Whether for internal communications, to better train your employees, or to introduce customers to your products, video is a super effective tool in business.
This video production pricing guide will give you the ballparks and the background info to turn video production from a potential expense into a high-ROI investment in 2024 and beyond.
How much does it cost to produce a video?
The costs of video production vary greatly depending on multiple factors. DIY videos could cost as little as a software subscription, while hiring video production companies ranges, on average, from about $2,000 for a basic video project to $50,000 for a complex one. And gigantic corporates? Those folks can shell out video production budgets of $200,000+ for ads and video marketing.
Wondering why the spectrum ranges between a round of drinks for your mates and purchasing a Ferrari?
There are two key factors ramping up the costs of video production services:
- How many people you hire, and how specialized they are.
- How your team goes about making videos (there’s a big difference between animation and visual effects).
Below, we’ll outline some price ranges to give you a ballpark on what various video production service options offer.
Editors note: These are based on the going rates in the US. Estimated video production project costs can vary significantly depending on whether you hire locally or internationally.
What factors impact the cost of video production
Understanding the following factors will help you make smarter choices and get the most value for your investment in any video project.
Factor #1: How you choose to produce a video
There are many different ways to tackle a video production project, and each greatly impacts cost and time. Overall, the most expensive one is to hire a specialist company, while the cheapest is to use easy drag-and-drop video tools.
Outsource to a local video production company
Outsourcing locally to a video production company can be a bit more expensive than other options. Still, your team will have easy access to interviewing your employees or customers, which makes pre-production and actual production easier.
The cost of video production with an expert company is approximately $1,000 per minute of video.
Outsource to a remote video production company
The remote video production process suits live events, remote interviews, and even on-site training videos. Working with remote video production companies reduces overhead costs and offers flexibility but requires reliable technology.
Costs vary based on the complexity of the project and the equipment provided, but contracting a remote video production company is often more affordable, costing between $250-$500 per minute of video.
Hire an in-house team
Only hire an in-house team if you need someone to create videos full-time. Note that in-house videos are usually made by one or two videographers rather than a video department due to the high cost of hiring a full video production crew.
If a salaried videographer creates one five-minute video a week, you’ll be paying about $350 per minute of video.
Outsource to freelancers or videographers
Great for simple how-to and tutorial videos, the costs for this method depend on the freelancer's expertise and location.
Freelancers are generally much more cost-efficient than full-scale video production companies, with one freelancer charging $30-$100 per hour of work. However, rather than getting into advanced pre-production planning or filming videos themselves, freelancers focus on editing and using stock media.
DIY with online tools
Best for tool tutorials and corporate videos for internal communications. Costs mainly involve subscriptions to software or platforms for editing and effects.
The right software, especially AI-powered, can work wonders with your workload. Plus, it can make your video production pricing start at around $30/month.
Factor #2: Filming location
If you're on a shoestring budget, skip in-person location scouting and choose the cheapest place to film — the space you own or already rent, such as your office or home. If that's unavailable, then hiring a small studio is an expense you should plan for.
Studios come equipped with sound cancellation, good acoustics, lighting structures, and even stages. They can be great value for money, provided you shoot all your footage quickly and efficiently.
Video production projects that require filming in a public place can instantly hike up your budget. For example, shooting in busy urban spots, famous locations, or overseas can hike pre-production costs as you pay for using the space, permits, and logistics.
Factor #3: Length of video content
The longer the video production process, the more time you need for everything — shooting, editing, post-production — which means you also need a bigger video production budget.
There’s no right or wrong answer to how long your video should be. For example, the average length of all business-related videos is 15.5 minutes. However, some viewers prefer shorter ones, with 66% of employees watching until the end only if the video is less than 60 seconds.
So, it’s safe to assume that longer doesn’t always mean better, and your video should be only as long as it needs to be.
Factor #4: Number of shooting days
Every day on set costs you wages for crew members, equipment rentals, location fees, etc.
In the pre-production stage, when planning for filming, it’s best to try and wrap your video shoot in the minimum amount of days possible rather than looking at weeks of shooting.
Filming can be so expensive that even the best video production companies working on Hollywood productions try to optimize the days they need to spend on set.
Factor #5: Crew size
How you find and hire talent depends on the specifics of your video project.
Most of the time, a small video production agency with a multi-talented crew can do the job effectively. So, chances are you won’t need to attract talent or hire an expensive video production company to bring in a heavy team of directors, cinematographers, sound engineers, camera operators, and production assistants.
