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#1163191 - 04/14/20 02:48 PM I have a bone to pick with TAXI  
Joined: Sep 2011
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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TAXi is actually an honest place to submit music. That being said, there's something about their system I do not like.

You are NEVER submitting to the people requesting, who will ultimately decide on your song. You submitting to a gate keeper.

The problem with that set up is that the gate keeper is very narrow. Anything that they percieve falls even slightly outside of what they believe the MIP ( music industry pro ) is looking for, they won't forward it.

Here's the problem I see with that. In marketing, there's a concept called 'point of purchase sale'. Someone goes into a convenience story to buy something, and when they are standing at the counter, some other stuff is sitting on the counter right in front of them, though not the actual item they were seeking, it's not too far off ( a different type of candy bar you didn't know exist, but looks good, etc ) and this often leads to a purchase they didn't realize they wanted.

Gate keepers effectively prevent the possibility of a point of purchase sale.

For example, say the MIP tells taxi they want "something that sounds like traditional country, and mention a couple of names "Johnny Cash, Merl Haggard", for example.

Say your composition is, indeed, an older style, in the general ballpark, but not a homerun, but in the above mold. Because its "not on target" ( TAXI's verbiage ) they won't forward it.

Thing is, these submissions are usually for spots in a TV show or Film, The producers/music directors/MIPs get this idea of what they want, but it's quite possible they might like something, because it is good, and it just may work in the script , a little outside their request parameters, because they can't foretell everything that might work, or they might like, until they see/hear it put right in front of them, similar to the 'point of purchase' example above.

Now, the TAXI guys do have a good rationale for doing this, and I understand it, they just want to prevent wasting their client's time, and that's understandable.

However, from my vantage point, what TAXI's needs are and mine are, as a composer, don't quite jive in this regard.

There, I'm done ranting. Just had to get that off my chest. I"m not knocking TAXI, this is one of the few honest submission places on the net.

I'm just sayin'


Last edited by Pat Hardy; 04/14/20 02:51 PM.
#1163193 - 04/14/20 05:08 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Dec 2008
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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PA
Now, the TAXI guys do have a good rationale for doing this, and I understand it, they just want to prevent wasting their client's time, and that's understandable" - Pat

When I was with TAXI many years ago, they also told me that their clients want a buffer between them and the submitter. That makes more sense. It protects them from future lawsuits and general pests. On occasion when I thought TAXI was way off base, I'd tell them so. Sometimes they'd agree with me and reconsider, sending it to the client.

I'd guess TAXI is heavy on music libraries today.

Best, John smile

Last edited by John Lawrence Schick; 04/14/20 05:14 PM.
#1163221 - 04/15/20 01:45 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Nov 2010
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Vicarn Online content
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Vicarn  Online Content
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I agree there.
I sent them something a year ago that they asked for and they sent back saying it wasn't what they asked for. I checked twice. Can't understand them sometimes.
John, how do you reply to them? Unless I pay for in depth feedback I can't find a way.

Vic


It's never too late? Yes it is, so do it now.

If, given time, a monkey can write the complete works of Shakespeare maybe there's hope for me.

http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/vicarnold2

http://www.soundclick.com/vicarnold

http://soundcloud.com/vic-arnold

#1163225 - 04/15/20 02:11 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Dave Rice  Online Content
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I wish I could provide real "insight" to your question, Pat:

Early on, I decided it was just another scheme designed to separate the inexperienced song-writer/vocalist/musician from badly needed cash to support our "hobby." I read several exceptionally bad reviews about how the participants would be "waltzed around" by people with little real influence or talent... and caused to "jump through hoops" to suit personal tastes of the "goatherds!"

I stopped submitting anything years ago out of agonizing discouragement... few real answers and no significant financial backing to grease the skids with the "gatekeepers." It is a stacked deck... and I write and record my songs to suit myself. In the process... I do my best to be my most severe critic. Few things in life are fair but there is always hope that someone will hear one of my little gems and decide they need it on their next album.

As Ray Strode always chides us... "Write a Hit!" LOL! Okay, Ray... I'm planning on writing and recording until the grim reaper pulls the rug from beneath me.

Great topic... but we've discussed this and similar "themes" many times before. One of the "Old Timers" here at JPF used to always say, "If you have to pay to play... it's a scam."

Write On... Brothers and Sisters. It only takes time.

----Dave

#1163227 - 04/15/20 02:22 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Vicarn]  
Joined: Dec 2008
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Originally Posted by Vicarn
I agree there.
I sent them something a year ago that they asked for and they sent back saying it wasn't what they asked for. I checked twice. Can't understand them sometimes.
John, how do you reply to them? Unless I pay for in depth feedback I can't find a way.

Vic


Not sure today Vic! I haven't used TAXI in 20+ years. Back then you could email even Michael Laskow. There was one other boss at TAXI I used to talk with. Can’t remember his name, but he was always helpful. I even got a few phone calls from him. I don’t think they have the same people in charge today. Like everything else, in a constant changing state.

I will say, TAXI got me started in the TV/film business. My first two placements were through TAXI ( Bad Girls Club & Dateline NBC).

Best, John smile

#1163318 - 04/17/20 03:06 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Dec 2006
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Gary E. Andrews Online content
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Gary E. Andrews  Online Content
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If you think you have product suitable for that market, soundtracks, trailers, commercial advertising, which is a much broader market than terrestrial radio of any/all genres, you can probably learn to drive your own TAXI and get to know the 'consumers' first hand.

TAXI is rather like a Publishing company; they do some legwork you can't do for yourself.

