Companies Looking for New Music – Which is Best for You?

March 18th, 2014

What would I search for online if I were trying to find out which companies are currently looking for new music? Putting myself in the shoes of a musician who might not yet be savvy enough to do niche searches for record labels, production music libraries, or music supervisors, I’d probably type, “Companies looking for music.” That seems logical. I did it, and a couple of seconds later, what I found surprised me!

There’s a very wide spectrum of companies that need music, but film and TV music placements are what many musicians are after these days. Why? Because they’ve given up on the idea of getting a record deal from a Major or Indie record label. Far less people buy music today, digital downloads are on the decline, and increasing numbers of people prefer to stream music.

My teenage daughters and their friends use Youtube as their primary music discovery tool. They also build collections on Spotify. Most musicians make very little income from music streaming services.

So, what types of companies are looking for music from songwriters, artists, and composers?

Money Making Options for Musicians

Major Label Record Deals

  • Believe it or not, landing a contract from a Major Record Label is probably your best bet if you want to make a significant amount of money. Many musicians publicly say, “I’d never sign a deal with a major label,” but I’ve never met a musician who’d turn one down! How many artists have you ever seen get rich without a big record label behind them?

Independent Label Record Deals

  • If your Indie Label is distributed by a Major Record Label, there’s some hope. If it’s a true independent, the odds of making a lot of money shrink quite a bit. While they may appeal strongly to a niche market, the niches are often small, and the Indie labels don’t have the marketing clout needed to sell millions of records or downloads. That’s the bad news. The good news is that they invest very little, typically have low overhead, and can be profitable selling just a few thousand copies of a CD or a few thousand downloads.

Publishing Deals

  • Traditional music publishing deals (as we used to know them) are almost a thing of the past. In the good old days, publishing companies would give songwriters a yearly advance against future royalties, then pitch the songwriter’s songs, hoping to get a cut, have a hit, and earn income from mechanical and performance royalties. Shrinking record labels, smaller rosters, and a greatly diminished music industry as a whole mean fewer labels, fewer artists to pitch songs to, and sales figures that are rarely big enough to make a ton of money for the label, artist, or songwriter. But some do!

Music Libraries or Production Music Libraries

  • There are film and TV music specific publishers, with catalogs tailored to licensing both instrumental music cues, as well as songs with lyrics. As the record business began to decline, songwriters and artists began to flock to music licensing companies in large numbers. So much so, that the supply began to outstrip the demand, causing the upfront (sync) fees to drop. However, many musicians make income from the backend performance royalties paid to them by their Performing Rights Organizations such as; ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

The DIY Approach to Making Money with Your Music

  • Many musicians have tried the Do-It-Yourself approach to building a fanbase and selling their music directly to their fans. Social media and the Internet in general make this very possible, yet very few musicians have the knowledge and skill sets necessary to do this effectively.
  • It takes a lot of time to sell enough of your music online to make any significant income. Many songwriters and artists have day jobs, and cannot spend 8-12 hours a day marketing their music online. Many give up trying after a few months of weak sales. The trick is to build a fanbase first, then drive them to the sites that sell your music – like iTunes! Take note that most of the artists selling huge numbers of downloads on iTunes are signed to major labels. Not all, but most!

How to Make Money with Music Streaming Services

  • Services such as Spotify and Pandora provide music for fans to stream, and pay very little money to the songwriters and artists. Here’s a great article that gives you a great overview of what you can make if your music is on streaming services. The bottom line is that you need to have MILLIONS of streams to make any significant income. Most musicians don’t have the marketing budget or a marketing plan in place that will drive millions of people to stream their music.

How to Make Money with Your Music on Youtube…

  • Yes, you can share the ad revenue every time somebody watches your music video on Youtube. Here’s a Rolling Stone article that shows you how!

The Best Way to Make Money with Your Music

If you want to earn significant income with your music, a record deal with a Major Record Label may still be your best bet. Yes, many people believe that it’s really hard to get a deal with a major label, but look at the Billboard Charts! You will quickly see that most of the artists you know who are getting a lot of radio airplay (which is still the key driver to music related income), and making any serious income with their music are on Major Record Labels or Indie Labels that are distributed through a Major Label.

