Topics: Account Awareness, How-Tos

Calculations for explainer video costs can be daunting at the very least. Without a trained professional in the video production industry, there doesn’t seem to be an easy way to bring your idea to life. The team at Epipheo understands this problem well. So, here we’re going to break down the ins and out’s of an animated explainer video’s cost, where that video cost comes from, and why they are as important as we say. 

Off the bat, a video can average out to a price of $5,000-$8,000 with a high end of $18,000-$20,000 for a high-quality or premium product. These flat numbers can be intimidating, so let’s walk through each part and talk about how and why Epipheo’s 10 years of production experience can bring the best explainer video possible to the table.  


Labor is a foundational block to any quality project. Whether it’s an incredible but small team putting in the long hours, or a large group focusing on individual assets for a faster turnaround. Either way, the skilled workers at Epipheo are the ones bringing the video to life. An easy way to calculate hourly labor costs is through industry-standard pricing, but to clarify how we get to these numbers let’s walk through the equation. 

40 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = 2080 hours x 75% utilization = 1560 hours total

The equation looks a little funky, so let’s take it step by step. An average work week is 40 hours with 52 weeks being in a year. Standard stuff. With a total of 2080 hours total, we add a utilization multiplier to the equation. This simply means that no worker is 100% efficient and accounts for sick days, vacation, etc. Now that we have the total hours, we divide it by the salary of the individual creative. As another example, we’ll use the industry average of $61,500 a year for a salaried creative at a video production studio.

$61,500 / 1560 = $39.42 an hour 

This equation utilizes averages to get the cost per hour. So, to get a more rounded look at the industry and understand where Epipheo’s specific prices come from we’ve added a chart containing new variables and what those numbers look like before and after the equation. 

Animation Storyboarding

After the labor is considered, the animation cost or the meat and potatoes of the video cost is next. An average rounding gives an estimate of roughly 40-60 hours to illustrate and animate 60 seconds of custom-designed 2D animation. But, this is only an estimate. Each client’s specifications take varying amounts of time depending on the complexity of the message, visuals, and more. This stage of the video cost conceptualization requires professionals to create expert-level motion graphics and custom-made graphics while ironing out any and all flaws. This category is a great starting point for estimations and a great question to bring into quote meetings.

Video Concept

The conceptualization of an animated video breaks down into two easy parts: the goal of the video and the script. This process is the most varied when it comes down to timing. It is possible to rush this step if a client provides a script themselves, but usually, the script is written from scratch. This step takes a lot of communication both from the client and the studio, so a strong direction coming in makes the timing faster. On the low end, an hourly estimate could drop to around 2-5 hours or less.  On the high end, deeply thought out and complex scriptwriting—working through knots and ironing out issues—is time-consuming and could run as high as 30-40 hours. These numbers depend heavily on content and care.


After scripting, a visual design style must be decided. Similar to scripting, video styles are client-side and depend on how quickly communication between client and studio can gel to hit the target audience. The standard procedure is for the studio to present animation style samples, such as 3D animation or 2D animation, typography, and more, that the studio believes might fit the tone of the video and for the client and studio to walk through them. This step is important as it sets the tone of the video for the viewer. A poorly planned video style can delay or outright stop a connection between video and viewer. This step cannot be rushed, but it can be made easier. It generally takes 4-8 hours to create these original assets that convey a quality video’s style.

Sound Design

Sound design, similarly to style, sets the tone for the video and its connection with the audience. Custom sound effects take about 4-8 hours to create.  A professional voiceover takes 1-2 hours of studio recording time and custom music composition takes about 8 hours. The strictness of style/tone/originality can increase or decrease the time of this section. For example, stock sound effects would decrease the time, but a specifically casted voiceover could increase it.

Project Management

Work direction is one of the most important aspects of any project. A project manager keeps the team on track, manages expectations, facilitates communication between the studio and client, oversees any necessary revisions, as well as coordinates the video production process. Over the course of a 4-6 week video project, you can reasonably assume 10-15 hours of project management would be required. On the low end, you could see 5 hours, and on the high end, 20-25. But, assuredly, a quality project manager is worth their weight in gold.

Cost and Time Summary

An animated explainer video is costly but worthwhile. The ROI can be exponential, but the budget that goes into the video production matters. Below is a chart laying out all of the hard data a little clearer.

Video pricing hours estimate 

Time Totals

Video pricing tiers

Cost Totals 


Furthermore, there are overhead costs and hourly wages to consider in the planning stages of an Epipheo video. Aside from hourly wages, these overhead costs include taxes, traveling fees, marketing costs, and more for employees and freelancers. These are standard costs for the amount of time needed, so below is another chart labeling these markups (usually 100% markup, but more is not uncommon) that further clarifies the pricing. 


These numbers are indicative of a traditional video agency and work very heavily with a sliding scale. In order to create a premium video, lots of factors come together in the creative engine of Epipheo. With solid communication and clear expectations, Epipheo can make an explainer video that’s right for you with a budget that fits. We’re so excited to begin this journey with you and bring an idea to life through our unique and powerful production process. 

Hopefully, this article will ease the questions and provide a quick overview of the costs associated with video marketing through Epipheo and through explainer video companies in general. If you have more questions or want to set up a consultation meeting, please reach out to our team and get a quote.

More questions over the details of video production costs and the overall cost of an explainer video? Please visit our website page over the Ultimate Guide to Animated Explainer Video Costs here.

By: Epipheo

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