For some people the music they make and the ears of TAXI Screener staff, and the ultimate Consumer, will match up. For others, maybe not.

www.catchthemoonmusic.com just enrolled a new cohort of aspiring Creatives to learn about that broad market of Synchronization Licensing. The six-month 'program' will run through August 2020 before a new cohort will enroll. The company already has some personal relationships with Music Supervisors and Music Production people that they share, but more importantly, they propose to teach enrollees how to find and establish those relationships, and how to create music to the specifications of the Consumer.

If you hear music on a TV commercial, or during a Situation Comedy or TV Drama, someone composed it, and someone selected it to 'license' the composition for that use. When they roll the credits the name of that person with 'selection' authority will probably scroll by.

Internet searching can also reveal that name and more data to you.

We all love serendipity, where 'happy accidents' suddenly open doors. But this is a different animal. This is transitioning from Creative hobbyist to Commercial endeavor, becoming a 'company' engaging in 'commerce' with other companies. There's a learning curve. We started out as Creative hobbyists. We didn't study 'commerce'. We may have 'studied' Songwriting, Lyric-writing, Melodies, maybe wandering around in Music Theory. We know some stuff. Do we know what we need to know to be a company? Can you 'clear' your work for Synchronization Licensing? Do you 'own' the Master Recording? Are you ready to sign your name on the dotted line? Better consult a lawyer. This is contracting and whatever whoever put in the contract becomes legally binding on the signatories. Many an ink pen would burn the hand of the man signing his name if he only knew how hot that ink was.

The Beatles lost 'ownership' of their Songs. John Fogerty lost control of his work with Creedence Clearwater Revival. John was prohibited from even sounding like himself as presented in CCR songs. Paul McCartney found himself outbid to regain control of his work with The Beatles. Some arcane legal stipulation recently (2019?) enabled him to regain 'ownership' of Intellectual Property that came right out of his own head and hands. There's much to know. We're usually way out in front of our knowledge, marketing without caution about what spelling our name in ink on a piece of paper can mean. And we often get out in front of the specifications for what the Consumer wants, thinking we have that, based on our own judgment, and disappointed when the Consumer disagrees. That learning curve.

CatchTheMoon advises, "Failure isn't failure. Failure is feedback." Cathy Heller-Reinstein.
If at first you don't succeed, study the new direction you're trying to go in, transitioning from Creative Hobbyist to Commercial Endeavor, You.Inc. It's a different animal. You may be trying to pet it only to find out it bites. TAXI may be holding the animal on a leash, not letting you get in over your head. There's no fast magic. Only possibilities. Someone said, "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster!"

Someone said the TAXI Road Rally conference was worth the price of membership, based on contacts made there, Consumers in the industry, and collaborators for long-term creation of product.

If TAXI opens a door for you odds are you'll begin to deal directly with the Consumer afterward, unless there's something in the contract you didn't read that locks you into TAXI, putting that leash on you. Sign here, and here, and initial there.


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1163328 - 04/17/20 10:17 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Sep 2011
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 637
Originally Posted by Dave Rice
I wish I could provide real "insight" to your question, Pat:

Early on, I decided it was just another scheme designed to separate the inexperienced song-writer/vocalist/musician from badly needed cash to support our "hobby." I read several exceptionally bad reviews about how the participants would be "waltzed around" by people with little real influence or talent... and caused to "jump through hoops" to suit personal tastes of the "goatherds!"

I stopped submitting anything years ago out of agonizing discouragement... few real answers and no significant financial backing to grease the skids with the "gatekeepers." It is a stacked deck... and I write and record my songs to suit myself. In the process... I do my best to be my most severe critic. Few things in life are fair but there is always hope that someone will hear one of my little gems and decide they need it on their next album.

As Ray Strode always chides us... "Write a Hit!" LOL! Okay, Ray... I'm planning on writing and recording until the grim reaper pulls the rug from beneath me.

Great topic... but we've discussed this and similar "themes" many times before. One of the "Old Timers" here at JPF used to always say, "If you have to pay to play... it's a scam."

Write On... Brothers and Sisters. It only takes time.

----Dave



Thing is, there is no front door. Either you know someone, or you submit to something like Taxi. Try waltzing in the front door of a publisher ( one of the majors, anyway ) and see what happens. But ,there are a ton of music 'libraries' that will take competent music. That's probably the better route, and they don't charge. In fact, I have my music in about 5 of them, but no luck yet.

I remember back in '72, there was a high rise near Sunset and Vine where a lot of publishers were in one building, and I took my guitar and did just that, waltzed right in ( wasn't actually a waltz, though, more like the stumble boogie ) and I was surprised that a few of them took me into a room, and let me sing them a song I had in mind. Got a nice freebie critique right there on the spot. No way could you do that today.

#1163330 - 04/17/20 10:40 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Gary E. Andrews]  
Joined: Sep 2011
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 637
Originally Posted by Gary E. Andrews
If you think you have product suitable for that market, soundtracks, trailers, commercial advertising, which is a much broader market than terrestrial radio of any/all genres, you can probably learn to drive your own TAXI and get to know the 'consumers' first hand.

TAXI is rather like a Publishing company; they do some legwork you can't do for yourself.

For some people the music they make and the ears of TAXI Screener staff, and the ultimate Consumer, will match up. For others, maybe not.

www.catchthemoonmusic.com just enrolled a new cohort of aspiring Creatives to learn about that broad market of Synchronization Licensing. The six-month 'program' will run through August 2020 before a new cohort will enroll. The company already has some personal relationships with Music Supervisors and Music Production people that they share, but more importantly, they propose to teach enrollees how to find and establish those relationships, and how to create music to the specifications of the Consumer.

If you hear music on a TV commercial, or during a Situation Comedy or TV Drama, someone composed it, and someone selected it to 'license' the composition for that use. When they roll the credits the name of that person with 'selection' authority will probably scroll by.

Internet searching can also reveal that name and more data to you.

