What Are the Video Production Costs in 2024? Agencies vs Freelancers vs In-house

video production cost

Ever wondered why video production costs are so hefty? Simply put, high-quality professional equipment and expert skills don’t come cheap. 

Not every company can afford to hire a dedicated full-time professional. However, when it comes to marketing, quality is everything. Cutting corners on video production means sacrificing the impact and effectiveness of your content. 

So, how much does it cost to make a video? If you do it in-house, it’s basically your employees’ salary plus the cost of all the equipment you need to create professional videos. 

But you can always outsource it to a video agency or a freelancer. If you do this, video production costs will depend on a lot of factors, which we’ll review in this article. 

Before going through the video production costs and what factors influence them, let’s see your options when it comes to product video types. 

Key takeaways:

  • The video production costs depend on who makes your video:

  • Video production agencies: Typically cost between $3,000 and $50,000+ depending on complexity and length. Good for high-impact videos.

  • Freelancers: This is a more affordable option, with rates ranging from $30 to $200 per hour. Ideal for simpler videos.

  • In-house videographer: Requires annual salary (around $90,000) on top of equipment costs. Best for companies needing ongoing video production.

  • There are ways to reduce the video production fees without compromising on quality:

  • Shorter and simpler videos are cheaper: Aim for clear messaging and avoid unnecessary bells and whistles. Agencies often charge per minute, so keeping it concise saves money.

  • Look for bulk order discounts: Some agencies offer reduced prices per video if you order multiple videos at once.

Product Video Types

1. Spokesperson videos

Spokesperson videos feature a real person on camera, explaining and demonstrating the features and benefits of a product. 

Seeing a person using the product creates a sense of connection and helps viewers imagine themselves using it as well.

Not to mention that spokespeople can add personality to your brand and make your product more memorable.

Here are some common uses for spokesperson product demo videos:

  • Product launches: Generate excitement and interest in a new product by showcasing it with a spokesperson.
  • In-depth demonstrations: Spokesperson videos can be used for more complex products, where a detailed explanation is helpful.
  • Customer testimonials: Feature satisfied customers as spokespersons to build trust and social proof.

The average hourly rate for each person involved in the production of spokesperson videos:

  • Producer – $36/hour
  • Director – $38/hour
  • Scriptwriter – $29/hour
  • Spokesperson/On-Camera Talent – $26/hour
  • Director of Photography (DOP)/Cinematographer – $31/hour
  • Camera Operator – $24/hour
  • Sound Technician/Audio Engineer – $26/hour
  • Lighting Technician/Gaffer – $24/hour
  • Makeup Artist – $22/hour
  • Wardrobe Stylist – $24/hour
  • Production Assistant – $17/hour
  • Teleprompter Operator – $19/hour
  • Editor – $34/hour
  • Colorist – $29/hour
  • Graphic Designer – $26/hour
  • Sound Designer – $31/hour
  • Motion Graphics Artist – $34/hour
  • Post-Production Supervisor – $38/hour

Here’s a great example of a spokesperson video by Videodeck:

2. Animated videos

Animated videos use motion graphics, illustrations, and visual effects to explain your product. The thing about animation videos is that you can simplify complex concepts or processes and explain them visually.

With animation videos, you have control over the visual style and consistency, even if you don’t create them in-house. The video agency that’ll make your product video will create a style board first based on your brief and brand and create the video that matches your brand’s aesthetics.

Here are some of the common uses for animated product demo videos:

  • Software walkthroughs: These videos take viewers on a guided tour of a software program, explaining its features and how to use them.
  • Online product presentations: Animated demos can be used to showcase a product on a company website or social media channels.
  • “How-to” content: You can use animation to create instructional videos that show viewers how to assemble, use, or maintain a product.

The average hourly rate for each person involved in the production of animated videos:

  • Concept Artist/Storyboard Artist: $30-$75/hour
  • Scriptwriter: $50-$150/hour
  • Product Expert (Optional): $75-$150/hour
  • 2D Animator: $25-$100/hour
  • 3D Animator: $30-$120/hour
  • Modeling Artist (Optional): $40-$120/hour
  • Editor: $40-$125/hour
  • Voice Actor: $25-hundreds/hour
  • Sound Designer: $50-$175/hour
  • Motion Graphics Artist (Optional): $50-$100/hour

Here’s an animated explainer video by Yum Yum Videos:

3. Live shoot videos

Live shoot product demo videos capture a real-time demonstration of your product in action. They offer a unique perspective and a sense of authenticity and immediacy, showcasing the product’s functionality without edits.

