VoiceZam Slam Dunk

voicezamBob Merkel is the founder and force behind VoiceZam.  He and I have  never met in person.  That unfortunate circumstance will likely be remedied at FaffCon6 in San Antonio this October, but until then, there exists this comfortable fellowship that results in today’s exclusive announcement here on this blog.

VoiceZam — as many of you know — is an innovation that blossomed from Merkel’s experience & creativity, and developed into a useful voice-actor’s tool, thanks to his equally savvy business acumen.  Visit the VoiceZam website, or revisit my interview with Bob to discover how this software can display/play your demo in such a unique way as to make VoiceZam a head-and-shoulders solution above any other player on the market.  Bob didn’t reinvent the wheel, but other embedded mp3 players appear  like  the wooden rim of a Roman chariot compared to VoiceZam’s wide-tracked polymer latex on today’s Indy racecars.

Bob’s been reconsidering the price-point of VoiceZam lately, though.  All his research shows that the vast majority of voice talent think VoiceZam is the best thing since the toaster oven, but they balk at the pricetag.

Hence today’s announcement.  You can read the official word here: VOICEZAM PR 2013

In short, Merkel is henceforth cutting the cost of his excellent product in half…  Yup, in half!

Merkel told me:  “‘…I realized by making the product more affordable, I’d help my dream come true—to help voice artists achieve theirs…”

The only conceivable rub in such a development is the possible question from early adopters who’ve been paying the (ahem) original price all this time.  I’m among them, and see no merit in this concern whatsoever.  Here’s why:  virtually every supporter of trend-setting technology knows of the added cost (and advantage) of being on the vanguard of new ideas.  Heck, I remember purchasing my first hand-held calculator from Sears for $79 dollars in 1973 (?)… and it didn’t even have a square-root key! Recall buying your first laptop?  Clunky, floppy-drive contraptions with green characters, and an almost prohibitive price-tag.

Congratulations!  The early-adopters have made it possible for Merkel to now offer this new price-point, and let’s face it…anyone who has already purchased VoiceZam knows of the clear benefits of the service so far and purchased it with their eyes open.

Please log into your account today and check your billing.  You should see the reflection of this new pricing structure in your next cycle.

Those of you waiting to join, or who have not heard of the incredibleness of VoiceZam can visit http://www.voicezam.com to begin your sign-up.

Also, There is now a landing page for the new price announcement, located here: http://www.voicezam.com/public/Latest-news.aspx

If you get a chance, you might want to drop Bob a line and let him know of your appreciation.  Merkel continues to innovate and improve this useful service, and you will see new features incorporated into VoiceZam in the near future.

Also, please see Paul Strikwerda’s excellent extension and development of this story on his blog, here:  http://www.nethervoice.com/2013/07/02/voicezam/.  If you have not added Paul’s blog to your RSS feed, please do so, or just subscribe on his blogsite.

CourVO

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Comments

  1. says

    This is outstanding news! VoiceZam is one of those services that is absolutely worth paying for. The player is unlike anything else and the data you get from it is like gold. Thanks for sharing this story, Dave! And HUGE thanks to Bob Merkel for making this happen!

    • says

      THanks for the supportive statement, Anthony. Be sure to let Bob know of your enthusiasm. Other commenters are not as excited but this is what makes the world go ’round!

      Dave C

  2. says

    This is indeed great news – the price is exactly what was stopping me. Not that $20 is that much, but the new Adobe Audition CC is also $20 a month :)

    • says

      Adam,

      Good point. I’m using CC too, and there seems to be a lot of meat on that bone for $20/mo!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Dave Courvoisier

  3. says

    Hey Dave,

    Thanks for posting about the updated pricing.
    I’m afraid it still doesn’t make sense for me.
    Rather than just being a nay-sayer, I’d like to post my concerns here, along with possible solutions for each:

    1) Pricing
    Yes, the new pricing is lower. However, it’s still higher than I pay for hosting an entire site. More importantly, it’s higher than competing products (including many free ones).
    Possible solution: go to a flat one-time price, and offer free upgrades…. and include all “optional” features gratis.