Also, these days, there’s software out there that a crew member, like a videographer, can use to speed up the process.
Factor #6: Equipment
Equipment cost varies widely depending on your use — cameras, lights, sound gear, etc. You need to strike a balance between quality and video production budget, which can be done when deciding what gear you need, how many cameras, and what kind.
For a live-action video project, non-negotiables usually include good-quality camera equipment and lights.
Factor #7: VFX and animation
VFX specialists may charge on a daily basis, per minute of footage, or even hourly.
If you ask for complex visual effects, you'll pay higher hourly rates. The costs will add up to your post-production because it will also involve longer rendering times and more advanced computing resources.
However, in some cases, VFX can be cheaper than re-recording footage. For example, say a traffic cone mistakenly shows up in your shot — a VFX artist can remove that cone in an hour or less. That’s way cheaper than getting everyone back on set!
Factor #8: Stock media and B-rolls
Licensing fees vary based on source and content exclusivity.
If your message is more important than having unique visuals, you can easily beef up your video with stock footage and royalty-free music for a decent price.
Factor #9: Editing
Editing can be simple and, therefore, more affordable if it’s a single camera shot or if the editing style is more straightforward, without requiring complex tasks.
What adds up to the total cost of editing is having specific demands. Like, even if it’s a short 30-second ad, it will likely cost more if it has high production value, requires a time-intensive editing process, and you’re asking for multiple revisions and feedback.
Factor #10: Distribution and tracking
It’s one thing to upload the final video on your website’s home page and another to send it into the wild on social media platforms.
For performance tracking, you might need specialized software, marketing integration, and a data analyst to collect and make sense of the most important video metrics.
How video production costs vary by video style
How much does video production cost, depending on production style? The options are quite diverse, from having a video production company film your presenter doing live demonstrations to making your own short slideshow presentations with professional design and narration.
Live demos and tutorial videos
Whether the presenter is a professional speaker or an actor, video production rates for a live-action product demo are between $1,000 and $3,000 per minute.
- Presenter’s fee
- Filming location
- Camera and lighting equipment
- Post-production editing software
Digital demo and tutorial videos
Options often include doing basic screen recordings or using an AI avatar to make the information more accessible and the presentation friendlier. Digital video production pricing starts at around $22 per 10 minutes of video.
- Webcam and microphone
- Video software
2D Vector animations
Options vary from simple designs to more custom animations with detailed graphics, and the technique is moderately expensive. Video production rates for an average custom 2D vector animation are $7,000 to $20,000+ per minute.
- Professional animation software
- Animator’s fees
- Concept development
- Time spent on design and animation
Whiteboard animation videos
Options vary from simple software-generated animations to digitized, complex artist hand drawings. While less expensive than 2D animation, whiteboard animation can cost, depending on video requirements, from $1,500 to $15,000 per minute.
- Digital whiteboard animation software
- Animator expert
- Storyboard creation
- Music and sound design
Options vary from basic motion graphics to high-quality, more complex projects, so you'll need a video budget from $500 to $10,000+ per minute.
- Graphic design software
- Graphics’ complexity
- Video length
Whether you’re looking for basic presentations with auto-generated narration or professionally produced video design and narration, this technique is the least expensive but also the most limited. Prices vary from $100-$500 for a 10-slide presentation design.
- Slideshow creation software
- Content creation & design
- Music and sound effects
What different types of videos cost to produce on average
While video style and technique greatly impact pricing, you can also figure out your video production cost depending on the type of video you create. Video types are often tied to a clear goal, outcome, or project scope. Click here for examples of what each type of video looks like in action.
Explainer videos: $500 - $2000+ per minute, depending on voice-over quality, animation or live-action footage, scriptwriting, and editing.
Educational videos: $2,000 - $10,000 per minute, including research and quality content development, hiring subject matter experts, and graphics.
How-to videos: $300 - $3,000 per minute, depending on length, production quality, and whether you’re using existing environments and tools.
Instructional videos: $1,500 - $10,000 per minute, covering instructors, scriptwriting, and possibly animation or graphic overlays.
Tutorial videos: <$100 - $5,000 per minute, depending on length, quality, and whether it’s exclusively software-based (screen recording) or it involves physical tasks (live filming).