The Easier Way to Make Money with Your Music…

Film and TV music placements are a great way to earn a living wage, maybe even a six-figure income if you’re highly productive, making the right type of music, and getting it to the right people. To see what type of music companies are currently looking for, see TAXI’s Industry Listings. To get free, regular updates about what Record Label, Music Supervisors, and Film TV Music Licensing Companies are looking for on a daily basis, click here!

 

 

 

 

 

Is TAXI Music a Rip Off, Scam, or Legitimate?

January 27th, 2014

“Is TAXI.com a Rip Off, Scam, or Legitimate?” If I could make a nickel for every time I’ve seen that question asked on online forums and blogs over the last 22 years, I could probably put one of my kids through college on the income.

People tend to believe what they read. But on the Internet, you may not know who the person is posting the opinion, or if they’ve even been a TAXI member, or have ever used the service! We’ve also seen negative posts about TAXI we suspect come from copycat companies trying to discredit us.

Playing dirty?

How would you feel if other musicians posted false, misleading, or negative comments about you or your music, just to make more sales for their music? We’re amazed that the companies that actually kick back a healthy portion of their submission fees to the companies and individuals who run listings on their sites would resort to such tactics.

We recently found a dozen so-called “listings” on one of the top copycat sites, that were actually copied nearly word-for-word from legitimate TAXI Listings, with just a few edits to make them look a little different! The point is: how carefully can these TAXI copycats be checking out the companies they run listings for, if the listings are fakes?

Even worse, if the companies making up those listings know that they’re fakes, and they’re doing it to deceive the musicians who submit their music in good faith, isn’t that fraud?

None-the-less, the point of this post is whether or not TAXI is a scam.

How to Detect (and avoid) Music Scams

One of the best articles published on the subject is written by award winning TV and Video Game composer, Zircon. Take a few minutes and read his blog post about “How to Detect (and avoid) Music Scams.” It could save you thousands of dollars in wasted submission fees and lost time.

Quoting the article, “TAXI is an example of a legitimate company in a sea of competitors that are scams. With TAXI, you pay a yearly fee for access to opportunities that you very likely would not have access to anywhere else. Your music is then thoroughly screened when it is submitted – only the highest caliber material is passed along (‘forwarded’). The screeners, who are all industry professionals, then give you feedback on your track, something that is very useful if you have been rejected! TAXI never promises success. Even their ads emphasize that your music must be high-quality, and that you must be a serious musician in order for your money to be well-spent. They offer a money-back guarantee, too.”

Music creation has much become easier and far less expensive over the last two decades. The result is that more music is available, and more songwriters, artists, and composers are desperate to get their music heard by record labels, publishers, and Film and TV Music Supervisors. And where there are desperate musicians, there are companies that prey on them.

If you would like to learn more about TAXI members’ success stories, click here to read them. They are a testament that the world’s leading independent A&R company remains not only legitimate, but the only company mentioned in Zircon’s blog post. Could it be the only one of its kind? Maybe so!

 

 

 

 

TAXI Music Helps Musicians Keep 100% Of Their Income

January 7th, 2013

TAXI has been helping songwriters, artists, and composers get record, publishing, and film and TV music licensing deals since 1992. As the company moves into its third decade in business, an ever-increasing number of opportunities for musicians to place their music directly in TV shows and Hollywood blockbusters have occurred.

Although TAXI continues to help musicians get their songs and instrumental tracks into catalogs of music libraries, film and TV music publishers, and music licensing agents, it’s the increasing number of requests that come directly from Hollywood’s top film and TV music supervisors that delight the company’s founder, Michael Laskow.

Musicians Keep All the Money…

“Everybody laughed at me when I started TAXI. They thought it was insane that I wasn’t taking at least half the money from the musicians who got deals through us. I thought it seemed more reasonable to get a small membership fee that worked out to less than a dollar a day,” explains Laskow.

“If a songwriter licenses a single song into a movie trailer and gets $50,000 for that placement, they’d normally give up $25,000 to their publisher. If they get that same placement through TAXI, they’d keep the entire $50,000,” continues this passionate music business change agent.

To See How TAXI Works, Click Here!