Here are some common uses for live shoot product demo videos:

  • Webinars and online presentations: Host live demos as part of a webinar or online presentation to engage a remote audience.
  • Trade shows and events: Live demos can be a powerful tool for attracting attention and generating leads at trade shows and events.
  • Social media marketing: Utilize platforms like YouTube Live or Facebook Live to host live product demos and interact with your audience in real time.

The average hourly rate for each person involved in the creation of live shoot videos:

  • Videographer/Director of Photography (DOP): $50-$200+/hour
  • Sound recordist: $30-$100+/hour
  • Lighting technician (Optional): $25-$75/hour
  • Gaffer: $75-$150+/hour
  • Grip (Optional): $20-$50/hour
  • Producer: $50-$150+/hour
  • Editor: $40-$125/hour
  • Talent (Actors): Varies greatly

The great thing about webinars is that you can record the live stream and then repurpose the content for various other marketing channels.

Here’s an example of a webinar from PandaDoc, which was repurposed by Videodeck into a short video with its key takeaways:

4. Screencast videos

Screencast product demo videos, also known as screen recordings, showcase your product’s features and functionality directly on the computer screen. They offer a straightforward and efficient way to explain your product.

The average hourly rate for each person involved in the creation of screencast videos:

  • Scriptwriter (Optional): $50-$150/hour
  • Screencaster/Narrator: $30-$100+/hour
  • Video Editor: $40-$125/hour
  • Motion Graphics Artist (Optional): $50-$100/hour

Here are some common uses for screencast product demo videos:

  • Software tutorials: Create step-by-step guides that walk users through specific tasks or workflows within your software.
  • Onboarding videos: Help new users get acquainted with your product’s basic functionalities.
    Feature updates: Showcase new features and updates to your product through screencast demos.

Factors Influencing the Video Production Pricing

If you go for professional video production services, there are a few things that influence video production costs. So, here’s what you need to know when thinking about a video production budget:

1. The way you choose to produce the video

The way you tackle your video production directly impacts both cost and time. Here’s a breakdown of popular options:

  • Video company/ agency

High-quality, high-impact. Perfect for professional marketing videos, documentaries, or complex training materials. Expect a premium pricing – around $1,000 per minute.

  • Remote production

Ideal for events, remote interviews, or on-site training. Offers flexibility and often lower costs (around $250-$500 per minute) due to reduced overhead. 

  • In-house team

Only consider this if you need a full-time videographer. It may be cost-effective for ongoing production, but you need a smaller team of one or two videographers. This translates to roughly $350 per minute if a salaried videographer creates a weekly five-minute video.

  • Freelancers

Great for simple tutorials and how-to videos. Freelancers are a cost-effective alternative to full-fledged companies, typically charging $30-$100 per hour. However, their focus often lies in editing and using stock footage rather than extensive pre-production or filming.

  • DIY Tools

Perfect for internal communications or tool tutorials. Software subscriptions for editing and effects are the main cost factor. AI-powered tools can significantly ease the workload, with pricing starting at around $30 per month.

2. Filming location

If you’re doing your video in-house, you’ll have to look for a filming location or go for the cheaper option and film your video in your office. If this isn’t an option, you can rent a small studio. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $500 or more per hour for studio rental.

Keep in mind that if you’re hiring a video production company, this part is handled by the agency. You just need to give them your project brief, and they’ll take care of the rest.

The number of days spent on set or in a studio also matters when it comes to costs.

3. Crew size

The talent you hire depends on the specifics of your video project. But you can achieve your vision with a small, well-equipped team.

If you go for a video agency, they’ll handle everything and can deliver fantastic results. They often come equipped with the necessary talent, software, and equipment. 

3. Video length

Longer videos cost more, obviously. You’ll see that if you hire a video agency, most of them charge according to the video length and its complexity.

But you don’t always need to create long videos. If you don’t want to make an in-depth product overview or tutorial video that can extend to 10 minutes, you can stick to shorter videos – up to 5 minutes – which are also better when it comes to user engagement.