Documentaries: $1,000 - $10,000+ per minute, including research, travel, filming equipment, licenses and fees for archival footage, and editing.
Training videos: $1,000 - $10,000 per minute, depending on trainer fees, subject complexity, quality of visuals, and use of interactive elements.
Lecture videos: $500 - $5,000+ per minute, covering the venue (if filmed in a lecture hall), possible use of multiple cameras, equipment for quality recording, video editing, and audio mixing.
Marketing videos: $2,500 - $50,000+ per minute, including story development, scriptwriting, actors, voice-over talent, location fees, filming equipment, post-production (editing, graphics), and the video marketing strategy.
How to reduce video-making costs with Synthesia
Synthesia is an AI-powered video maker that works in a web browser and creates talking-head videos from plain text. It's a great addition whether you need to produce low-cost videos for a small business or take your corporate production to new dimensions.
This tool can help you significantly reduce resource use, from pre-production planning time to actual production and editing costs:
- Instead of hiring a video production camera and working with actors or talking to the camera yourself, you have avatars you can use. An avatar is a digital representation of a real person, and you can turn yourself into one and clone your voice so a familiar face always appears in your videos.
- Instead of renting a studio and hiring voice-over artists, you’ve got text-to-speech to generate perfect records in 130+ languages. You have options to translate the same final product into multiple languages simultaneously and to reframe each video in the aspect ratio you need for specific distribution channels.
- Instead of hiring a video editor, you just use the Synthesia editor, where you can do almost everything with a simple drag and drop and have a final product ready in half the time or less.
6 Key benefits of using AI in video production
Next, we’ll dive deeper into Synthesia's benefits when scaling corporate video production, backed up by numbers and real-world case studies.
1. You skip the language barriers
Text-to-speech (TTS) technology translates and vocalizes your script in numerous languages in minutes.
Ben Kirby, Global SVP Learning and Development at Teleperformance, said, “Our +380.000 employees all over the world, no matter in which country, must have the same competence profile. Synthesia helps us develop engaging, relevant and localized training content at scale.”
2. You can update and edit in minutes
Basically, with this tool, you’ve got a magic eraser and paintbrush for your videos.
You tweak your AI-generated content with a few clicks instead of depending on a production company to reshoot for every small change. For projects that need regular updates or revisions, that’s priceless.
When Fiery needed to train 50,000 learners on the same content in 8 different languages, they turned to Synthesia. Not only did they create 1000+ videos in one year, but they also did it 87% faster.
3. You don’t have to buy fancy equipment
This AI video maker lets you craft professional-looking content from your computer. So, instead of paying for expensive equipment, you can channel your video production budget into creative development or marketing.
Moreover, because you’re making videos in your web browser, almost anyone at your company can do it, just like they did at the Ocado Group. The organization used Synthesia to turn every employee into a video creator and produced 450+ videos within a year.
4. Video production is easily scalable
With AI, the same setup can produce an increased volume of videos with consistent quality. You no longer depend on a professional video production company. Instead, you clone your best video and customize it as needed for distribution to different audiences, saving a ton of money and time.
Zoom started using Synthesia for in-house video production and created 200+ micro videos. Their training video production accelerated by 90%, saving up to $1,500 in costs per employee.
Date Collier, Senior Instructional Designer at Zoom, appreciated that “Synthesia saves time for both SMEs and IDs. SMEs no longer need to record themselves, allowing them to focus on their primary responsibilities. IDs can create high-quality training content in less time.”
5. High-quality production is more accessible
With Synthesia, you no longer need a hefty video production budget to make a big impact. You don't even need a video production crew. Instead, snatch a professionally-designed video template and add your brand assets to it, your own script, and make it yours.
Xerox trained 1000+ sales reps with AI videos, saving 30% time and 50% costs per video.
6. You get a higher ROI
Working with AI is like having a top-tier video production studio without the top-tier costs. You create more videos faster, test more versions with lower costs, and easily find the ones that bring you more views, clicks, or sales.
Cohesity used Synthesia and scored $100,000 in video production cost savings, an 80% average video view duration, and a 200% increase in video view retention.
Start video production on the right foot in 2024 with AI
Feeling inspired by all the video production insights you got from this pricing guide? It’s time to take some action for your next video project.
See how AI can help you reduce video production costs with this free AI video generator. You’ll have your AI corporate video in your inbox in the next 5 minutes; from there, the sky is the limit.