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johnny esp

taxi A&R, is it a scam?

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Has anyone ever joined this sight to record music, submit ans really get paid by your song entries? I've been reading it on line and would like some feedback. Thanks

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Has anyone ever joined this sight to record music, submit ans really get paid by your song entries? I've been reading it on line and would like some feedback. Thanks

 

 

It isn't a scam, but you pay 300 dollars a year (I think that's what it is) and an additional 5 dollars a song submission fee. They are a placement company, much like what a publisher does, so your material needs to be fairly commercial in nature to get any results. Some people who write really commercial stuff have had great results. Other folks, not so much.

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Taxi has been mulled over many, many times in these forums. Do search. I think the general take is everybody is curious; it has worked out moderately well for some, although great successes are rare. Others say it's not that expensive and experience/potential exposure might be worth it. Others agree it is big scam. I've never done it it. I'm just wary of any of these things that ask for your money. Seems like preying on desperation of wannabes.

 

I also agree with the other guy. Don't do this unless you have a commercial sound. Nobody wants to pay for tripe about your ex-girlfriend...

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Taxi may be a lot of things, but a scam is not one of them. They are a company that does exactly what they say they are going to do, at exactly the price they say they are going to do it for. There is no upsell, and they take no vested interest in the success of their members. If you land a deal that makes you $50,000, Taxi's cut of that is $0.00

 

Also they host the Taxi Road Rally every year which is a really cool conference. It is free for members plus a guest. Basically $150/person for one of the better music conferences I have been to. Even if you never do anything with Taxi but the conference its still a good deal.

 

In full disclosure, I do not work for Taxi (never have), but I have spoken at the conference a few times and know people that work there as screeners (the people that listen to and evaluate the music). One of the biggest problems with a lot of member that have no success seems to be people that do not pay attention to what the record company. publisher, music supervisor, etc is actually looking for. A label could post that they are looking for a young artist in the style of Justin Timberlake, and all these blues bands with guys in their 40-50s send in their music for the listing, then bitch to people that Taxi sucks because nothing ever happens with their music...

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One of the biggest problems with a lot of member that have no success seems to be people that do not pay attention to what the record company. publisher, music supervisor, etc is actually looking for. A label could post that they are looking for a young artist in the style of Justin Timberlake, and all these blues bands with guys in their 40-50s send in their music for the listing, then bitch to people that Taxi sucks because nothing ever happens with their music...

My opinion - If Taxi doesn't have any need for 40 YO Blues songwriters that can't tour, they should post that on their website. They should have their requirements disclosed BEFORE you sign up and before you send them your money. Business Consultants all know that they have to have a) some familiarity with a customer's needs and b) be able to gather any additional requirements, then c) go away and develop it.

 

Sorry but I find Taxi's taking of "anybody's money" is just promoting a dream machine. THere's not enough encouraging success stories either...

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My opinion - If Taxi doesn't have any need for 40 YO Blues songwriters that can't tour, they should post that on their website. They should have their requirements disclosed BEFORE you sign up and before you send them your money. Business Consultants all know that they have to have a) some familiarity with a customer's needs and b) be able to gather any additional requirements, then c) go away and develop it.

 

That's not what he said. He said that when the customers specify they want submissions that are of qualification (A)*, they get the TAXI members submitting songs that fit qualification (-A)*. That's not TAXI's fault.

 

What he did not say was that customers ask ONLY for Timberlake-esque songs. Like pretty much everything in music, however, the greatest market is for very popular music genres. That's not going to vary, regardless of the service you use (i.e. you can submit to a publisher service / music library that specializes in industrial electronica, but that doesn't mean that a customer base exists for that genre that will enable you to get placement).

 

*(A = Timberlake-esque song; -A = something that is not a timberlake-esque song)

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That's not what he said. He said that when the customers specify they want submissions that are of qualification (A)*, they get the TAXI members submitting songs that fit qualification (-A)*. That's not TAXI's fault.