Million Dollar Radio Hit

Laskow further explained that, “If somebody hits the jackpot and has a huge radio hit that earns $1,000,000 in performance royalties over time, they’d keep the whole million if they got that deal through TAXI. If they had a publishing deal on that very same song and placement, they’d end up splitting that million with the publisher.”

With the music industry in a major slump, and an abundance of great music available because home recording technology has become so good, income and fees to musicians are dropping at an alarming rate. So, while some people were initially quick to criticize TAXI for taking an upfront fee, in hindsight, Laskow’s idea appears to be a prescient stroke of genius.

To See Unedited TAXI Member Success Stories, Click Here!

TAXI is an Equal Opportunity, Opportunity Provider!

“Not all of our opportunities are directly to the music supervisors or licensors. We want to provide every legitimate opportunity we can for our members, so we still run Industry Listings for publishers and music libraries as well,” says Laskow.

Here are some examples of TAXI’s Industry Listings:

Major New York Ad Agency U-R-G-E-N-T-L-Y needs a (quoting the agency here): “Cool, energetic ROCK/Punk-ish SONG with a DISTICTIVE and DRIVING beat. Lyrics COULD come into play, but they don’t need to be TOO specific. General, UNIVERSAL LYRICS about POWER, CONTROL, RISING ABOVE, and/or BEING a BADASS, could work. An EDGY SONG with a REAL BITE that reinforces how TOUGH this TV spot’s main character is will work best for this pitch. This TV spot has very little Voice Over in it, so the SONG WILL LITERALLY DRIVE THE PACING of the spot. We’re looking for MODERN, UPTEMPO, CONTEMPORARY SONGS that give a nod to PUNK and HARD ROCK of yesteryear. We’re open to BOTH Male or Female vocals with plenty of attitude! The Clash’s ‘Janie Jones’ is a great example of the TEMPO and TONE we need for this spot.”

As always, DO NOT rip off the reference track in any way, shape or form. Use it ONLY as a guide for TEMPO, TONE and VIBE/ATTITUDE. ESTIMATED FEE is $60,000 for this spot. This is DIRECT-to-the-Agency, so you’ll KEEP 100% of this deal with NO Publisher Splits! Broadcast Quality is needed (excellent home recordings are fine). You must own or control 100% of the Master and Composition rights. Full-length songs are preferred. DO NOT title your SONG like you would for a music library. Give it a cool, Indie Band-like title. If you ARE chosen, the Ad Agency or the Music Supervisor will contact you DIRECTLY. Please submit one to three SONGS online or per CD. Please include lyrics.All submissions must be received no later than TODAY, NOVEMBER 28th at 5pm, (PDT). TAXI Listing #Y111128PR

SINGER/SONGWRITER ARTISTS inspired by the styles of Neil Young, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, etc., are needed by a well-respected Independent Label looking to sign new, contemporary artists. They need performers/songwriters that have a CLASSIC, TIMELESS sound. Literate and descriptive lyric themes are a MUST. An AUTHENTIC, EARTHY and WORLD-WEARY sound is the key component to what they’re after. ALL tempos are OK. MALE vocals ONLY. Be sure to submit songs that show off your talent as performers and songwriters. This listing will be screened by a screener hand-picked by the label. Broadcast Quality recordings are needed (excellent sounding home recordings are fine.) Please submit two to three songs online or per CD, include lyrics/photo and bio. All submissions must be received no later than Tuesday, January 22, 2013. TAXI # Y130122SS

PRESIDENT of A&R at a MAJOR RECORD LABEL is looking for POP/ROCK ARTISTS/BANDS in the style of Maroon 5, The Script, OneRepublic, etc., QUOTING THE SOURCE: “Artist/Bands must have star potential with fully developed songs that represent their direction.” They’ll be looking for songs that are COMMERCIALLY COMPETITIVE and are able to hold their own with the referenced artists. Melodies should be captivating and maintain the listeners attention from beginning to the end. Vocals must be STRONG, with SOLID hooks and melodies that scream RADIO! MID-to-UPTEMPO songs will work best here. NO ballads please. CD sales, touring experience, and an Internet presence are big bonuses – be sure to mention this info in your bio! Vocal and instrumental presentation must be top-notch! Please submit two to three songs online or per CD, include lyrics/photo and bio. All submissions must be received no later than Monday, January 7, 2013. TAXI # Y130107PR

Click here to get FREE Daily Alerts when the music industry needs something you could have!