We all love serendipity, where 'happy accidents' suddenly open doors. But this is a different animal. This is transitioning from Creative hobbyist to Commercial endeavor, becoming a 'company' engaging in 'commerce' with other companies. There's a learning curve. We started out as Creative hobbyists. We didn't study 'commerce'. We may have 'studied' Songwriting, Lyric-writing, Melodies, maybe wandering around in Music Theory. We know some stuff. Do we know what we need to know to be a company? Can you 'clear' your work for Synchronization Licensing? Do you 'own' the Master Recording? Are you ready to sign your name on the dotted line? Better consult a lawyer. This is contracting and whatever whoever put in the contract becomes legally binding on the signatories. Many an ink pen would burn the hand of the man signing his name if he only knew how hot that ink was.

The Beatles lost 'ownership' of their Songs. John Fogerty lost control of his work with Creedence Clearwater Revival. John was prohibited from even sounding like himself as presented in CCR songs. Paul McCartney found himself outbid to regain control of his work with The Beatles. Some arcane legal stipulation recently (2019?) enabled him to regain 'ownership' of Intellectual Property that came right out of his own head and hands. There's much to know. We're usually way out in front of our knowledge, marketing without caution about what spelling our name in ink on a piece of paper can mean. And we often get out in front of the specifications for what the Consumer wants, thinking we have that, based on our own judgment, and disappointed when the Consumer disagrees. That learning curve.

CatchTheMoon advises, "Failure isn't failure. Failure is feedback." Cathy Heller-Reinstein.
If at first you don't succeed, study the new direction you're trying to go in, transitioning from Creative Hobbyist to Commercial Endeavor, You.Inc. It's a different animal. You may be trying to pet it only to find out it bites. TAXI may be holding the animal on a leash, not letting you get in over your head. There's no fast magic. Only possibilities. Someone said, "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster!"

Someone said the TAXI Road Rally conference was worth the price of membership, based on contacts made there, Consumers in the industry, and collaborators for long-term creation of product.

If TAXI opens a door for you odds are you'll begin to deal directly with the Consumer afterward, unless there's something in the contract you didn't read that locks you into TAXI, putting that leash on you. Sign here, and here, and initial there.


I wish I could afford a lawyer, but lawyers are $400 a pop to review a contract. Most budding songwriters don't have that kind of dough laying around. I sure don't. I've signed five contracts in the last 15 years, , and the very first contract I ever signed was back in '89, single song contract, the publisher's only claim to fame ( if you call it that ) they were Buddy Merrill's publisher (Lawrence Welk orchestra's guitarist ) and I got screwed, I finally got my copyright returned to me 20 years later. They did nothing for the song, I dont even think they tried, I never heard form them again, and I didn't get a sunset clause put in ( I didn't know there was such a thing ).

I just found the wiki entry on the publisher, Buddy was on a small label, Accent Records, ( S & R music was the publishing wing ) -- Scott Seely, the owner, was the guy who tricked me into signing a single song contract with no sunset clause. See, there technically there was a sunset clause, "if not placed within 2 years, I get the copyright returned to me" but they had a clause that said the demo they produced was the "placement". I didn't know what it meant. I asked him want it meant, like a fool , after I signed it, and he told me 'it means I own your song forever'.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accent_Records_(US)

Last edited by Pat Hardy; 04/17/20 10:50 PM.
#1163340 - 04/18/20 12:20 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by Pat Hardy
TAXi is actually an honest place to submit music. That being said, there's something about their system I do not like.

You are NEVER submitting to the people requesting, who will ultimately decide on your song. You submitting to a gate keeper.

The problem with that set up is that the gate keeper is very narrow. Anything that they percieve falls even slightly outside of what they believe the MIP ( music industry pro ) is looking for, they won't forward it.

Here's the problem I see with that. In marketing, there's a concept called 'point of purchase sale'. Someone goes into a convenience story to buy something, and when they are standing at the counter, some other stuff is sitting on the counter right in front of them, though not the actual item they were seeking, it's not too far off ( a different type of candy bar you didn't know exist, but looks good, etc ) and this often leads to a purchase they didn't realize they wanted.

Gate keepers effectively prevent the possibility of a point of purchase sale.

For example, say the MIP tells taxi they want "something that sounds like traditional country, and mention a couple of names "Johnny Cash, Merl Haggard", for example.

Say your composition is, indeed, an older style, in the general ballpark, but not a homerun, but in the above mold. Because its "not on target" ( TAXI's verbiage ) they won't forward it.

Thing is, these submissions are usually for spots in a TV show or Film, The producers/music directors/MIPs get this idea of what they want, but it's quite possible they might like something, because it is good, and it just may work in the script , a little outside their request parameters, because they can't foretell everything that might work, or they might like, until they see/hear it put right in front of them, similar to the 'point of purchase' example above.

Now, the TAXI guys do have a good rationale for doing this, and I understand it, they just want to prevent wasting their client's time, and that's understandable.

However, from my vantage point, what TAXI's needs are and mine are, as a composer, don't quite jive in this regard.

There, I'm done ranting. Just had to get that off my chest. I"m not knocking TAXI, this is one of the few honest submission places on the net.

I'm just sayin'



Pat,

Thanks for your post. This is something I know more about than anyone outside of current TAXI employees.

Your first complaint: They make you submit to Gatekeepers At TAXI who are too selective.