 

So...why doesn't Taxi specify exactly what their labels want and specify that they do not want old blues tunes... Because they want the income to continue. At 5 bucks a tune, a reviewer will make more writing reject letters than waiting for the next JT to submit a tune....

 

Don't get me wrong - I'm sure there are SOME success stories from Taxi. I'm just not sure the success rate is very high and I'm sure they're not discouraging anyone from making a submission.

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So...why doesn't Taxi specify exactly what their labels want and specify that they do not want old blues tunes...

Because they don't know what a client wants until they ask for it. A client may well want an original blues music score or song to be used in a documentary or film or jingle, but they won't know that until they get a client needing it.

 

I don't think you really get how Taxi works. I don't use it because my stuff isn't commercial, but like Ronan said, they do exactly what they say they do.

 

And frankly, anyone who signs up for any service without investigating what they sell and to whom, and what the track record of success is, deserves to be separated from their money, because they're too stupid to hang onto it and use it where it would do more good. With all the info available at your fingertips, most musicians these days who get hosed are victims of their own laziness and ignorance. I've never been in a business where more people jumping into it have less of a clue as to how it works. There is no excuse in this day and age to be uninformed.

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I agree Blue Strat - Taxi is looking for professional, high quality music.("Broadcast Quality" comes up a lot) that will appeal quickly to the labels and the producers. Like any trade, it's a specialized field for those who devote themselves to the profession. I don't submit either, because I know my music is not what they need.

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Because they don't know what a client wants until they ask for it. A client may well want an original blues music score or song to be used in a documentary or film or jingle, but they won't know that until they get a client needing it.

 

Exactly. :thu:

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My opinion - If Taxi doesn't have any need for 40 YO Blues songwriters that can't tour, they should post that on their website. They should have their requirements disclosed BEFORE you sign up and before you send them your money.

 

As others have said, you completely misunderstood my post. If a music supervisor was looking for some bar-band style blues tracks for a biker bar scene in a movie, and some one sent a Justin Timberlake style track in, it would be the exact same problem. Completely inappropriate.

 

I do not speak on Taxis behalf by any means, but I feel pretty confident that if some one called or wrote Taxi and said, "I have a progressive metal / polka band made up of 50 year olds, will Taxi have a lot of opportunities for me?" I have a feeling you would get an pretty honest answer.

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I feel pretty confident that if some one called or wrote Taxi and said,
"I have a progressive metal / polka band made up of 50 year olds, will Taxi have a lot of opportunities for me?"
I have a feeling you would get an pretty honest answer. __________________

Oh, crap, Ronan, way to kill my lifelong dream!

 

:mad:

 

 

:cry:

 

 

;)

 

:wave:

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My opinion - If Taxi doesn't have any need for 40 YO Blues songwriters that can't tour, they should post that on their website. They should have their requirements disclosed BEFORE you sign up and before you send them your money.

 

My impression is that Taxi is a service that pushes your music onto commercial ventures like television, advertisements, movies, etc. I'm pretty sure that if you watch enough TV, you can get an idea of what Taxi *typically* would look for.

 

From what I've heard, Taxi's greatest appeal would probably be if you either already had a large catalog of commercial-oriented music, or had the ability and time to create commercial-oriented music really quickly.

 

I agree that their website smells a wee bit of a "get signed quick!" scam. Their main page URL title for instance says "record deals" -- this makes me go, "huh?". Plus the listings are often sort of generic.

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My impression is that Taxi is a service that pushes your music onto commercial ventures like television, advertisements, movies, etc. I'm pretty sure that if you watch enough TV, you can get an idea of what Taxi *typically* would look for.


From what I've heard, Taxi's greatest appeal would probably be if you either already had a large catalog of commercial-oriented music, or had the ability and time to create commercial-oriented music really quickly.


I agree that their website smells a wee bit of a "get signed quick!" scam. Their main page URL title for instance says "record deals" -- this makes me go, "huh?". Plus the listings are often sort of generic.

