Rights of use and buyouts

June 14, 2019

Rights of use & buyouts

If you commission a voice recording for your project, you should clarify beforehand whether any usage rights may apply.
What do you have to pay attention to and how much will it cost?

„We want unlimited use in terms of time and place for all media.” Okay, but that gets really expensive and is usually out of proportion and unnecessary. "

It is better to think about the media and the duration of your project beforehand. For example, a local radio spot does not need national usage rights, promo projects do not need unlimited buyouts, etc.

Usage rights apply if your project is used as paid advertising in the movie theater, TV, radio, POS, online, etc. The “basic prices” depend on the medium, area of application and time. Well-known speakers are usually more expensive and with others you can negotiate individual “package prices.”

So - What do you need to consider on the way to optimal speaker performance? In the following you will find useful tips on the topics:

  • Payed commercial
  • Online / ads, radio / TV / movies
  • Runtimes
  • Local / national / worldwide
  • Total buyout
  • Celebrities
  • Costs
Markus Löhr

We from VOX-OVER have successfully guided projects for large businesses and smaller clients and found great solutions for every challenge. Need help? Let us know. We are here to support you.
Trevor Hurst & Markus Löhr

Our promise:

  • Personal support for your projects
  • Guaranteed quality according to EBU standard (European Broadcast Union)
  • 100% native speakers, TV-radio quality speakers
  • Implementation on schedule
  • Confidence through NDAs with suppliers
  • Legally compliant usage rights and licensing
  • Archiving and problem-free continuation of all projects

General matters

Rights of use and buyouts are incurred when voice recordings are used for advertising, i.e. when payment is made for broadcasting or use. Be it at the movies, on TV, radio, POS or online, as soon as customers can hear the voice recordings without being asked, this is called active use and buyouts are to be charged for this.

The amount of the fees depends on the medium and the temporal and spatial use. Therefore, it is sensible to clarify in advance where, how long and for what purpose the voice recordings will be used.


As a rule, the utilization is valid for one year from the first broadcast/transmission. If the same voice recording is used for another spot, usage rights will apply again. Cutdowns, reminders, disrupting eye-catchers and patronages - in short, variations of the main spot - are paid for separately. Here, too, there are individual package solutions that can consist, for example, of a combination of TV and Internet spot with cutdowns.

The spatial exploitation should be defined sensibly, booking a local radio spot nationally or a German spot worldwide makes no sense and is only expensive.
A personal consultation makes sense here in any case.


If the voice recording is used as an ad on the Internet, for example as a Facebook ad, sponsored link on Google or on a campaign page, etc., the usage rights for an Internet spot apply. In the case of passive use, i.e. if the video is only available on the company’s own homepage or YouTube page, for example, no additional costs are added.


Exploitation rights are most expensive in the case of commercial use on TV and in movies. Here, too, a distinction is made according to the area of application. Whether the spot is used in the German-speaking region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) or only in the special-interest channel makes a big difference. It does not matter how long the voice recording is, even if only one word is spoken, it counts as one spot.


The classic radio spot varies considerably from local to international use, and the product advertised is also relevant to the price: a commercial for a large bank is usually more expensive than the small bakery around the corner.

POS, tade fairs

If the voice recording is used at a POS (point of sale), i.e. shown on a screen in a store or department store, usage rights also apply. These are comparable to the cost of an Internet ad. Use at trade fair usually does not incur an extra charge.

Tip: since the costs for the layout are independent of the use, you can also consider which utilization is best for your product after the voice recording. Costs then only arise if in fact they are used.

Famous speakers

Voices of famous actors or popular dubbing artists can bring special attention to certain projects. The recognizability of the famous voices can pay off. Basically, almost every wish can be fulfilled, as long as the budget allows it.


Many abbreviations and terms are not self-explanatory, so here are a few tips:

Layout: the pure voice recording
Cut-down: new subject from an existing spot
Allonge: Local versions of an existing spot
Disruptor/ Eye-catcher: Changes to the existing spot
Claim: the brand name or slogan at the end of a spot. POS: Brand presentation in a store, DIY hardware store, department store, in-flight service

Feel free to contact us directly should you have any questions!

We want the Speaker Text Guide to be a valuable and useful reference tool for everyone. 

We welcome your suggestions and comment or even criticism!

Perfect voice-overs, successful project.