Audio description (AD) is also known as descriptive audio or video description and serves the blind and visually impaired by providing a verbal, natural narrative summary of each scene in a film or TV series. It offers a detailed narration of pictures that adds depth and meaning to any visual media.
The National Federation of the Blind estimates that 1 in 30 Americans is blind or has a severe vision impairment. Audio description services, therefore, have ample potential for serving a growing market.
From live theatre to corporate productions, feature films, television programs, and even YouTube videos— audio descriptions are vital to ensure AAA accessibility conformance.
At Voquent, we'll write professionally produced AD scripts and record with your preferred narrator voice in any language or accent.
Audio Description Process
We'll review the material and provide you with a fixed quote for the total AD production.
We will write the audio description script and send it to you for approval before recording or translations.
We record the narration and deliver a time-synced audio track or mix it into the video.
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Learn more about audio description
On a purely human level, experiencing emotion is the reason we watch movies, play games or binge TV series. A recent study about audio description and film showed statistically significant differences between how the visually impaired experience content with and without AD. This study proves AD makes a tremendous difference.
Voquent provides audio descriptions for films and other media content to enrich the blind and partially sighted media experience. We only use human narrators—no synthesized speech here!
Without accurate, descriptive audio, it is almost impossible for the blind or partially-sighted to comprehend the content entirely. Properly serving the visually impaired audience will unlock a niche and loyal consumer.
Descriptive audio services aren't only for TV and films. We write and record audio descriptions to fit into the natural pauses in dialogue for corporate video, eLearning content, and more—all to meet accessibility standards.
What if my content has no space for an audio description?
Producing descriptive audio isn't always easy. Some content may contain a lot of speech without any natural space for a narrator to describe the visuals. If the intention is to offer maximum accessibility to the blind and visually impaired, the best approach is to 'pause' the video. The narrator now has an opportunity to describe what's happening before the film resumes. Approaching the AD in this way can make the video much longer in duration. Maximum AAA accessibility, in this case, is also more costly since there will be:
more for the video describer to write
more for the narrator to record
additional video editing work required
Of course, the visually impaired audience will appreciate the extra effort, and they will especially love our expert narrator voices.
Audio description review and process
The cost of producing the audio description is dependant on the duration of the material, the languages required and the level of conformance.
We'll first review the material to ascertain its suitability.
Does the video contain sufficient gaps in the narration to insert descriptive audio easily?
If not, the video may need editing before we begin. Alternatively, we may need to create a second version of the video with the existing narration deleted.
After reviewing the material, we'll advise the best approach to meet your budget and accessibility requirements.
There are three steps to the production process.
Scriptwriting AD is often the most time-consuming part of the job.
Our experienced scriptwriters will craft a clever script to offer appropriate descriptions for the blind/partially sighted audience whilst considering the time constraints.
We'll write the first draft for your review, and there may be some back and forth between the scriptwriter and the client to perfect the copy.
Voquent is primarily an online voice-over agency. We're a platform designed to cast and record voices in any accent or language.
We have some regular AD narrators who love doing this work, but you are welcome to use our advanced search tools to shortlist your options.
Please remember that costs can vary between narrators, depending on their experience.
After producing the video description, the final steps include voice-over post-production and video editing. We'll mix the AD with the existing soundtrack and then edit this into the video content. We can deliver in most video formats.
If you intend to do the final video editing yourself, we can provide the audio files independently.
Please let us know what your delivery requirements are at the quoting stage.
What does an audio description cost?
Our minimum fee for the entire process (from scriptwriting to delivery of video files) starts from USD 600 / GBP 400 (ex VAT if applicable).
Please discuss your needs in full with a member of our sales team, and we'll provide a personalized quote. Prices will vary depending on the level of accessibility required and the content.
How long does an audio description take to make?
We can write approximately 10-20 minutes of audio descriptive text per working day, per scriptwriter. The turnaround time for the narration will depend on the availability of the narrator. However, we would typically allow a minimum of 2-3 working days.
If video editing is required, we may require an additional 1-2 days.
We complete most projects in 5-7 working days, and we'll advise you of the time required for your project at the quoting stage.