 

I was just re-reading my posts from last night and I can see where they may have come off a bit negative towards Taxi. I apologize for that and reiterate that Taxi does provide a service to those who are experienced and qualified for the task of creating top quality commercial-oriented music.

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Taxi may be a lot of things, but a scam is not one of them. They are a company that does exactly what they say they are going to do, at exactly the price they say they are going to do it for. There is no upsell, and they take no vested interest in the success of their members. If you land a deal that makes you $50,000, Taxi's cut of that is $0.00


Also they host the Taxi Road Rally every year which is a really cool conference. It is free for members plus a guest. Basically $150/person for one of the better music conferences I have been to. Even if you never do anything with Taxi but the conference its still a good deal.


In full disclosure, I do not work for Taxi (never have), but I have spoken at the conference a few times and know people that work there as screeners (the people that listen to and evaluate the music). One of the biggest problems with a lot of member that have no success seems to be people that do not pay attention to what the record company. publisher, music supervisor, etc is actually looking for. A label could post that they are looking for a young artist in the style of Justin Timberlake, and all these blues bands with guys in their 40-50s send in their music for the listing, then bitch to people that Taxi sucks because nothing ever happens with their music...

 

 

Yeah. You sound like you work for Taxi. And if you don't you should. Nice sell!!

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Actually TAXI has changed drastically from their original concept. Mainly because the music industry has changed drastically.

 

The song demo days are over. Everyone wants a finished product. The Internet and affordable high quality recording gear (DAW's) changed the nature of the Industry.

 

Many TAXI's listings are for placements in film and TV. When TAXI first started, there were many listings for artists looking for new songs. A piano/vocal or guitar/vocal was acceptable for submitting back then.

 

Radio-ready/ broadcast quality is now a necessity to get forwarded by TAXI. Just the nature of the Beast, regardless if you go through TAXI or anyone in the Industry.

 

Best, John :)

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Yeah. You sound like you work for Taxi. And if you don't you should. Nice sell!!

 

No. I do not work for Taxi. I do not think i would even want to, but just by virtue of living in LA and being pretty entrenched in the music business, I know a lot of people that work there quite well (and I casually know the guy that runs it). Its not for everyone. I probably tell as many people that Taxi is probably not for them, as I recommend it.

 

I just chime in on threads like this because I know enough people in the organization to know that they are not running it like a scam. They are legitimately trying to do right by their clients (the clients by the way are the members, Taxi does not take any money from the label, publishers, etc looking for the music or talent).

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More than 90% of TAXI's listings are for placements in film and TV. When TAXI first started, there were many listings for artists looking for new songs. A piano/vocal or guitar/vocal was acceptable for submitting back then.


Radio-ready/ broadcast quality is now a necessity to get forwarded by TAXI. Just the nature of the Beast, regardless if you go through TAXI or anyone in the Industry.

 

Yeah, that has happened industry wide and I think its a bummer. Even labels seem to want finished masters as demo tapes.

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I do not speak on Taxis behalf by any means, but I feel pretty confident that if some one called or wrote Taxi and said,
"I have a progressive metal / polka band made up of 50 year olds, will Taxi have a lot of opportunities for me?"
I have a feeling you would get an pretty honest answer.

 

Hey... feed Metallica enough beer & brats and you might be on to something there...

 

 

...or not.

:p

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My take on it...

 

Taxi is basically a placement service for musicians, much like a temp service for jobs. If you put a resume out there, you can have a specific field that you want to work within, but there's no guarantee that you're going to get the job you want.

 

I'm currently trying to save up money to sign up for it, as I write a lot of different music. I think it's a great idea, but, like everything else, I wish it didn't cost money. But I understand why it does, and I think it's worth the money you spend on it, as long as you understand what it is that you're getting into.

 

Like others have said, the only way the site can be considered a ripoff is if an artist doesn't understand why their music isn't getting picked up.

