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      November 26, 2020

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Taxi vs CD Baby

To help you find the Best Music Publishing, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Taxi and CD Baby.

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Publish Your Music With SongCast Today! Where can you find the best music publishing services? 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.

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2020

Music Publishing Reviews

3.5 stars
Taxi

TAXI

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Cost:

$299.95/year for first year with $199.95 renewal fee

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.

High expectations

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.

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Pricey service

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.

Success rates

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.

One-sided reviews

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.

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2.5 stars
CD Baby

CD BABY

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Cost:

From $9 to $29.95 per single

From $29 to $69 per album

CD Baby was founded in Woodstock, New York in 1998. They are home to over 650,000 artists and over 9 million tracks. If you're like us, the name of this publishing company makes you wonder if they are out of the loop, considering most people don't use CDs for music listening anymore. However, it was apparent when exploring their services that they are most definitely on top of their game in the music industry.

Over 100 streaming services

CD Baby works with over 100 streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, Deezer, Amazon Music, and more. They have testimonials from accomplished artists who have used their services like Ingrid Michaelson, Paul Cardall, Aloe Blacc, and Two Steps from Hell. This company is the real deal and exists to truly help their artists succeed.

Pricing details

Pricing to use CD Baby is as follows:

  • Standard Distribution per album: $29
  • Standard Distribution per single: $9
  • Standard Distribution + publishing per album: $69
  • Standard Distribution + publishing per single: $29.95

91/9 revenue split

The listed prices are one-time fees per release with no annual fees. CD Baby keeps 9% of digital distribution revenue and artists keep the remaining 91%. CD Baby sets artists up for worldwide monetization, which means that there is potential to earn money beyond just streaming income. Musicians can also get an income from sync licensing fees, video monetization, and global publishing royalties.

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Boost your exposure

There are quite a few tools that CD Baby offers to artists to boost their exposure. One of these tools is Show.co, a platform to build email lists, grow Spotify following, and premiere YouTube videos free for CD Baby clients. Another tool is HearNow, a promo landing page for your next release that includes audio, artwork, and more. Others include Bandzoogle for building a music website, Radio Airplay for 100 free internet radio plays, and Merchly for creating music merch.

Disappointing reviews

Based on CD Baby's website, which helps musicians release music and market themselves with a clear explanation of the process, this service seems like an amazing option for artists. That's why we were a bit confused that the Better Business Bureau gives them a B- rating. In addition, there are a lot of mixed feelings from clients about their services. The biggest complaint usually revolves around their customer service being completely unresponsive and not actually dropping the music that customers paid for. Outside of how CD Baby markets themselves, they receive rather poor reports from customers, which is concerning.

Promising, but proceed with caution

We would recommend using one of the higher-rated music publishing services in order to make sure your music gets where you want it to go. There are many appealing things about CD Baby including their pricing, streaming service partners, professional presentation, and the tools they offer musicians. However, the negative feedback from clients speaks louder than all of this, so we would urge you to proceed with caution should you choose to produce your music here.

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Continued from above

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:

  • Cost. Will you be paying a reasonable price for services whether or not you make much money from your music? What is the cost of publishing a single song versus an entire album? Is there a continued fee for using their services?
  • Services Included. Does the publishing company offer assistance along the way for first-time musicians who don't yet know the ropes? Do they provide templates to give you a professional presence?
  • Distributing. What music networks will the publishing company help you get in with? Are they reputable and well-known in the industry?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best music publishing services available today. We hope this information helps you achieve your musical aspirations!

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