TAXI Music is the world’s leading independent A&R company, helping songwriters, artists, and composers get record, publishing, and film & TV music licensing deals while keeping as much of their income as possible.

How Do You Get a Record Label To Sign You?

January 5th, 2013

Maybe the question should be, “How do I get a record label to even notice me?”

Record companies are in the business of making money with music. You want to make money with your music too, and they need artists whose music will make them money. So, what makes a record label want to sign a deal with you?

Show them that you can make them money. Notice that I said, “show them,” not “tell them.” If I had a nickel for every time an artist has told me how much money they can make me, I’d be retired already.

Proving You Can Make Money for the Record Label

Having lots of Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and Youtube views is a good thing, but generally not enough to get you signed to a record deal. If you can get those friends and followers to buy your songs on iTunes and pay to see you play live shows, that will get a record company’s attention!

What Record Labels Are Looking For…

  • Artists who write hit songs that (typically) fit in popular radio formats.
  • Artists who have a great live show.
  • Artists who can sell tickets to shows and generate sales from their independent releases, whether on CD or from digital download sales.
  • Artists who show a strong willingness to do the hard work involved in building a loyal fanbase that will spend their money on live and recorded music.

Submit Music

That’s what everybody wants to know! “How do I submit my music to an A&R person at a record label?”

The truth is that most of the record companies you’d like to be signed to don’t accept unsolicited submissions. That means that if they don’t know you, or somebody they know and trust, like a manager, music publisher, or an A&R scout, they don’t want to hear from you, and your music is going to end up in the trash.

Even if you use a music industry or record label directory that gives you a record company’s address or an email addy, it usually won’t help you much unless they accept unsolicited material or you have an “in” with them.

Music Production Matters If…

Even if you write and produce incredibly great music, you still need to know if it’s the right kind of music for the record labels you’d like to submit music to. Don’t submit Rap music to a Country label. Don’t submit Country music to a record company that mostly releases Pop records.

Common sense, right? You’d be surprised how many people will get their hands on a free music industry directory and shotgun out hundreds of CDs or MP3s to record labels that never sign or market the genre of music they submit.

What Record Companies Are Looking For

What’s better than having a list of record company contacts or addresses? How about an updated list of exactly what they’re looking for? How would you like to get FREE updates like this in every genre of music you can think of?

ACOUSTIC-BASED SINGER-SONGWRITERS with a UNIQUE, WELL-DEVELOPED INDIVIDUAL SOUND are needed by the V.P. of A&R of an Indie Label looking to expand its roster. THINK: Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, Iron and Wine, Fleet Foxes, etc. QUOTING THE SOURCE: “We’re looking for Artists that have a sad, worried, and heartbroken acoustic-based sound like the referenced artists but with a distinctive sound all their own.” They’re looking for a FRESH approach to universal themes with personally revealing lyrics that can instantly connect with the listener. Vocal performances should be INTIMATE and COMPELLING. Artists MUST have EXCEPTIONAL musicianship. DOWNTEMPO songs ONLY. MALE vocals ONLY. Be sure to submit songs that show off your talent as performers and songwriters. Broadcast Quality recordings are needed (excellent sounding home recordings are fine.) Please submit two to three songs online or per CD, include lyrics/photo and bio. All submissions must be received no later than Friday, January 11, 2013.

Here’s another example:

PRESIDENT of A&R at a MAJOR RECORD LABEL is looking for POP/ROCK ARTISTS/BANDS in the style of Maroon 5, The Script, OneRepublic, etc., QUOTING THE SOURCE: “Artist/Bands must have star potential with fully developed songs that represent their direction.” They’ll be looking for songs that are COMMERCIALLY COMPETITIVE and are able to hold their own with the referenced artists. Melodies should be captivating and maintain the listeners attention from beginning to the end. Vocals must be STRONG, with SOLID hooks and melodies that scream RADIO! MID-to-UPTEMPO songs will work best here. NO ballads please. CD sales, touring experience, and an Internet presence are big bonuses – be sure to mention this info in your bio! Vocal and instrumental presentation must be top-notch! Please submit two to three songs online or per CD, include lyrics/photo and bio. All submissions must be received no later than Monday, January 7, 2013.

