of voice-over performers on remuneration, recruitment, contract and intellectual property. The second report contrasts these results with a review of online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms’ terms and conditions, scheduled to be released by January 2020.
The results of the survey show that: online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms are perceived very negatively by voice-over performers; the use of written contracts, summarizing the key aspects of a transaction is extremely rare; and, there is a critical lack of awareness of intellectual property rights within voice-over performers paired with a perceived lack of representation by unions or organizations to defend and advance their rights. At the same time, the survey also evidences that the UK voice-over market is extremely versatile, and contributes to an impressive range of cultural, communication and entertainment sectors. The survey thus evidences that the UK voice-over industries are a key contributor to the country’s creative economy. As such, national policy-makers must take measures to safeguard the market’s resilience in the global digital environment, which in this case, includes addressing the role and impact of online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms.
The research concludes that the contractual terms currently practiced by online peer-to-peer recruitment platforms pose a threat to the UK intellectual property framework. However, preliminary investigation also suggests that these platforms could become an opportunity to introduce principles of contractual best practice on a global scale, should their terms and conditions be appropriately revised."
Main Results of the Study
• Voice-over performers earn on average between £5,000 - £10,000, with very few earning in excess of £20,000. Average earnings increase with the number of jobs or ‘gigs’ undertaken by the performer.
• Over 64% of the voice-over performers surveyed were registered with peer-to-peer recruitment platforms (uber-esque), despite being perceived as “poor value”, “exploitative”, “unfair” and “low quality”.
• Many voice-over performers are unaware or have low levels of knowledge about intellectual property, with less than half of respondents reporting familiarity with this area. Less than half (46%) make use of intellectual property rights in negotiations, and the majority (over 70%) are unaware of equitable remuneration rights. Nearly half of performers (46%) ‘always’ or ‘mostly’ transfer their intellectual property rights via a buy-out contract, and over 70% are unaware of the difference between assigning and licensing their rights.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study cautions that peer-to-peer recruitment platforms have largely been neglected from policy discussions, but have been revealed to negatively impact performers’ ability to leverage an equitable remuneration right. Such platforms may assign themselves intellectual property rights without clarity or proper notification, without negotiation, and without appropriate financial compensation. Whilst no explicit policy recommendations are suggested, this may follow in a second report anticipated in 2020.