The GDS is a fee list for voice artists in Germany that has grown over decades. Take a look at the history below - then you will better understand what GDS is - and what is not ...

The GDS was formerly known as the “Hamburg List”. It was brought into being by different constellations of voice artists and recording studios in Hamburg. Due to their democratic and representative character, the calculation proposals worked out in small groups were quickly accepted by all market participants. This principle still applies today.

The GDS is not a club or association of which one can become a member. Therefore there are no membership fees. It's about the solidarity statement. Anyone who gets involved in any form does it on a voluntary basis.

The GDS is a recommendation that arose out of practice. Everyone is of course free to deviate from it and negotiate their own prices.

No, you support the GDS by confessing to it.

Yes of course. You can commit yourself to the GDS and deviate from it depending on your market value. But here, too, the GDS gives you a good template for weighting the uses. However, there is often a requirement from industry to calculate according to GDS. Special fees can be useful if the demand drives the wear and tear of the voice in the market disproportionately.

Every activity for the GDS is voluntary.

You did not enter, so you do not have to leave either.

Any questions? Send an Email...

The history of GDS

80er / 90 er

Kann man sich heutzutage kaum mehr vorstellen: die Agenturen – vornehmlich aus Frankfurt und Düsseldorf – kamen nach Hamburg (natürlich per Flieger) und haben Funkspots produziert. Warum das? In Hamburg hatte sich durch die vielfältige Theaterlandschaft, diverse TV-Produktionen, die Top-Werbeagenturen und nicht zuletzt den NDR und das Studio Hamburg eine rege Szene an talentierten Sprechern/Sprecherinnen etabliert. Die Auswahl an guten Stimmen war groß – das kam einfach gut an. Die Tonstudios (ganz vorn natürlich Studio Funk) konnten sich mit diesem Angebot als Funkspotspezialisten profilieren.

The Hamburg List

In order to be able to calculate the productions reliably in advance, a kind of price list for speaker services has been created over the years. Some speakers have started with it, recording studios then put it together, and other speakers have joined this price list.

Ganz wichtig dabei: die Preise sind aus der Praxis heraus entstanden. Sie wurden quasi durch den Nutzen der Kunden definiert. So hatten sie eine hohe Akzeptanz und konnten sich schnell auch in der Breite durchsetzen.

Die Bezeichnung „Hamburger Liste“ wurde allerdings durch die Nicht-Hamburger geschaffen. Die Frankfurter und Düsseldorfer Producer haben immer von der „Hamburger Liste“ gesprochen. Konnte man so die Spots nun perfekt im Vorwege kalkulieren. Für die Hamburger war das einfach nur die Sprecherpreisliste. Als sich dann aber im Laufe der Zeit dieser Begriff durchgesetzt hatte, haben auch die Hamburger die Preisliste „Hamburger Liste“ genannt.

Das war eine klare Bezeichnung für eine ganz bestimmte Gagenliste.

Irgendwann in den 2000ern...

The changing types of use and customer requirements made it necessary to regularly adapt the fees and thus the “Hamburg List” to these changes. For this purpose, a few Hamburg recording studios and committed speakers got together and made the adjustments. In Hamburg, the recording studios maintain very friendly / collegial contact with one another. This made the development of the “Hamburg List” significantly easier or even possible.

Thanks to the balanced process, the “Hamburg List” retained its representative character.

From around 2010

Outside of Hamburg, the impression arose that the Hamburgers “up there” were jingling to themselves and passed over the rest of the nation with “their” Hamburg list. It was never intended, it just happened in practice. The Hamburg speakers were only the pioneers in finding uniform recommendations for speaker fees. This impression was reinforced by the organizational help of the Hamburg recording studios.

However, the critics were right on one point: the term “Hamburg List” was outdated and did not stand for speakers throughout Germany. Because meanwhile the speakers - but also the producers - had discovered the advantage of this list in other cities. In particular, the weighting of the individual types of use is very transparent and comprehensible. That was convincing for the producers as well as the speakers.

After everyone involved became aware of the naming problem, the "Hamburg List" was renamed GDS - Fee List for German Speakers.


The GDS is therefore a fee list that has grown over many decades. It was not constructed in any back room but has developed together with the users on the market. As a result, GDS also stands for the industry standard for remuneration for voice services.

An example: the timely exchange between the parties involved helped to assess the fees for the Internet spots as equivalent to those for the TV spots. This setting of the course was particularly important in the transition phase in which the Internet spots did not yet have the importance they have today.

The singers are a good negative example. They have failed to develop their own fee list in advertising and have therefore foregoed a not inconsiderable income - especially when calculating cut versions and further years of use. That would not have happened with a price list that clearly defines the different types of use.

Also for the customers, i.e. the producers and especially the advertisers, payment that is customary in the industry is of great interest.

The Producers

In order to further increase the acceptance of the GDS, the Produzentenallianz included in the pricing. The session fee and the usage packages emerged from this.

The Studios

In the cities, the recording studios addressed the interested speakers and organized meetings to discuss upcoming changes. The result was then carried to the larger group of studios and coordinated there.

Therefore, please always state the city in the mailing list.


In recent years, the exchange with the VDS (Association of German Speakers) has developed very constructively. Due to its association structure, the VDS has already gone through a democratic process when it proposes changes to fees in the event of changes in the production world.


In order to position GDS even more broadly, it needs a good distributor. Communication is the first step.

Are you already there?

One for All!

Thanks for the photos! They stand on behalf of all speakers. The more face the GDS gets, the better it is for everyone. Send your photo (with the name of the photographer) to info@gds-liste.de and support the common appearance.

Unsere Supporter

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Adersstraße 72, 40215 Düsseldorf
0211 300860