 

On a side note, nobody is looking for professionally recorded music on the site...they are looking for good tunes, pure and simple. If they need to have a professional recording done, they will let you know, but otherwise, the music is screen by A&R reps that use the same tradition of looking for good songs, and they don't hinge on good production quality.

 

From the Taxi.com site:

 

It's hard to imagine an A&R person saying, "Gee, I really love this music, but this demo was only done on a four-track, I think I'll pass." They're looking for hit songs and unique artists! One of the most successful songs to come through TAXI was recorded on an 8-track in a bedroom.

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"It's hard to imagine an A&R person saying, "Gee, I really love this music, but this demo was only done on a four-track, I think I'll pass." They're looking for hit songs and unique artists! One of the most successful songs to come through TAXI was recorded on an 8-track in a bedroom"

 

Yeah, but that was years ago. Most listings today ask for broadcast quality.

 

Also, it's gotta be exactly what the listing is looking for or it won't make it through TAXI's mechanism.

 

Best, John :)

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Uber taxi thread over here;

 

http://songwriter101.com/forum/threads/14518_0_20_160_C/

 

 

It seems to be that you are encouraged to "get commercial" if you want this service to work for you . If the screeners tell you something over and over again (get to the chorus sooner that the 2 minute mark !!) and you refuse too based on your artistic vision , then you should'nt use this service . It's more about the buisness, catering to what has been asked for .

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Hello all,

 

Michael Laskow, founder of TAXI here. I was googling "TAXI" just now, and saw this thread.

 

The best advice I can give anybody to decide if TAXI is for them is to ask our members. We're not for everybody. We don't sell dreams. We take a realistic approach, and since 1992 have helped countless songwriters, artists and composers achieve their goals.

 

If you've only got a couple of songs, TAXI probably isn't a good investment for you. If you're 15 and like to sing Britney songs into your hairbrush while watching yourself in the mirror, we are definitely not for you.

 

Our members tend to be the most serious musicians looking for real opportunities.

 

TAXI is NOT a quick fix or a magic bullet. It's for people who are willing to work hard at their craft and have a persistent, patient approach. It often takes a little time for new members to get a feel for reading the listings and carefully pitching music that really fits the opportunity.

 

You will often find that the people who are less than kind in what they say about TAXI were never members and are engaging in hearsay. Certainly, not every member gets a deal. Some give up too quickly. Others pitch too wildly. Still others don't want to create music that fits what the market needs and blame TAXI for not forcing the industry as a whole to sign music that doesn't have much commercial appeal. We're not that powerful:)

 

If you'd like to see what our members say about us in their own, unedited words, please take a gander at the Success Stories section of our forum.

 

http://forums.taxi.com/taxi-success-stories-f7.html

 

Thanks to all of you for posting realistic posts on this thread. That's refreshing! And thanks for reading this!!

 

Warm regards,

Michael

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Nice post. I know you're here representing your company, Michael, and that's pretty much it, but it would be killer if you would check in once in a while and toss your two cents in. Your opinion would be highly valued by some folks around here. Like me. :)

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Thanks Richard :) Yep, I'm representing TAXI here because it's the topic at hand, but I will try to chime in on music business topics whenever possible. I'm also an old wires and mics kind of guy, so I can chime in there too.

 

If I can go back to TAXI for a second on this thread.... one of the biggest misconceptions people have is that you need professionally recorded, 24 track, mega-studio tracks to pitch for film and TV placements through TAXI.

 

As you saw if you clicked that link to our Success Stories forum, thousands of our members have made film and TV licensing deals and had placements pitching music they recorded in home studios. Here's a blog on the Broadcast Quality issue that I posted a little while ago. I got hundreds of emails from people telling me they had no idea that they were sitting on songs and instrumentals that were absolutely viable for placing in TV shows and films.

 

I hope it helps more readers get a fresh perspective on where they stand and the potential they have.

 

Enjoy,

Michael

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