Yes. That is the entire point of TAXI. If they did not do this, they wouldn't need to exist. But why? Because those companies ONLY accept the unsolicited music from folks like you BECAUSE TAXI essentially makes them solicited. They "hire" TAXI to find them specific things they want. TAXI does ALL the search legwork for these folks. TAXI provides this service for them, while ALSO providing several services for you. First they give you a chance to even be CONSIDERED by these companies, most of which are A list entities. Without TAXI, you would have ZERO chance to ever be heard by them for these needs. They do not want to sift through random submissions from the entire world and waste their time. TAXI not only knows what they want in great specificity, but they ALSO get to know their own members over time and often can be proactive when an urgent need comes up, they can say, you know 2 months ago Pat Hardy sent us this song that was not right for that opportunity, but it had a hook line that would be PERFECT for this one. They do deals like that for their members constantly. Additionally, when you send something in and have missed the mark, they tell you WHY you missed it (*unless they tell you in advance they aren't offering feedback.. more on that later). That way you at least know what to change, improve or if you simply aren't doing what they are looking for. That happens. Not everyone has the talent to make it via TAXI. But if you improve in the ways they tell you, you have a far better chance.

TAXI wants nothing more than to find something to make the client happy (they can't always do that) and to make their members happy (so they can succeed as a company) so any notion they are holding you back is counter-intuitive. They are beholden to the labels/music supervisors. If they can't consistently find what they need, they will stop using TAXI. But nearly 40 years on, they do more than ever.

I think you're misinformed a bit as well. They do not simply send something that matches 100%. They send a predetermined (as set by the receiver) # of entries that come the closest. So in your example, in most cases if they didn't have say 5-10 songs that fit exactly, they would add those that came closest as well.

Where your disagreement comes in is that they simply haven't felt your material was close enough. If you have some examples of rejects, post the offering, your submission and their feedback and let's openly discuss it from the facts. It would be good for everyone.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@gmail.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1163344 - 04/18/20 12:46 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 637
Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 637
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by Pat Hardy
TAXi is actually an honest place to submit music. That being said, there's something about their system I do not like.

You are NEVER submitting to the people requesting, who will ultimately decide on your song. You submitting to a gate keeper.

The problem with that set up is that the gate keeper is very narrow. Anything that they percieve falls even slightly outside of what they believe the MIP ( music industry pro ) is looking for, they won't forward it.

Here's the problem I see with that. In marketing, there's a concept called 'point of purchase sale'. Someone goes into a convenience story to buy something, and when they are standing at the counter, some other stuff is sitting on the counter right in front of them, though not the actual item they were seeking, it's not too far off ( a different type of candy bar you didn't know exist, but looks good, etc ) and this often leads to a purchase they didn't realize they wanted.

Gate keepers effectively prevent the possibility of a point of purchase sale.

For example, say the MIP tells taxi they want "something that sounds like traditional country, and mention a couple of names "Johnny Cash, Merl Haggard", for example.

Say your composition is, indeed, an older style, in the general ballpark, but not a homerun, but in the above mold. Because its "not on target" ( TAXI's verbiage ) they won't forward it.

Thing is, these submissions are usually for spots in a TV show or Film, The producers/music directors/MIPs get this idea of what they want, but it's quite possible they might like something, because it is good, and it just may work in the script , a little outside their request parameters, because they can't foretell everything that might work, or they might like, until they see/hear it put right in front of them, similar to the 'point of purchase' example above.

Now, the TAXI guys do have a good rationale for doing this, and I understand it, they just want to prevent wasting their client's time, and that's understandable.

However, from my vantage point, what TAXI's needs are and mine are, as a composer, don't quite jive in this regard.

There, I'm done ranting. Just had to get that off my chest. I"m not knocking TAXI, this is one of the few honest submission places on the net.

I'm just sayin'



Pat,

Thanks for your post. This is something I know more about than anyone outside of current TAXI employees.

Your first complaint: They make you submit to Gatekeepers At TAXI who are too selective.

Yes. That is the entire point of TAXI. If they did not do this, they wouldn't need to exist. But why? Because those companies ONLY accept the unsolicited music from folks like you BECAUSE TAXI essentially makes them solicited. They "hire" TAXI to find them specific things they want. TAXI does ALL the search legwork for these folks. TAXI provides this service for them, while ALSO providing several services for you. First they give you a chance to even be CONSIDERED by these companies, most of which are A list entities. Without TAXI, you would have ZERO chance to ever be heard by them for these needs. They do not want to sift through random submissions from the entire world and waste their time. TAXI not only knows what they want in great specificity, but they ALSO get to know their own members over time and often can be proactive when an urgent need comes up, they can say, you know 2 months ago Pat Hardy sent us this song that was not right for that opportunity, but it had a hook line that would be PERFECT for this one. They do deals like that for their members constantly. Additionally, when you send something in and have missed the mark, they tell you WHY you missed it (*unless they tell you in advance they aren't offering feedback.. more on that later). That way you at least know what to change, improve or if you simply aren't doing what they are looking for. That happens. Not everyone has the talent to make it via TAXI. But if you improve in the ways they tell you, you have a far better chance.

TAXI wants nothing more than to find something to make the client happy (they can't always do that) and to make their members happy (so they can succeed as a company) so any notion they are holding you back is counter-intuitive. They are beholden to the labels/music supervisors. If they can't consistently find what they need, they will stop using TAXI. But nearly 40 years on, they do more than ever.

I think you're misinformed a bit as well. They do not simply send something that matches 100%. They send a predetermined (as set by the receiver) # of entries that come the closest. So in your example, in most cases if they didn't have say 5-10 songs that fit exactly, they would add those that came closest as well.

Where your disagreement comes in is that they simply haven't felt your material was close enough. If you have some examples of rejects, post the offering, your submission and their feedback and let's openly discuss it from the facts. It would be good for everyone.

Brian



One particular dispute is probably more of thing with their client. One particular client only wants authentic old sounding recordings, but the recordings must have been recorded, say, in the 60s/70s/80s/90s. Once they had a request for bossa nova music, which is my specialty, but the recording had to be recorded in the 60s. This was a request that was made a few years ago. I think the assumption was that in order for the track to sound authentic, the client assumes it had to be recorded at the time when the music was popular ( two Brazilian jazz tunes had made the charts back in the 60s ) .

