Voiceover Generator

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CubicleDexter
14. February 2021
Hello. I have used your voiceover generator for a very long time. It's fantastic -- not always perfect -- but it fits my purpose very well. Including the four I generated tonight, I have 47 sound files which I use as in-game news reports in a weekly tabletop game I host. So, I cannot begin to express how happy I am with the product and how grateful I am that it exists. When I saw that you were adding a cost to it, I withheld the four I created tonight so that I could produce them at that cost. It is very reasonable!

With only one issue. My reports often include made-up words, usually a fictional planet or star, or sometimes just a strange futuristic spelling and pronunciation of Daviyid. And I want the voice generator to get that right, so I will misspell it to get the right pronunciation. One example is how Emma (conversation) pronounces Lamie -- I enter Lahmi and she pronounces it correctly. As you can imagine, this often takes multiple attempts... And although I am slowly building a database of how to spell certain names for the generator to get them right, there will always be new names.

Or sometimes the AI just doesn't intone/enunciate how/where I want and I need to deliberately misspell regular English words, try different words, or just rewrite that sentence entirely.

Would it be possible to have some kind of an unpaid preview? I feel silly asking something like this because the service is already so inexpensive. It just causes a small amount of frustration knowing that the pennies I just spent are being cast aside entirely -- and even more frustration entering each name separately to test them, or isolating a single sentence or phrase to try and get the tone just right.

This is the kind of service for which I'd gladly pay many times what you're asking, but feel slightly hesitant knowing I will so frequently pay for material that I discard. Or worse, feel a bit disappointed that I "settled" for a less satisfying voiceover, like I did tonight, because I didn't want to spend the 0,06 Euro over and over again trying to get it just right.

Please be clear, I will absolutely continue using this service whether or not you consider my request (or any other alternative). In all likelihood, I'll just put a dozen Euro of credits in the bank and go my merry way. But every time I generate a voiceover, I'll be looking for ways to minimize my waste, whether that's by the time-consuming frustration of testing small snippets at a time or the unsatisfying decision that a voiceover is "good enough".
saschaende
STAFF
15. February 2021
First thank you for your feedback.

This is all a great idea, but the problem is that we always pay the external provider for every use of the interfaces. So it's already just a plus minus zero business, since we pass on the costs 1 to 1. If we were to offer the preview free of charge, we would make a minus business.

If we were to calculate the amount of work, the generator is already a minus business.

In addition, I must mention that, since we started, so far 6 people have ordered credits - so it is more of a gimmick.

We set the lowest price possible, it is 0,0001 Eur per character.

On other sites you pay 20$ monthly for a subscription and they also use Amazon - like we do.

We could also offer a subscription because nobody really uses so many chars per month.

In the meantime, however, it has become clear to me that people prefer to pay an expensive monthly fee rather than a low individual consumption price. That's no joke, I also notice that in the email inquiries.

1 Cent would be 0,01.
1 char costs 0,0001.

I think people do not understand so many decimals?

Would you prefer a subscription? To be honest? :)
saschaende
STAFF
15. February 2021
For example this company is offering this service for 99$ per month (49$ if you pay annualy).

www.naturalreaders.com/commercial.html

The "premium" voices are the same as on Filmmusic.io :D No joke, they also just use Amazon APIs (like the most... or nearly all).

On Filmmusic.io 99$ would be 990.000 chars. This is around ~15 hours of speech.

One option would be to simply change the price on Filmmusic.io from 0.0001 to 0.001 in exchange for making the preview free. Would that be a solution for you?
CubicleDexter
15. February 2021
One option would be to simply change the price on Filmmusic.io from 0.0001 to 0.001 in exchange for making the preview free. Would that be a solution for you?


Hm. It's difficult to answer because it's such a counterintuitive and illogical response on my part. I want to answer yes, but then I go and look at the math. I spent just over half a dollar (of the free credits, thank you for that) for the four clips I created. I don't know exactly how many times I redid the sound, but it was at least three full times. Three of the clips were longer, averaging 632 characters each and one was short at only 303 characters. In total, I spent 0,43 Euro for 2,199 kept characters. Those kept characters would have cost me just over two Euro instead of the 0,43 they did.

It's funny that the math shows my previews were about equivalent to my kept characters. I'm sure I would have spent more time adjusting the voice, playing with the controls a bit, if the preview was free. In the end, after some sleep and some actual analysis instead of gut feeling, I don't know if I'd rather pay ten times more for free previews. It's clearly not cost-beneficial *to me* to argue for free preview or subscription rate, but it's still going to keep feeling bad when I burn 0,06 Euro multiple times to adjust a sentence or two. That gut check is a me problem, though. :)

I'll retract my suggestion for now. It'll be a while before I need to generate more of these clips, unless my players suddenly start spending weeks in-game zooming around the galaxy. I'm an in-game month ahead of them with these news reports. I think I need to just throw so many credits on the pile next time I generate reports, so that I don't as easily notice the cost. I'll use the psychology of numbers against my self.

