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Saturday, January 23rd
Taxi has been serving artists in the music industry for a whopping 28+ years. They first began in 1992 and have had the goal of connecting musicians with record labels ever since. They also work to get their clients' music to film and TV music supervisors, top music publishers, production music libraries, especially to be used in TV commercials and movie trailers.
When briefly scanning the services provided by Taxi on their website, you'll see that they give a lot of reasons for their members to be optimistic about their platform. A hopeful musician looking to make it big will likely be enticed by all the opportunities listed there. It would be hard not to have high expectations from a company who boasts that they have worked with The CW, ABC, CNN, Hallmark Channel, Hollywood Records, EA Sports, The Discovery Channel, and many other well-known networks.
Prepare to read
To get a clear understanding of how to make the most of Taxi's services, it will take quite a bit of reading. Their website is text-heavy and full of so many pages of information and sales pitches that it is hard to get the important details. The best way to get a watered-down version of how Taxi's services might help an artist is by reviewing their FAQ page. Here they clarify some pricing details, information on their A&R (artists and repertoire) team, and submission processes.
To join Taxi and use their services, you'll pay for a full-year membership at $299.95. Once the year is up, the renewal fee is $199.95. This is definitely one of the pricier services we have seen for music publishing. From there, artists pay $5 for each song they submit to Taxi's platform. If a musician gets their song used by a company, Taxi does not take any of the commission. Their fees are simply to pay their A&R people to work behind the scenes to get artists connected to companies looking for music.
Taxi claims that in their annual head counts of how many artists get forwarded to companies, it ends up being about 4 out of 10 members. They only forward songs that are high-quality and really fit the criteria of the company looking for music whether it be for a TV show, video game, movie, commercial, or some other type of entertainment. Taxi's success rate for individuals who actually score deals runs about 6% or a little higher. This doesn't seem extremely high, but then again, Taxi's job is just to get your name and work out there and then it is up to companies to decide whose music to use. Despite the pitches throughout the website, Taxi really isn't making any promises when it comes to the success of their members.
There is a forum where members can leave "unfiltered" reviews about their experience with Taxi. We were hopeful that this would give us a good idea of how the general public feels about using their platform since they don't have a Better Business Bureau profile. We can't say for sure that these reviews are in fact filtered, but the fact that there are over 1,900 posts without anything negative for us to find was suspicious.
Keep your expectations in check
We think that the idea behind Taxi is a great one: having a middleman that filters through submissions and then pitches good tracks to companies needing music can save musicians time and hassle. We imagine that it is pretty complicated to keep track of the many songs that Taxi receives and give them all a good shot. In reality, the fact that only 6% of users land a real gig (big or small) from their services means that most musicians won't get their big break here. Nonetheless, it is a different way to approach music publishing, if you're willing to pay nearly $300 to become a member. It might be an interesting avenue to try out for a year or so, but we suggest keeping expectations low.
You don't have to be famous to have your musical talents shared with the whole world. There are companies that allow vocalists and other musicians to get their work published for streaming on platforms like iTunes, Spotify, Napster, and other big-name services. This allows individuals to skip the need for a music producer and put themselves out there independently.
Finding a music publishing service is a great way to start out in the music industry. Even though today you might just be writing and producing music in your basement, publishing companies allow artists to share their vocal talents with millions and potentially get discovered by a big name label.
There are quite a few music publishing services to choose from when exploring your options. A more reputable company will know the ins and outs of getting their musicians the maximum amount of exposure possible. If perhaps your music does get discovered and have millions of streaming listeners, you'll want to use a service that allows you to keep larger portions of sales.
Before choosing the company you want to publish your music, we suggest you keep the following things in mind:
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