While I was alive in the 60s, there was no such thing as individuals owning multitrack professional recording systems, and studios in those days were like $200 an hour, which, in '60s dollars, was way out of reach for a teenager ( that I was ), and I didn't compose my first bossa until I was 23. I just felt the request was unreasonable, and how many songwriters today have composed bossa novas and were recorded in the 60s? My guess is that they would have a tough time finding a recording for that request. They have made similar requests for swing jazz tunes ( I think they wanted it recorded in the 70s, for that one, and studios in the 70s were around $300 an hour, which was two months rent on a one bedroom apartment in LA in those days). Again, similar problem.

Now I see them wanting authentic 80s an 90s sounding music recorded in these time periods. It's as if they believe no one can do the genuine article on modern equipment, and since the recordings are used in films, music in the background, will the audience even care? I feel that whoever the firm is ( and I understand it's one of the majors ) the request is unreasonable. Wouldn't you agree?

I had one request, an R&B tune, and they wanted a soul tune recorded in the 80s, but in the 80s, I was only able t afford one instrumental track and one vocal track, and it was recorded on digital, which was a new thing in '88, digital recorders, mics, etc, still too expensive for me. still, sound not full enough to meet the request. I gave up on that particular firm. I wish I were able to know who they were so I could contact them and try and persuade them on the lack of wisdom of their request But, it's TAXI, and there is no getting past the gate keeper.

Last edited by Pat Hardy; 04/18/20 12:51 PM.
#1163350 - 04/18/20 01:52 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 9,433
John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 9,433
PA
"I wish I were able to know who they were so I could contact them and try and persuade them on the lack of wisdom of their request But, it's TAXI, and there is no getting past the gate keeper" - Pat

If that is true today, then TAXI has changed Pat. I could always get past the Gatekeeper, when I was a member. Several times I persuaded them to send my tracks to the client. I remember one time especially, where I was told the listener was way off on that one. Isn't there a general TAXI email, just for asking questions you have?
Oh yes, here's a contact: https://www.taxi.com/contact/

Best, John smile

#1163353 - 04/18/20 02:27 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 352
RonnieDean Offline
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RonnieDean  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 352
Keystone, CO USA
When I quit the rock n' roll bar band circuit and went country, I joined taxi under the delusional position that pfft, this is going to be easy................


Nope.

#1163358 - 04/18/20 03:02 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by Pat Hardy
Originally Posted by Brian Austin Whitney
Originally Posted by Pat Hardy
TAXi is actually an honest place to submit music. That being said, there's something about their system I do not like.

You are NEVER submitting to the people requesting, who will ultimately decide on your song. You submitting to a gate keeper.

The problem with that set up is that the gate keeper is very narrow. Anything that they percieve falls even slightly outside of what they believe the MIP ( music industry pro ) is looking for, they won't forward it.

Here's the problem I see with that. In marketing, there's a concept called 'point of purchase sale'. Someone goes into a convenience story to buy something, and when they are standing at the counter, some other stuff is sitting on the counter right in front of them, though not the actual item they were seeking, it's not too far off ( a different type of candy bar you didn't know exist, but looks good, etc ) and this often leads to a purchase they didn't realize they wanted.

Gate keepers effectively prevent the possibility of a point of purchase sale.

For example, say the MIP tells taxi they want "something that sounds like traditional country, and mention a couple of names "Johnny Cash, Merl Haggard", for example.

Say your composition is, indeed, an older style, in the general ballpark, but not a homerun, but in the above mold. Because its "not on target" ( TAXI's verbiage ) they won't forward it.

Thing is, these submissions are usually for spots in a TV show or Film, The producers/music directors/MIPs get this idea of what they want, but it's quite possible they might like something, because it is good, and it just may work in the script , a little outside their request parameters, because they can't foretell everything that might work, or they might like, until they see/hear it put right in front of them, similar to the 'point of purchase' example above.

Now, the TAXI guys do have a good rationale for doing this, and I understand it, they just want to prevent wasting their client's time, and that's understandable.

However, from my vantage point, what TAXI's needs are and mine are, as a composer, don't quite jive in this regard.

There, I'm done ranting. Just had to get that off my chest. I"m not knocking TAXI, this is one of the few honest submission places on the net.

I'm just sayin'



Pat,

Thanks for your post. This is something I know more about than anyone outside of current TAXI employees.

Your first complaint: They make you submit to Gatekeepers At TAXI who are too selective.

Yes. That is the entire point of TAXI. If they did not do this, they wouldn't need to exist. But why? Because those companies ONLY accept the unsolicited music from folks like you BECAUSE TAXI essentially makes them solicited. They "hire" TAXI to find them specific things they want. TAXI does ALL the search legwork for these folks. TAXI provides this service for them, while ALSO providing several services for you. First they give you a chance to even be CONSIDERED by these companies, most of which are A list entities. Without TAXI, you would have ZERO chance to ever be heard by them for these needs. They do not want to sift through random submissions from the entire world and waste their time. TAXI not only knows what they want in great specificity, but they ALSO get to know their own members over time and often can be proactive when an urgent need comes up, they can say, you know 2 months ago Pat Hardy sent us this song that was not right for that opportunity, but it had a hook line that would be PERFECT for this one. They do deals like that for their members constantly. Additionally, when you send something in and have missed the mark, they tell you WHY you missed it (*unless they tell you in advance they aren't offering feedback.. more on that later). That way you at least know what to change, improve or if you simply aren't doing what they are looking for. That happens. Not everyone has the talent to make it via TAXI. But if you improve in the ways they tell you, you have a far better chance.