    2) Cloud storage.
    I get it. “Cloud” is the new buzzword that everything on the planet must now feature. However, if the VoiceZam site is down, so are my demos. Even if I embed the player on my web site, I’m now reliant on VoiceZam to not only stay up, but stay in business.
    Possible solution: allow audio and the tool to be hosted on my own site. This provides for fewer points of failure overall.

    3) Audio Standards.
    Right now, VoiceZam wants to be the new way that I promote my demos to agents, casting directors and everyone else. The problem is, it’s not standard. If I email an mp3 to someone, they know exactly what to do with it. Many agents specify that they don’t want links to your demos, but the actual demos.
    Possible solution: I send an mp3… so why would I need VoiceZam?

    4) “VoiceZam”
    Ok, maybe it’s a small thing, but the name still makes me think that Vince of “Sham-Wow” fame should be hawking this. I’m no marketing expert by any measure, but a good name can make a product just as surely as a bad one can sink it.
    Possible solution: change the name to?

    The only major feature remaining is the ability to split a single mp3 into tracks for ease of jumping around. First, there are already other players with playlist features that handle that. Second, I’m really hoping that whoever listens to my demo the first time listens all the way through. After all, it’s only :60-:90 – If I can’t hold their attention that long, I’m in the wrong biz!

    I hope this constructive feedback helps, and that the folks at VoiceZam read it.
    It’s hard enough getting a new product off the ground – better to address the glaring issues as soon as possible, IMHO.

    Cheers,
    Joe

    • says

      Hi Joe,

      I appreciate your fleshing out your answer like that. I’ll direct Bob Merkel’s attention to it. Hope all is well!

      Dave Courvoisier

        • says

          Joe,

          You have no idea how refreshing that attitude is. Thanks for “getting it” and being constructive, not destructive.

          all the best, Joe!

          Dave Courvoisier

  4. Frank says

    If only you buy this one more product, your voice business will be a success.

    No.

    VoiceZam is a solution without a problem.

  5. says

    Thanks Dave for posting this…and every article you take the time to pen for that matter.

    And I very much appreciate the feedback from all concerns. I realize even with the new pricing, VoiceZam may still not be for everyone. But we’re always looking for ways to improve on the product and hopefully make it the best marketing tool out there for voice actors.

    I’m personally excited to see the recent activity and signups, but I’m also listening to the criticisms – they’re just as valid and important. Please know I do consider them and my door is always open to discuss further ways we can improve our service.

    Thanks again to all!

    Bob

  6. says

    I’m afraid Frank does not get it. This is far from “just another product” as the P2P sites have become. This is a game changer and finally one in which there is two way data – much more control over targeting the marketing, and most importantly, and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I can see who is listening and to what – none of the other platforms mentioned (jwplayer, soundcloud) do this. Now if flying blind is your idea of smart marketing, have at it – I for one find it very much worth it at the original or new price levels, to know just what my efforts are netting. Not every solution is for everyone, but this one is finally one in which there is in fact a problem that has been identified, and solved. And as to people knowing just what to do with an mp3 – I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t want their inboxes clogged with an mp3 from “yet another” VO – but the link can sit in the email til they choose to act upon it, they know to click a link, and if they choose not to jump around the demo they can just let it play. I plan on suggesting to Bob a few tweaks to make it more obvious that a. there is more than one demo in the player, the drop-down arrow seems to not be obvious enough, and b. the download demo icon could also be a bit more “HEY!!” – but the data speaks for itself. Naturally not every solution is for everyone – I am finished with P2P sites, for example – but replacing that with this has been a great move, I am driving the bus on my career, not someone’s computer algorithm. Viva VoiceZam! (uh, or something :-) )

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