 

Would you like to see 100 or more of opportunities like those for your music every month?

Grab FREE daily updates of what Record Labels are Looking For by clicking here, and you’ll never have to wonder how to get a record label to sign you again. Write great songs, build your fanbase, and give the record company the kind of music they need!

What Music Supervisors Are Looking For

December 22nd, 2012

“What are music supervisors looking for?” asked the audience member during a panel at the most recent TAXI Road Rally convention. Rookie question? Maybe. But everybody in the ballroom wanted to know the answer!

Music supervisors are looking for whatever music works best with a particular scene. Music supervisors are NOT looking for music that is simply great! And that’s probably the biggest misconception among musicians.

The right music is better than great music. Music that’s both right and great is what music supervisors are really looking for! Music that gets licensed for film, TV, and commercials always fills a need.

Music That Makes Viewers Feel

Plugging music into a TV commercial about a new anti-depressant? You’d most likely need a somewhat stripped down mid-to-uptempo, singer/songwriter style song with a lyrical theme about, “It’s a great new day,” or “The sun is shining, I feel good,” or “I’m living and loving my life.” You want prospective buyers to feel what the product is going to do for them.

In this example, the ad agency wants viewers to feel good about life instead of being depressed. The music and the lyric need to add up to making the viewer feel good!

Even if you had the greatest Heavy Metal song ever written, it probably wouldn’t be right for that TV spot. The same is true for scenes in feature films and TV shows. Music supervisors are looking for songs or instrumentals that enhance the emotion they want you to feel when you watch that scene.

Other considerations can include the time period of the film or TV show. The hit series, Mad Men exclusively features music from the 1960s to help authenticate the time period and make viewers feel like they’re in that era, along with the characters.

Music Has a Job To Do!

Music can help finish a thought or complete a story line. Ever notice the music that plays along with those montage scenes at the end of a lot of TV shows? The lyric often completes the thought or tells the rest of the story. A lyric that says, “I’m broken hearted and moving on” could work well for a scene with no dialog, that shows a character sitting in a candle lit room, all alone, trying to figure out what to do with her life after her boyfriend dumper her.

Conversely, oftentimes the music supervisor is looking for music that’s not too “on the nose.” They don’t think it’s “cool” to use a song that matches the scene or story line too closely. Most music supervisors wouldn’t be looking for a song with that same, “I’m broken hearted and moving on” lyric, for a scene in which the character just said, “I’m broken hearted. I just need to move on.”

As a friend of mine who is an interior designer would say, “That’s too matchy-matchy!” We already knew what the character was doing because of the dialog, so what was needed lyrically was something that supported the underlying emotion.

What Is That Emotion?

Well, it could be sadness. It could be relief that she’s figured out that it’s time to move on. A lyric that says, “Sadness can’t stop the world from spinning,” could work for that scene. So could, “The time has come, the weight’s been lifted.” Both support the emotion, but they aren’t too “on the nose.”

What Music Supervisors Are Looking For, Made Easy!

Everything you need is right in front of your face. It’s called your TV! Watch any show, and take notes as to what kind of music is used. Ignore the score. Pay attention to source music, like what might come from a jukebox or a car radio. Pay even closer attention to featured uses that have no dialog over them.

There are also several sites on the Internet where you can search for the music used on episodes of your favorite shows. Get to know each show’s musical signature, and you’ll start to see patterns emerge. And while you’ll never be able to predict exactly what music supervisors are looking for in specific scenes, you will get to know the genres, tempos, and lyric themes often used.

Another quick and easy way to see what supervisors are currently looking for is to scour TAXI’s Industry Listings. Looking at the Industry Listings is a great way to grab a consolidated look at current and immediate needs from some of Hollywood’s top music supervisors.

You can also sign up here to get fresh, daily updates when Music Supervisors need something in a hurry!

Free Music Industry Contact Lists and How to Use Them

December 21st, 2012

Music industry contacts are most useful if you know how to use them correctly. Sadly, many musicians don’t take the time to learn what to do if they make a new contact in the music business. Hard to come by, easy to blow the relationship!