TAXI wants nothing more than to find something to make the client happy (they can't always do that) and to make their members happy (so they can succeed as a company) so any notion they are holding you back is counter-intuitive. They are beholden to the labels/music supervisors. If they can't consistently find what they need, they will stop using TAXI. But nearly 40 years on, they do more than ever.

I think you're misinformed a bit as well. They do not simply send something that matches 100%. They send a predetermined (as set by the receiver) # of entries that come the closest. So in your example, in most cases if they didn't have say 5-10 songs that fit exactly, they would add those that came closest as well.

Where your disagreement comes in is that they simply haven't felt your material was close enough. If you have some examples of rejects, post the offering, your submission and their feedback and let's openly discuss it from the facts. It would be good for everyone.

Brian



One particular dispute is probably more of thing with their client. One particular client only wants authentic old sounding recordings, but the recordings must have been recorded, say, in the 60s/70s/80s/90s. Once they had a request for bossa nova music, which is my specialty, but the recording had to be recorded in the 60s. This was a request that was made a few years ago. I think the assumption was that in order for the track to sound authentic, the client assumes it had to be recorded at the time when the music was popular ( two Brazilian jazz tunes had made the charts back in the 60s ) .

While I was alive in the 60s, there was no such thing as individuals owning multitrack professional recording systems, and studios in those days were like $200 an hour, which, in '60s dollars, was way out of reach for a teenager ( that I was ), and I didn't compose my first bossa until I was 23. I just felt the request was unreasonable, and how many songwriters today have composed bossa novas and were recorded in the 60s? My guess is that they would have a tough time finding a recording for that request. They have made similar requests for swing jazz tunes ( I think they wanted it recorded in the 70s, for that one, and studios in the 70s were around $300 an hour, which was two months rent on a one bedroom apartment in LA in those days). Again, similar problem.

Now I see them wanting authentic 80s an 90s sounding music recorded in these time periods. It's as if they believe no one can do the genuine article on modern equipment, and since the recordings are used in films, music in the background, will the audience even care? I feel that whoever the firm is ( and I understand it's one of the majors ) the request is unreasonable. Wouldn't you agree?

I had one request, an R&B tune, and they wanted a soul tune recorded in the 80s, but in the 80s, I was only able t afford one instrumental track and one vocal track, and it was recorded on digital, which was a new thing in '88, digital recorders, mics, etc, still too expensive for me. still, sound not full enough to meet the request. I gave up on that particular firm. I wish I were able to know who they were so I could contact them and try and persuade them on the lack of wisdom of their request But, it's TAXI, and there is no getting past the gate keeper.


As someone who ONLY recorded in the 80's and 90's. I have over 2K songs using the exact now vintage gear they want to hear. Sure, a top level pro studio can mimic anything. But they don't usually have the budgets to pay for that, so they are looking for real thing on the budget they can afford. If they had a large budget, they'd just pick the hits of the day. A medium budget they'd pick album cuts from known artists who will negotiate on those non hits in many cases. This sounds like an Indie Film most likely looking for affordable stuff with the sounds that accurately come from vintage gear.

Also, keep in mind those requirements don't come from TAXI they come from the client. They can ask for what they want, reasonable or not. But if you have the STYLE down 100%, but use modern mics, modern keyboards/samples, modern guitar processors etc. it will not please someone looking for the real thing. That is no TAXI's fault and if you aren't happy with the terms from the listing, don't submit to it.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@gmail.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1163359 - 04/18/20 03:10 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Indianapolis, IN USA
Also, to all, TAXI screeners are human. They may make a mistake. They have customer support. I know of countless cases where songs were reconsidered. But it might be that your view of your work is different than their view. That is not something either of you can control. Like I said, post the listing, post the submitted song and post their feedback from the rejection and let's discuss together if you got a raw deal somehow. Also consider on any given listing, they may tell TAXI to send the best 10 tracks or just the best track. There are lots of Pros out of work all the time who submit high end material and recordings trying to make money just like you. We get 100's of thousands of songs in for our awards, and there are many thousands of songs that I think are great. Even though we give out more awards in more genres than any contest or awards in music history, there are still only 70-100 songs out of 100's of thousands that win in the end. We got a quarter of a million last time around. Our last awards nearly killed me because we got 560K!!!! That year 80 songs won an award. Think of the reality of it all.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@gmail.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1163395 - 04/19/20 03:11 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 637
Moosesong Offline
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Moosesong  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 637
Roseville, CA, USA
In a world where there are a thousand songs for every opening that needs a song, a system like TAXI makes sense. That being said, every system, no matter well tuned will make mistakes on occasion. While Taxi mainly needs to keep its requesters happy, it is good business practice to throw a bone to their songwriters.

If anyone from Taxi reads this, this is my proposed solution.

As part of membership every year, each songwriter gets one token they can spend to have their song submitted to whatever project they feel could really use their song. With only 1 token per year, the songwriter would take care in picking which song was really worthy of using that token.

This would only add a small portion of chaff to the wheat that Taxi forwards to the requestors. It would give songwriters hope that atleast once a year, one of their songs had a true fair chance of being discovered.

As a marketing promotion, Taxi could offer something like "sign up for 3 years, get 5 tokens"


Staying 6 feet away is better than being 6 feet under.
Music page
www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=707030

#1163635 - 04/24/20 03:30 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 637
Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 637
Originally Posted by John Lawrence Schick
"I wish I were able to know who they were so I could contact them and try and persuade them on the lack of wisdom of their request But, it's TAXI, and there is no getting past the gate keeper" - Pat

If that is true today, then TAXI has changed Pat. I could always get past the Gatekeeper, when I was a member. Several times I persuaded them to send my tracks to the client. I remember one time especially, where I was told the listener was way off on that one. Isn't there a general TAXI email, just for asking questions you have?
Oh yes, here's a contact: https://www.taxi.com/contact/

Best, John smile


Wow, I've never been able to do that. The are a lot stricter now.