In fact, 66% of viewers will finish a video if it’s under 1 minute long. So you don’t need to have lengthy videos. 

2. Style & format 

Live-action, animation, etc., all affect production costs. So, this ultimately depends on what type of video you need. 

  • For animation, it depends on its complexity. 
  • For live-action videos, agencies may need to search for a filming location, which adds to the video production costs.
  • For spokesperson videos, agencies may need to hire outside talent. There are, however, video agencies that have a team of actors always on demand.

4. Talent & expertise 

Some agencies need to hire project-based talent, which can add to the video production costs. However, there are full-service video production companies, such as Videodeck, that offer a cost-effective solution with their range of talent and expertise – always ready to go.

4. Concept complexity

Video production fees go up when the process is more complex. If you need extensive storyboarding, scripting, or complex scenes, you’ll typically have higher costs due to increased planning time.

For example, VFX specialists may charge on a daily basis, per minute, or hourly.

Complex visual effects will cost more. The costs will add up to your post-production because it will also involve longer rendering times.

5. Post-production & editing

Editing includes color grading, sound design, and effects. The cost depends on the level of editing complexity. 

6. Distribution & promotion

A full-service video production agency can create a marketing strategy for your video or even upload and optimize your YouTube videos. These services can be included in the same fee as the video production, or they can be an add-on.

The Average Cost of Video Production

Let’s see the cost of video production with each option (video agencies, in-house video production, freelancers):

With agencies

Again, these costs depend on a few factors. But usually, there are two main ones: 

  • Agencies/video companies that work based on a subscription or have fixed prices per project and even bulk orders with fixed prices.
  • Agencies/video companies that charge based on project.

Video agencies with fixed prices

If you have a video production budget, going for a video production company that has pricing plans will help you organize better.

Here are a few examples:

1. Videodeck

Videodeck is a video-as-a-service solution that works based on a subscription that offers you weekly videos or one-time product videos tailored to your product.

Their unique advantage is the on-demand video spokesperson service. With a team of actors always on demand, Videodeck eliminates lengthy casting processes, resulting in final videos in under ten business days.

Services offered

Videodeck focuses on video production, but it also offers other marketing services:

  • Done-for-you product videos, educational videos, or explainer videos with the option to choose from 5+ actors.
  • Product marketing services to replace skippable loom videos with engaging product videos.
  • Content repurposing services to transform hour-long webinars into impactful short-form videos.
  • YouTube growth and management services to help optimize videos for better ranking on Google and YouTube organically.

Industries served

  • Information Technology
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Business Services
  • Media
  • Financial Services

Video production prices

Their pricing is tailored for each of their services (which we mentioned earlier):

  • Pay-as-you-go (unlimited editing revisions)
  • Test Drive Package: includes one video for $3,000
  • 5 videos: $2,500 per video ($12,500 – paid upfront)
  • 10 videos: $2,200 per video ($22,000 – paid upfront)
  • Product Marketing (unlimited editing revisions)
  • $5.500/mo for product video updates
  • $9.500 for 5 videos to get all the video content your product needs to start with
  • Content Repurposing (based on existing webinars and video content; unlimited stock footage)
  • $3,500 for 4 shorts 
  • $5,500 for 8 shorts 
  • YouTube Growth and Management 
  • $5,500/mo –  Videodeck can upload and optimize your YouTube videos to help your channel grow

2. Hancock Animations

Hancock Animations is a full-service animated online video production agency that specializes in various types of video animations. 

As a digital marketing agency, Hancock Animations offers tailored video animation services to boost sales, enhance brand recognition, and educate audiences. 

Services offered

  • Many Types of Videos (explainer, brand, product, etc.)
  • Script Writing
  • Voice Over
  • Video Editing
  • Video Marketing
  • YouTube Videos
  • Tutorials

Industries served

  • Information Technology
  • eCommerce
  • Advertising & Marketing
  • Gaming
  • Education

Video production prices

Hancock Animations has three different plans

  1. Standard: Budget-friendly, 2D animation up to 60 seconds, ideal for individual creators ($2000-2500 per video).
  2. Premium: Flexible plan for marketing teams, includes 2D/3D options, faster delivery, and dedicated team ($2550-6000 per month).
  3. Business: Custom solution with ongoing video support, dedicated creative team, and all video formats available (custom quote).

