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A Pay To Play Math Lesson

Paul Strikwerda really does enjoy stirring the pot. God love him for it! His most recent post on a particular casting site (read here) really started some heated (and necessary) debate.

More than a few people have come to me in defence of the this particular casting site. They’ve spoke of the great work they’ve booked through the site. The opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise had without the site. They’ve also spoke of how, with their premium membership, they’ve broke even or turned a small profit each year, so it’s worth it.

Really? It’s worth it to break even or turn a small profit?

A Pay To Play Math Lesson

I say, no. It’s not worth it if that’s the case. How many auditions did you do to break even? How much time did those auditions take? How many hours did you sit in front of your computer sifting through those listings?

Let’s do some math.

Total Return – Commission (10%) – Membership ($400) ÷ Hours = x

Let’s say, for arguments sake, you made $1,000 in a year (remember, you said you broke even or turned a small profit).

$1,000 – 10% – $400 = $500.

Now, let’s say you spent 1 hour a day 5 days a week auditioning to make that $1,000 and you took two weeks vacation. That’s 250 hours in a year. (50 weeks x 5 hours)

$500 ÷ 250 = $2/hr

That’s worth it?

For those saying $1,000 is low… fine. Let’s say you earned $2,500.

$2,500 – 10% – $400 ÷ 250 = $7.40/hr

What’s minimum wage where you live? Where I live, it’s more than $7.40/hr.

The other consideration in this math is one hour a day. Most people I know on the P2P’s are spending a lot more than one hour a day!

Crunch Your Own Numbers

I won’t deny that P2P sites offer some great opportunities. Back in the day, I booked some great clients via P2P sites… when I was still allowed to communicate with clients. A few of them are clients to this day. When the business model of the sites changed, though, the numbers just didn’t add up for me anymore.

Personally, I’d rather take those 250 hours and do my own marketing, book my own clients, and skip the project managers, lowball rates, commissions and membership fees.

Have you taken the time to do your own math? Do the numbers add up?

Thanks for sharing this post from Marc Scott's Voice Over Blog.