Calculating charge rates for creating adverts / content

Hi all, hopefully the hive mind can help me with my query.

I’ve been working part time at a radio station for the past year or so as an audio engineer / producer, editor, copywriter making mostly adverts, promos for station shows and music beds for the station…

My production knowledge when I started was pretty much the basics as my background was more in composition than production and I could get a good enough result without fully understanding how and why I was doing / using what I did and working mostly on instinct.

Fast forward a year and with the help of Mike’s content, and that of so many others out there who share their knowledge, my understanding and proficiency has increased to the the point where I understand much better what I’m doing and feel I can start approaching other stations / organisations who need content created.

A couple of my selling points are that I can create original music or adapt existing music, As well as English I can voice in Te Reo Māori (the indigenous language of New Zealand), I can record mix and master to a broadcast quality level as well as the level of creativity I like to bring to my work.

I’m thinking that my creative process can be broken down into

research & copywriting,

music creation / composition / soundscape (if needed)


production (including mixing and mastering.)

but what I’m not sure about, is how many hours should I quote for each stage of the process. What’s realistic? What’s too much, or not enough. Also the rates for each stage, if they are different or separate to each other. Or is it better to charge a flat fee for each stage regardless of hours?

I’m in New Zealand so our currency is $NZD so any help with rates would be appreciates and I can convert to give me a fair idea.

Thanks in advance to any who are able to contribute to my query :slightly_smiling_face:


It’s great to hear about your progress in the field of audio production and your plans to approach other stations and organizations for content creation. Congratulations on expanding your skill set and exploring new opportunities!

In terms of breaking down your creative process and determining the hours and rates for each stage, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Research & Copywriting: Consider the time it takes you to gather information, brainstorm ideas, and craft compelling copy. Estimate the number of hours based on the complexity and depth of the project.
  2. Music Creation/Composition/Soundscape: Assess the level of complexity and originality required for each project. Calculate the time needed to compose or adapt music and create soundscapes accordingly.
  3. Voicing: Determine the length and complexity of the voiceover work required. Estimate the time it takes for recording, retakes, and editing to achieve the desired quality.
  4. Production (including mixing and mastering): Evaluate the complexity of the project, the number of tracks involved, and the level of refinement required for the final product. Estimate the time needed for mixing, mastering, and any additional post-production work.

When it comes to rates, it’s common to charge different rates for different stages of the process, as the time and expertise required may vary. However, you can also consider offering a flat fee for each stage, especially if the projects tend to have consistent scopes.

To determine specific rates, it would be beneficial to research the industry standards in New Zealand and take into account factors such as your experience level, market demand, and the value you provide to clients. You can also consider consulting with other professionals in the field or joining relevant industry associations to gather more insights. I would say that each skill could easily have a different rate. It doesn’t have to be uniform across all skills.

Remember, finding the right balance is key - rates should be fair and reflective of your skills and efforts while remaining competitive in the market.

Best of luck with your endeavors, and I hope this guidance helps you navigate your quoting process successfully!

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