Thank you for the consideration and the conversation. And again, I thank you for the product. It has added a lot of immersion and enjoyment to this silly little game I play with a couple other guys. :)
saschaende
STAFF
15. February 2021
Since this is purely a hobby and recreational project, I'm happy to play with my cards up and ask the "What would you do?" question. Mind you, it has to be said that the main focus of this site is still music.

This is the service we and almost everyone else uses: aws.amazon.com/polly/pricing/?nc1=h_ls.

The cost is $16 per 1,000,000 characters. That's $0.000016 per character cost. Whether preview or not, we pay for EACH language file generated.

So if we sell 1,000,000 characters, the margin is 100$-16$ = 84$. This does not include any costs for development, taxes and invoicing and our own server/traffic costs or costs for payment (paypal also wants money).

The time so far to develop this tool and connect it to Amazon has been about 26 hours. If I use a low hourly rate of 80$, the development costs so far were about 2080$. The credit system and billing gobbled up another 15 hours, so 1200$.

So far in the last 2 months 13 people have bought credits for a total of 165$. If they use them, the revenue (without costs) is 138,60$.

If one would offer now still the whole "trying around" free of charge with, almost nothing would remain. At the latest when everyone needs 5 times a preview to get a download, we would pay on it.

The other providers charge 49-99$ per month for a subscription, because they calculate that every user uses less than 3 million characters per month. And at the end of the day, there has to be a profit?

At Filmusic.io it's not so bad if there's no profit, because we don't have any personnel costs, since everyone works for free (me too) .... but it's kind of unsatisfying if there's nothing left at all.

So... what would you do?
saschaende
STAFF
15. February 2021
Mentioned in passing:

The artists here receive a generous compensation of 70%. And just because there are no staff costs and I forgo all income on the sales of my own music and we have regular donations, the profit of Filmmusic.io in 2019 was just under 3400 euros after taxes and all costs.

Monthly server costs with all the trimmings are currently around 300-400 euros. The tax consultant costs about 350 euros per month. These are the fixed costs that have to be paid. So we have to sell licenses for at least about 3000 Euro per month, so that this website can continue to exist at all.

Currently, however, thanks to the existing bank balance, even if there were no more income at all, the website could survive exactly 11.25 months - probably a little less, since the tax office also wants money.

You can see how tight I have to calculate here to keep the "store running".
saschaende
STAFF
15. February 2021
There is one more thing I forgot to mention: Every user gets $0.25 free credit for the voice generator just like you.

We also have to pay for that out of our pocket. So your used gift credit of 0,25$ credits has effectively already cost us 4 cents.

We currently have about 120,000 users. If all of them use their gift credits without buying anything, we have costs of 4800 Euro.
CubicleDexter
16. February 2021
Since this is purely a hobby and recreational project, I'm happy to play with my cards up and ask the "What would you do?" question.


I think I would tell myself that I'm an edge case, that most people aren't sending language files with fictional words, and that I can just deal with it. You're clearly kinder than that, so make some adjustments to the wording. :D

In a more serious response, I think offering this service at such a remarkably lower cost than your nearest competitor is already pretty awesome. As far as I can tell, this is a fairly new public toy, so you're doing a service to *everyone* who wants to take advantage of AI content creation by telling the market, "Hey, it can be this cheap." A lot of the time, consumers don't know how expensive a service is. We just see the final cost. We *know* the provider is making a profit off it, or at least believe they are, because that's just how business works. And money, in general. But what we don't usually know is just how much of a profit that is. You've stamped the lower bound of what is still profitable; presumably, as this technology gets utilized by more content creators, this lower bound you've marked will have an effect on other providers, forcing them to lower their prices in order to compete.

So, yeah. I would politely tell myself that the numbers were carefully assessed and that the profit margins in the method you've chosen are already very small. That any other option which attempts to accommodate "free" previews would necessarily be much more expensive for the people who don't need to use them, and that's a rather unbalanced service arguably preying on the customers who are most easily satisfied with the result.

Keep offering the service as you priced it, you've already created a great value.
CubicleDexter
16. February 2021
Every user gets $0.25 free credit for the voice generator just like you.


Slightly concerning. I believe I began with exactly 1 Euro of credit. Even with exchange rate, that's quite a bit more than $0.25. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, and this is $0.25 credit per month? Or is something else happening?
saschaende
STAFF
16. February 2021
Yes, I forgot. Depending on the registration date it was even 1 euro free. So 16 cents effective cost for us.

But I have now completely turned off this gift credit for new users, because users have abused this and only because of this have constantly created new accounts.

Made with  in Germany by Sascha Ende

Filmmusic.io UG (limited)
Skagenhof 9
30457 Hannover
Germany

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