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taxi A&R, is it a scam?


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


Warm regards,

Michael

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by. Sort of slow around this forum though ; musicians seem to think they don't need to pay attention to the buisness aspects of things . too bad................I'll just make music and then pow "then a miracle happens" ..... then you're a star!!!

 

I'm glad you re-affirmed that taxi could'nt make me a star for $300 !!!:facepalm:

 

 

 

 

:thu:

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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

Michael,

Thank you for stopping in and sharing with the group...;)

Your presence here is perfect for our type of discussions, as well as in the 21st Century forum...

Please, by all means don't be a stranger.:cool:

 

(oh, yeah, I'm the Moderator here, so this is an 'official' welcome!):wave:

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Michael,

Thank you for stopping in and sharing with the group...
;)
Your presence here is perfect for our type of discussions, as well as in the 21st Century forum...

Please, by all means don't be a stranger.
:cool:

(oh, yeah, I'm the Moderator here, so this is an 'official' welcome!)
:wave:

 

Thanks for the official welcome... much appreciated. I've typically worked 15-18 days, at least 6 days a week since starting TAXI nearly 18 years ago, so I rarely get time to get involved in forums, even our own! Sad.... I really enjoy fruitful discussions where people really want to share and learn.

 

I promise to try to stop in here whenever time allows. It feels like this a pretty level-headed group :)

 

I've always been reluctant to do hit and runs in forums where people have less than kind things to say about TAXI, so I've just left them alone. But I live in a constant state of frustration that SO much TRUE information is out there as to the success our members are having, but nobody ever links to it.

 

We post it on our site, it's all over our own forum, yet it's mostly the sour grapes who post elsewhere. I've also noticed that our successful members spend somewhat less time on forums, and when they do, they seem afraid to speak too positively about TAXI, as they are likely to get into a flame war.

 

I WILL say that when people do give facts and post positive experiences, I appreciate it a great deal.

 

Any sage advice on how to get the word out, short of hitting every forum on the net and posting links to our member generated success stories?

 

I'm all ears, and again, thanks for the warm welcome. I will try to contribute stuff that's not all TAXI related:D

 

Warm regards,

Michael

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ok. I'm just a car salesman in Anchorage who more or less writes/records songs in my spare bedroom. I used to write a lot, after a 12 year break (I thought my music days were done), though never quit my day job.. OK back to the point...I used to use a tascam 424 cassette to record. I actually had decent sounding songs with that one. Well, speed forward 12 years, got a jones to write and record again. So I bought a tascam dp02 dig 8 trk. I play all the instruments (and a drum machine, sorry but it's a great tool) and sing- though not a great singer. With that said, I think I'm putting out some great sounding recordings. Since I was rebuying things long sold I used the built-in effects, etc..... And until recently, no real high-dollar instruments (squier strat- 23 years old, japan)- I actually love this guitar and never will we part. But with what I have, I think it all sounds great. It floored me to see what 500 bux buys now for a recorder compared to the 90s. And I'm singing with an SM58.

 

Still a hobby, but I'm rethinking a little. I post to myspace, and I don't have a following, etc.. but I think I'm getting a lot of plays- 14,000+ in about 6 months. So I dunno what to do...is that significant? So I found this board while deciding to peddle my songs.

 

Anyway, more like my 20 cents worth...lol. The point is I think industry expects great recordings because the technology is cheap enough to create it. (ok this isn't a shameless plug...promise), check it out on my page, tell me if you think most of the songs (7) are good enough to peddle to the pros (the sound quality, not my singing!)..

 

thanx guys

Bill

www.myspace.com/alascar11 (it's public)

 

again, no plugs here, and only effects are of the built-in varitey with the recorder. Since then I actually have better stuff and software. "All those little things" has my new guitar- a taylor. other stuff is a $150 ibanez. So IMHO I think you can do a pro demo on the cheap-ish.

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I don't know if it's in the same vein as what you guys are talking about, but either way I just wanted to have this posted.

 

ASCAP and Pump Audio are two organizations that do that type of thing right? I read another forum where one of the electronica composers got his song on Heroes (the tv show), but without knowing it, because "ASCAP and Pump Audio are on the slow side". Basically the guy has his music distribution handled by those sites and gets paid when his music is used somewhere.

 

Here's a helpful quote:

 

"Here's how it works. Antigravity is licensed to a music library/publisher, Pump Audio, who basically makes it available to anyone who is interested. They also shop it around a bit directly. Once someone selects a song from it, they pay an upfront fee (for a "synchronization license") which is split 50/50 with me. I get my checks from Pump twice a year, along with a statement about who bought what. Otherwise, they don't contact me at all. Thus, I could have 1000 placements this month and I wouldn't hear about any of them until about 3 months from now when the check comes in. Sometimes, it takes even longer... for example, my music was used on some UK TV show DVD release which came out in April, but I wasn't officially notified until December of that year.

 

The other channel of revenue is ASCAP, the performing rights organization of which I am a member. Basically, anytime ANYTHING is broadcast on TV, the producers of each show or ad are supposed to report what music they use to the appropriate PRO. So, the people behind Heroes would tell ASCAP, "Hey, we used this song 'Warhead' for about 45 seconds on NBC at 9pm." This would happen for any subsequent broadcasts as well. ASCAP then uses some complex formula to determine a royalty for EACH broadcast, which is billed to the Heroes guys. Then, about four times a year, they would pay out those royalties to myself and Pump (another 50/50 split)."

 

I thought that this is an interesting deal if you have commercial music.