#1163901 - 04/30/20 04:31 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Moosesong]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,034
Indianapolis, IN USA
Originally Posted by Moosesong
In a world where there are a thousand songs for every opening that needs a song, a system like TAXI makes sense. That being said, every system, no matter well tuned will make mistakes on occasion. While Taxi mainly needs to keep its requesters happy, it is good business practice to throw a bone to their songwriters.

If anyone from Taxi reads this, this is my proposed solution.

As part of membership every year, each songwriter gets one token they can spend to have their song submitted to whatever project they feel could really use their song. With only 1 token per year, the songwriter would take care in picking which song was really worthy of using that token.

This would only add a small portion of chaff to the wheat that Taxi forwards to the requestors. It would give songwriters hope that atleast once a year, one of their songs had a true fair chance of being discovered.

As a marketing promotion, Taxi could offer something like "sign up for 3 years, get 5 tokens"


Moose... sadly you are wrong. They showed me so many awful, disgusting and terrible by any measure songs which people kept sending for every opportunity even after Taxi refunded their money, they would sign up under fake names and send the exact same songs. One example I recall was a song called "diaper wearing momma" which was not a novelty song, but a poorly written and depressing song about exactly that.. his elderly mother who wore diapers. They refunded his money from multiple attempts because it wasn't like they would forget that song. Sure, not everyone is that crazy, but trust me, MANY people (100's if not thousands) will send horrendous songs because A: They can't write better and B: They are relentless. If they have 10K members (and I know it was 4 times that at one point as they have 4 million accounts on their email list, going back 5 years ago) that is a tremendous number of terrible songs you force your companies to sift through and quickly they say "stop sending anything." You can't use yourself as an example. The entire purpose of Taxi is to take the risk that they can 1. Satisfy the end client and 2. Satisfy their members. Without the first being served, the second doesn't matter.


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@gmail.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#1163903 - 04/30/20 06:29 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,782
Gary E. Andrews Online content
Top 200 Poster
Gary E. Andrews  Online Content
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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,782
Portsmouth, Ohio, USA
A guy was telling about soliciting from a group and getting 165 submissions. Only three were licensed. He went into depth critiquing the rest, saying they were nowhere near adequate, pitchy vocals (off-key), low-quality recordings, just wrong for the 'use' the 'consumer' wanted them for.
If they're trying to sell a product, the 'mood' of the music should match the benefits they're promoting the product with. Depressing music doesn't inspire happy shoes and wonderful cars and delightful shampoos.
For Songs, as opposed to Synchronization Licensing for commercials, everyone's looking for a hit, not what we used to call 'album filler', those mediocre Songs that 'fill' the rest of an 'album', what we used to call units of vinyl or cassette or compact disc packaging of 12 or 14 Songs, sold as a unit.
Now it's a single Song, and they're looking for a hit. Mostly, we don't write hits. We write misses, near-misses and 'what-the-hell-was-that?'
People try to 'sell' what they have, not what the consumer wants. We're not well-versed in assessing music by the criteria TAXI's consumers specify.
I think it was Producer Cliff Goldmacher who advised, "Don't wait for someone else to do the heavy lifting." You should be able to think of half a dozen ways that applies.

Here's a recent email:
We hope you and your loved ones are doing well! If you like to stay busy while quarantined, here are three new requests from some of our favorite clients. Do you have what they need? Click the red buttons to see the deadlines and details!

CHART-WORTHY COUNTRY SONGS needed...(Your assessment of 'chart-worthy' may not be theirs, or their client's.)
Click for Details and Deadline
Here's the data when you Click for Details and Deadline:
CHART-WORTHY COUNTRY SONGS with Male Vocals are needed by a Nashville-based Independent Record Label for a recently signed, up-and-coming act that’s working on their debut album!

They’re looking for Songs in All Tempos that are in the stylistic ballpark of artists like (but not limited to): Riley Green, Luke Combs, Chris Janson, etc., etc., etc. Please listen to the following references they gave us to get a feel for the style and vibe they need:

“In Love By Now” by Riley Green (You listen to these reference tracks and make a judgment about your product. Maybe your judgment matches theirs; maybe it doesn't. In the email these are all easily clickable so you can listen right away to make your judgment.)

“Even Though I'm Leaving” by Luke Combs

"Good Vibes" by Chris Janson

Quoting the Record Label: “We need Songs that are sort of Montgomery Gentry meets a young Hank Jr. Imagine how a group with Luke Combs, Riley Green, and Chris Janson together would sound!”

Please submit contemporary-sounding Songs that have memorable melodies, A-plus lyrics, and unforgettable choruses. Your Songs can lean a bit more toward the Rock side of Country, but you should be careful not to overdo it. Be sure your vocal performances have honest Country deliveries that will make this act and record label want to cut your Songs!

NOTE: Your submissions can be stripped-down demos or full productions as long as your material is competitive with writers on the Row.