3. Rocketwheel

Rocketwheel is a video production company specializing in animated explainer videos for B2B companies. 

Services offered

  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Whiteboard Animation

Industries served

  • B2B
  • SaaS
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Medical
  • Advertising & marketing
  • Consumer products & services

Video production prices

Their price per minute of animation is a flat fee, but, as they say, it varies based on the labor of visuals. It starts at 6k/minute, and it goes up to 15k/minute. If you need more videos, they’ll give you a discount. 

Of course, there are others who offer fixed-priced services. This is just a headstart for you.

The average cost of video production for agencies that charge per hour

Now, let’s see the average video production pricing for companies that don’t offer paid plans.

Remember, these are just approximations based on what a company charges per hour ($100 to $149 per hour for their services – based on Clutch data).

Plus, as mentioned earlier, the actual cost can vary depending on factors like complexity, length, and production company. But for a project-based video production, you can expect to pay:

  • Mid-level short videos: $3,000–$10,000.
  • Longer videos or premium techniques: $10,000–$50,000.

Hire an in-house videographer

Annual cost: Around $90,000 (including equipment and videographer salary). Then, you’ll have to buy or rent equipment, plus other extra costs.

Rent Equipment:

  • Daily rates: $100–$300 for equipment rental.

Hire Camera Crew Members:

  • Hourly rates: $50–$300.

Hire Actors: 

  • Daily rates vary.

Rent Location:

  • Varies widely (daily or hourly rates).

Stock Footage & Music:

  • $80–$300 per piece.

Go for a freelancer

The average fee a freelance videographer charges for product videos can vary depending on several factors, but here’s a range to give you an idea:

  • Low-end: $30 – $100 per hour
  • Mid-range: $100 – $200 per hour
  • High-end: $200+ per hour

Factors affecting freelance videographer fees:

  • Experience: More experienced videographers with an extensive portfolio will typically charge higher rates.
  • Location: Videographers in major cities might charge more than those in smaller towns.
  • Project complexity: Simple product demo videos will cost less than videos with elaborate storylines or special effects.
  • Editing included: Some freelancers charge extra for editing, while others include it in their hourly rate.

Tips for finding a freelance videographer:

  • Online platforms: Websites like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer can connect you with freelance videographers.
  • Local listings: Search for videographers in your area who specialize in product videos.
  • Recommendations: Ask colleagues or business contacts for recommendations for freelance videographers they’ve worked with.

How to Reduce Video Production Costs

When it comes to video, you should aim for quality. Think about this: you will include those videos in your marketing campaigns, landing pages, and maybe even your homepage. People will see your videos and associate your brand with them. 

Video production companies offer professional services, but they can sometimes be costly.

However, if you choose the right one, you can actually reduce the cost of production. Here are a few pointers to know what to look for in a video production agency.

1. Look for bulk orders 

Some video production companies offer bulk orders included in their plans, which means the price per video will be lower. Besides the cost-saving, you’ll have other benefits: 

  • Creatives for a more extensive marketing strategy.
  • There won’t be long waiting times in between videos. You can give the agency briefs for each video from the start.

2. Focus on content, not frills

Great video starts with a clear message. Can you achieve this with a well-written script, actors on-demand, and strategic use of stock footage, which video companies provide unlimited access to?

Plus, keep in mind that most agencies charge per minute (see Rocketwheel) or have a pricing strategy based on a video that lasts up to several minutes (see Videodeck).

3. Search for built-in resources

Look for features like unlimited editing revisions and sound design. Take advantage of these to fine-tune your message without incurring additional costs. 

4. Go for simple yet impactful videos

You know the saying: less is more. This goes for videos as well. Don’t go overboard, and keep it simple. This way, the message will be clearer, and people will remember the key takeaways.

While multiple actors and custom sets can be effective, a single, engaging spokesperson or creative animation can deliver your message just as effectively, potentially saving on production costs.

Final Thoughts

While video production costs vary depending on production methods and complexities, strategic planning can help optimize expenses without compromising quality. 

By prioritizing clear messaging, exploring bundled service options, and embracing simpler video styles, businesses can use the power of product videos to captivate audiences and achieve their marketing objectives within their set budget.

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