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Pump Audio has changed the 50/50 licensing fee split to 65/35 this year (in favor of Pump). However you still receive 100% of the PRO writer's royalties and 50% of the PRO publisher's royalty. Not that bad of a deal.

 

Make sure Pump/Getty Images register your tracks with your PRO.

 

Their reviewing process is very, very slow. Figure on waiting a year before your tracks are accepted and in their library.

 

John :)

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Michael,

Thank you for stopping in and sharing with the group...
;)
Your presence here is perfect for our type of discussions, as well as in the 21st Century forum...

Please, by all means don't be a stranger.
:cool:

(oh, yeah, I'm the Moderator here, so this is an 'official' welcome!)
:wave:

 

it's good to see members of TAXI stopping by here and sharing.

 

TAXI has been something we've considered, but the $300 price tag has been hard to justify (for us, at least). it's something i'll bring up to the band again and discuss it again.

 

-PJ

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Don't use Taxi!!!! Seriously don't waste your money with this joke of a company.  I was a Taxi member for 15 years, had probably over 100 forwards and never got a single placement. I eventually just started doing the ground work myself and I have many many tracks signed with several libraries which led to placements and making money.  I also had really bad experiences with their staff.  Anytime I contacted support they were rude and demeaning.  You'd think they would make you feel like a part of the team after spending thousands of dollars on them but every single encounter was negative.  Don't even think about expressing your honest opinion in their forums either.  The staff (including Michael) will completely jump down your throat. I even witnessed him completely tear a member apart on a YouTube video for talking about his music in the chat stream.   Nothing but horrible experiences.  Seriously don't waste your time and money with that company.

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If someone claims they can get you work in return for money, not a cut, they are not in the business of finding you work, they are in the business of taking your money.

Taxi boasts signing deals with virtually every major company in the entertainment industry as the first thing you see on the website are the logos for disney, columbia, warner bros etc. My colleague who works at disney corporate in burbank said no one at disney has ever heard of taxi. The same with Mtv and warner brothers said taxi "sounds like one of many music mill library scams in hollywood. we never use them, and neither does anyone reputable" A phone call with a taxi representative resulted in them not being able to name even one deal with any of these companies resulting from them, and I was just being told to check out the success stories blog on their site. Dont you think if taxi landed a deal with a mega media outlet they would shout that from the rooftops? I am curious if these top companies know their image is being posted by taxi.

Taxi is misleading; I joined after discovering a post for a listing that fit me perfectly. After that, I kept getting ads to join "dispatch", to 'find more suitable listings'. "taxi dispatch" is an add-on, for another $200. They claim these are for postings with a "quick turnaround". After another call, the representative could not adequately explain what that entails. These "dispatch listings" were no different then the regular ones I paid my yearly 300$ membership for. A quick turnaround in the business world is fri-mon, these were up for more then a month. Regular membership is refundable, dispatch isnt. You get one posting for 300$ refundable, then the rest for 200$.

The submissions are absolutely non refundable as well, which makes sense, as that is the true service they are rendering. you pay to get your stuff listened to and 'evaluated', by who exactly? not the people who make the decision and write the contract. Going by their glassdoor reviews, just about anyone off the street in los angeles. "pros: you get paid to listen to music and simply see if it fits previously posted guidelines/ cons: not the best reputation in the industry. if youre looking to get into music yourself dont tell people you worked there and leave it off your resume" At 5$ a track that adds up, after one year I racked up hundreds. You cant even submit the same track for another listing for free. It adds up to more than a chunk of change, and its all non refundable.

Taxi claims as its selling point, "a trip to los angeles is expensive, plus a top music attorney charges hundreds, taxi pays for itself many times over". Are you kidding me!! what any aspiring artist would give to be invited to los angeles because a top company is interested in their work, having that 20 min coffee with a warner brothers executive is the biggest foot in the door opportunity that rarely if ever comes around, and is well worth putting it on the plastic! Shocked taxi even mentions contracts and attorneys, because taxi doesnt even provide you with that either. They simply give your contact to the mystery company hiring. You are left to your own devices to negotiate with a mega media mogul. good luck! Either you have an agent who takes a cut (not taxi's service or business model) or unless you totally are inviting yourself to get taken advantage of, will end up hiring a 300$ a hour attorney anyway. 

Taxi has 'awards' that are given to paying members, typically informing 'finalists' right before their renewal notice. Thats borderline shady, and a convenient conflict of interest.

Taxi has a mercurial presence on internet review sites (yelp google etc). They appear on and off under different names (taxi music, taxi a and r, taxi a&r, etc) Presumably to keep covering their tracks and try to limit bad reviews. It seems the only people who have favorable reviews are people who enjoy getting positive feedback from submissions and are 'encouraged'. They do not have an excellent rating with the BBB.

The pros are slim; the road rally is a great opportunity to network, but then again, so is any convention. This will be mostly however with other musicians looking for work or exposure just like you, but you never know who knows people. Taxi's selling point is it makes your submissions unsolicited. This is fine, however considering apparently no top company uses taxi, If anything taxi's clientele are very very indie. Im talking usc/nyu film school projects. Major companies simply do not use them. The weekly videos (posted on YouTube) are seldom useful, mostly fellow musicians plugging their own stuff, and im pretty sure it looks like are shot in the ceo's living room.

If someone claims they can get you work in return for money, not a cut, they are not in the business of finding you work, they are in the business of taking your money.

p.s.  for the record about 80% of my submissions were forwarded.

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On 9/2/2009 at 9:27 AM, Matximus said:

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...

Edited by daddymack
fixed reply to quote, was in quote window.
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