Your recording quality (even for stripped-down demos) needs to be clean, clear, well-balanced, and good enough to represent your Songs well. The specific deal points will be negotiated directly with the Record Label on a Song-by-Song basis. Please submit as many Songs as you’d like, online or per CD, and please include lyrics. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI. Submissions must be received no later than 11:59 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, May 20th, 2020. TAXI # S200520PR
(More from the email:)
A WIDE RANGE of MELANCHOLY SONGS with SAD LYRIC Themes needed...(Sad? Most of us do sad really well. But that's all Lyric and some arrangement, the music. But we may not have the music skills, and judgment to make it sad AND interesting. Or recording skills to make it broadcast ready.)
Click for Details and Deadline
CONTEMPORARY INDIE POP SONGS needed...(Can we define Indie Pop? Again, what we think it is and they think it is may vary.)
Click for Details and Deadline

Reminders: Opportunities with Deadlines Approaching Soon!
FUN FEMALE RAP/HIP-HOP SONGS needed...(Fun? Got fun? Female? Got female point-of-view? Rap/Hip-Hop?)
Click for Details and Deadline
CONTEMPORARY INDIE ROCK ARTISTS or BANDS with some FOLK/AMERICANA FLAVOR needed...("Flavor"? Got 'flavor'?)
Click for Details and Deadline
CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY SONGS with a TRADITIONAL SOUND needed...('Contemporary'? Traditional'? Can it be both? Can you assess whether it is both?)
Click for Details and Deadline
SONGS with Lyric Themes of Gratitude, Support, and Appreciation needed...(Lyric themes. Take note of that. That 'theme' probably comes up again and again.)
Click for Details and Deadline
P.S. Want to see how TAXI works? Click Here. Already know how TAXI works? Click here to join.

Here's another email:
Dear Passengers,

If you submitted for this Emotional Trap Instrumental Cues request, TAXI #S200415ET, you really don't want to miss this episode of TAXI TV! (Emotional Trap? Sounds like my fifth wife!)

If you've ever wondered, "How good does an instrumental cue need to be to get forwarded by TAXI to a Leading Music Licensing Company that gets tons of placements in TV Shows?" then you're going to love this episode!
Here's the request we got from the
Music Licensing Company!

TAXI #S200415ET

Lots of EMOTIONAL TRAP (EMO-TRAP) INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a new division of a Music Licensing Company that gets tons of placements in TV Shows and is now expanding!

NOTE: They’re currently building a few new catalogs, so this is a killer opportunity to start a relationship with an awesome company!

They're looking for Mid-to-Up-Tempo Instrumental Cues in the general stylistic wheelhouse of the following references:

“Lucid Dreams (Instrumental)” by Juice WRLD

“SAD! (Instrumental)” by XXXTENTACION

“Betrayed (Instrumental)” by Lil Xan

Give them well-crafted Trap Instrumental Cues that effectively deliver a sad and/or melancholy mood and feel. Your submissions should be rhythmically engaging from start to finish and have contemporary Trap elements.

Stick to a central motif throughout, and give your Cues a developmental arc that gives the editors some options!

Hint: That will increase your chances of getting your Cues used more often!

TAXI Tip: Please be sure your virtual instruments and samples sound current (not dated), and are of high quality!

All submissions should be around 90 seconds to 2 minutes in length (give or take). Non-faded, Buttoned/Stinger endings will work best. Please do NOT copy the referenced material in any way, shape or form. Use them only as a general guide for tempo, texture, tone, and overall vibe. Do NOT submit any material with unauthorized samples of other artists’ music, sounds or any form of media. Broadcast Quality is needed.

This company offers an EXCLUSIVE deal. You’ll split any upfront sync fees 50/50. They’ll get 100% of the Publisher’s share, and you’ll get 100% of the Writer’s share. You must own or control 100% of your Master and Copyright. Since this is an EXCLUSIVE deal, please be sure the material you submit for this pitch is NOT already signed with other Libraries or Catalogs. (See that? "You must own or control..." If you can't 'clear' the product for their use you can't contract with them for licensing, and you're wasting your time and theirs. That doesn't make you very popular, easy to pass on next time your name and product come up.)

Please submit as many Instrumental Cues as you'd like, online or per CD. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by a TAXI Screener who also works for the Licensing Company! Sweet - you'll get heard by one of the "deciders." Submissions must be received no later than 11:59 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, April 15th, 2020. TAXI # S200415ET

You're going to be in the A&R decision-maker's seat by voting with your fellow viewers. Did TAXI's A&R people get it right? Let's see how you vote!
Win a FREE Book!
Don't forget to leave a comment under the video on YouTube! We’re going to give away a FREE copy of Robin Frederick's book, Shortcuts to Songwriting for Film & TV: 114 Tips for Writing, Recording, & Pitching in Today's Hottest Market, to the viewer who posts the best comment. Shortcuts to Hit Songwriting: 126 Proven Techniques for Writing Songs That Sell
Click to Watch the Live Replay!

Hope you enjoy the episode,
Michael

(So, this is a whole new thing for most creatives, Songwriters, matching what you 'have' to what they 'want'. I think you can be assured that if you have what they want they're going to grab it. They're not just looking and listening for personal entertainment, to pass the time in quarantine. This is 'business', commerce. They get paid to find product to suit the use to which it will be put, to sell the product, to get the artist and all concerned on the charts, to sell tickets, to sell units, downloads, t-shirts, everything they're trying to 'sell'.
We listen to a lot of stuff here on JPF. How much of it do you ever want to hear again? How much of it makes you want to buy the car, the shampoo, the clothes? If you're going after this market, you have to step up your game, comprehend the consumer's point-of-view, and supply what they demand, what they want, which may not be what you 'have'.
You can decide they just don't see your genius, or you can decide to become this analytical person, probably not what you've been until now, and keep trying to bring your product up to their standards. One Synchronization License can be very lucrative.)


There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#1163904 - 04/30/20 06:29 PM Re: I have a bone to pick with TAXI [Re: Pat Hardy]  
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 637
Moosesong Offline
Top 500 Poster
Moosesong  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 637
Roseville, CA, USA
Brian, you are right.

I now recall a song someone wrote and sang around the campfire years ago. it was a very long 10 minutes. it had 2 minutes worth of lyrics, but each syllable had 5 or more notes. It was very painful to listen to. I'm sure if Taxi would lose clients if they let a song like that or the diaper song get through.

I stand corrected.


Staying 6 feet away is better than being 6 feet under.
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