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  • George Samuels

How Much Does An Explainer Video Cost?

Update [27.7.14]: This post has been updated to reflect the changes in pricing within the general explainer video market. 

The animated explainer video is becoming increasingly popular.

Did you know that explainer videos can increase your customer’s retention rate by around 50%? Did you also know that there is more use of animation and video in 2014 due to increased mobile usage?

This means it’s a lucrative time to get one done for your business today, before the rest of the population catches on.

One of my mentors, Miguel Hernandez of Grumo Media, wrote the most succinct and concise break-down of the what and why costs for animated demo videos. The below has been borrowed and adapted from him.

The Costs

A typical explainer video costs anywhere from $500 (yep, you read that right) to $8.6K a minute.

$500 will get you a very simple explainer video, most likely produced standard tools such as PowToons or GoAnimate.

These type of tools can be huge time-savers, but not in the hands of an amateur. Any explainer video still requires someone with good storytelling abilities, online marketing knowledge and animation expertise to be able to utilize the tools effectively.

A good animator charges between $300 to $500 a day. If the animation is simple, a good animator can produce about one minute of content a week.

Why are the prices so varied?

Many people who approach me say they cannot afford a $2K+ animation, or they think it is too expensive.

Charging $2K per minute is actually pretty low considering standard agency rates for producing high quality animation.

Large studios can charge anywhere between $100K to $400K, most often more, to produce a 30 second TV ad. At $100K, that is about $3K per second of video compared to $170 per second for a one minute $10K promo video.

The difference is a whopping 18x cheaper!

Again that is considering a cheap TV ad versus an expensive animated promo video. So in reality, the difference is usually 30x to 50x less in price for a typical 1 minute demo video than for a 30 sec commercial.

There are two main reasons for the big difference: momentum and resources.

The Break-Down

On a $8.6K one minute ad this is how a typical budget would look like:# Task DescriptionHours Cost Amount1Project brief2$50.00$100.002Script creation7.5$50.00$375.003Illustrations12$50.00$600.004Animation30$50.00$1,500.005Video rendering2.5$50.00$125.006Voice over2$50.00$100.007Sound effects2$50.00$100.008Sound track selection2$50.00$100.009Stock images0.5$100.00$50.0010Sound rights0.5$100.00$50.0011Video Editing4$50.00$200.0012Script revisions4$50.00$200.0013Illustration revisions4$50.00$200.0014Voice over revisions2$50.00$100.0015Final edit revisions2$50.00$100.0016Meetings/Phone Calls/emails6$50.00$300.0017Video compression2$30.00$60.0018Video upload and delivery2$30.00$60.00TOTAL:$4,320.00

As it can be seen, a $4.3K video allows for certain amount of revision work which ensures the final product can meet the clients highest expectations. 2 years ago, this would have costed you $8.6K. Technology and advances are allowing for faster output.

Remember though, when you try to cut corners and undercut your producer, be aware that less time will be allocated to refining and the end product and quality will suffer accordingly.

NB: All above costs are rough estimates. Hourly rates can vary considerably between animators. Stock images can get very expensive as well as sound track rights. Professional voiceover can add a lot to a budget if the voice over artist is famous.

Hope this article gave you a better idea of how the animation process works, and especially how it’s priced. Have questions? Ask away below in the comments.

Don’t have the time or resources to create your own explainer videos? Let us do the heavy lifting for you. Click here to get in touch with our team today.