Animated videos are a great way to explain complex products and services. Studies show that consumers prefer watching a product video before making a purchase.
However, video production is a much more complex and resource-intensive process compared to some of the other forms of communication. We’ve seen that often, businesses misjudge the time and resources involved in the production of an animated explainer video.
If you’ve previously shopped around for an animated explainer video, there’s a fair chance that you may have received a wide range of pricing. The pricing depends on various factors including, of course, the quality of production and your timeline.
For this blog article, let’s take this 5Crowd explainer video as a reference to evaluate its pricing based on the complexity of the project.
Length: ~90 seconds
Timeline: 6 weeks
Animation complexity: Medium
Let’s dive deeper into the video production process and talk about how the pricing of an animated video is typically calculated.
When we’re producing an animated explainer video, the goal of it is to drive business results. To achieve that, it’s vital to understand your business, target audience, and the style of visual animation that will be most effective.
This requires in-depth research of your industry as well as studying the business’s previous marketing efforts and their impact. Typically, strategy takes one whole week which involves one to two meetings with the client.
Approximate number of hours: 10
Cost: Less than $1000 on average
Scriptwriting is probably the most important step of the video production process. It’s extremely important to find the right messaging that will connect with your audience. A well-written animated explainer video script simplifies complex ideas and builds them into an engaging story.
Businesses are often tempted to take up this part of the process themselves, thinking that they know their audience too well and can better communicate with their prospects. Of course, the whole video production needs to be a collaborative process, however, animated explainer video scriptwriting is a very specialized skill and should be handled by an experienced professional.
Average cost of an experienced explainer video scriptwriter: $300 per minute of video
Once the script of an explainer video is finalized, the focus shifts to coming up with visual concepts that would best represent each part of the script.
Typically, the creative director works with the concept artist to come up with rough sketches of all the different scenes of the video that will form a compelling story.
After the client is aligned with the sketches, one to two professional illustrators are assigned to design all the scenes of the video. This usually takes 2 full weeks of work.
Considering two to three rounds of revisions in this phase, here’s an approximation of the cost associated with this stage:
Approximate number of accumulative hours between creative director, concept artist, and illustrators: 80
Cost: $3000 – $4000
A professional and suitable voice is critical for the success of an animated explainer video. The traits of an excellent voice-over include:
- Clear pronunciation
- Voice acting that emphasizes the important parts of the script
- Suitable pacing that isn’t too rushed but at the same time not too slow so it doesn’t make the overall experience dull
The pricing of voice-over artists can vary greatly depending upon if they have a home studio or if they book a studio for recording.
Average pricing of an experienced animated explainer voice-over artist: $300 per minute of audio
Once the voice-over and storyboards are finalized, the next step in the process is animation. In simple words, animators add movements to the illustrated scenes and sync them with the voice-over recording. The people from the agency that are most involved in this stage are the creative director and animators.
Depending upon the style of the explainer video, the amount of time spent in this phase of the process can vary to a great extent.
Below are two different explainer video styles that show a great difference in the complexity of animation.
1. This video uses 2D character-style animation.
2. This one uses motion graphics.
Approximate number of accumulative hours between the creative director and animators: 80
Cost: $3000 – $4000
Music & Sound Effects:
Music selection is one of the most important aspects of a production. Music can greatly influence the feel of the overall video. It should always support the story and build an emotional connection with the viewer.
An explainer video usually starts with the problem statement, then transitions to the solution and its benefits and ends with a call-to-action. A quality music score emphasizes each of the different parts of the story and fits in nicely with the voice-over recording.
Typically, there are two ways music is finalized for an animated explainer video.
1. Create a custom soundtrack
This option allows more flexibility in terms of adding appropriate transitions based on the video script. As you would expect, this also can be more expensive compared to the second option.
Pricing of a professional music producer: $500-$1000 per minute of audio
2. Find a suitable track from stock music websites
There are numerous stock music websites that offer thousands of music tracks for as little as $20 per track. Some of the popular stock music websites include Audiojungle, Pond5, and Audionetwork.
Typically, a music track won’t cost more than $50, but depending upon the use of the final video, the licensing costs can vary between $100 – $1000.
In addition to music, sound effects also play a vital role in playing up different animation sequences inside the video.
The purchase of stock sound effects typically costs less than $100.
Read more: Where to Find Background Music for Your Video Content
Throughout the whole process of video production, a project manager is dedicated to assist the client and share project updates as well as collate feedback.
Approximate number of hours attributed to project management: 10
Average Explainer Video Production Cost:
As mentioned previously, the cost of production of an explainer video can vary greatly from agency to agency. Based on our recent survey, the price can range anywhere from $2500 – $20,000.
If we take into account the average production costs of each stage of the process as listed above, here’s what we get:
Total average cost for a professionally produced animated explainer video: $7800
An animated explainer video has proved to be a game-changer for numerous businesses. A famous case study is Dropbox. They were able to raise $48,000,000 with the help of their explainer, which technically has an ROI of close to about 5000%.
In another study conducted by Unbounce, explainer videos have shown to increase the conversion rate of websites by up to 20%.
Although the costs may add up, the fact remains that the potential impact a simple explainer video can have on your business is substantial; therefore, it makes sense to invest in a quality video that explains your product or services to your prospects in an engaging manner. If you’re interested in having an explainer made for your business and want to find out more, feel free to contact us. We’d love to help.