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of website that give out free listings of music industry contacts, along with contact information for the A&R people at record companies, music publishers, and film & TV music supervisors. While it’s great that you can get your hands on that information, there are some critical things to think about before using that information.

First and foremost, unless the list of labels, publishers, and supervisors is updated monthly, chances are that much of the information is old, and therefore useless. Check to make sure the list you want to use is fresh and updated often.

How to Use Music Industry Contacts the Right Way!

The first thing to consider is what you want to do with your music. Most musicians will answer, “I just want to get my music heard.” That’s great, but heard by whom, and for what purpose.

Do you want a record deal? More specifically, do you want to get singed by an Indie Record Label or Major Label? Independent labels are known for having smaller artist rosters, and giving more attention to each artist. They also have much smaller marketing budgets for their artists, and often have to rely on grassroots marketing techniques, and the landscape is unbelievably crowded with songwriters, bands, and artists who are all clamoring for attention from the same music buyers.

Major record labels have more money for marketing and promotion. They also have larger staffs of radio promotion people, field sales reps, and product managers. The downside is that the major labels are well known for dropping artists if their record doesn’t get significant radio airplay in the first few weeks.

You should also look at what genre of music the labels you’re reaching out to are best at marketing. Don’t send your Country demo to a Hip Hop A&R person. Do your homework and find out which A&R people at which labels are the right people to submit your music to.

Film and TV Music Supervisors Are the New “Rock Stars”

Many musicians have given up on the idea of getting a record deal altogether. Instead, they’ve turned their attention to the film and TV music market because it appears to be an easier route to make money with your music. Because there has been a huge increase in the number of people who wan to license their music to TV shows, films, and movie trailers, music supervisors have become the hot ticket.

And while you can get free lists of music supervisors, the same rules apply when submitting your music to them. You need to know who they are, what shows or films they need music for, and what kind of music they need. Do your homework before you reach out to them!

One Chance to Submit Your Music

You may only get one chance to contact a music supervisor, so don’t waste their time with sending them music they don’t need. If they work on a TV show on the CW network, they’ll probably need songs that skew to a younger audience. If the music supervisor you’re contacting mostly works on sports programs, they’re going to need testosterone driven Rock or Hip Hop, not love songs.

If you want to submit Dubstep to a music supervisor, chances are you’ll do well by submitting to supervisors who work on film trailers, because Dubstep works well for the quick cut projects that are common in the Hollywood blockbuster film trailer world.

In any case, it’s key to remember that just like A&R people at record labels, Hollywood’s top music supervisors have very limited time to audition music, and they only want to hear the very best music targeted at their immediate and most pressing needs. Because there are so many free lists of music supervisors, they are getting bombarded with independent songwriters, bands, and artists who want their attention. Those who are best prepared and submit the right kind of music are the few that will get a chance to get their music heard.

The Best Way to Get Your Music Heard…

While free lists of contacts in the music industry are great because they have no cost involved, the truth of the matter is that most people in the music business only want to hear music that comes to them from reputable sources who have already filtered the music before it gets to them. It saves time and trouble, and in today’s world, time is at a premium.

TAXI has been serving record labels, music publishers, and music supervisors for more than twenty years. The reason they come to TAXI to find the best indie artists, songwriters, and composers is because the music we submit to them is always pre-filtered to fit their exact needs at any moment in time.

As a matter of fact, TAXI publishes music Industry Listings that are updated lists of exactly what people in all facets of the music business need every day. Thousands upon thousands of songwriters, artists, and composers have been successful using TAXI. Click here to see their success stories in their own words.

Click here to learn how TAXI can help you target your music submissions better than just using a free list of music industry contacts!

Want to see what record labels, music publishers, and Film and TV music Supervisors need right now? Click here!

To Musicians Who Aren’t Ready to Pitch Their Music Yet…

December 18th, 2012

Ken Eichler “watched” TAXI for 10 years before he became a member. He had his doubts. Do any of these questions sound familiar?

“Is TAXI legit?”

“Do I have the right music?”

“Should I build up my catalog before I join?”

Ken Finally Joined After Waiting 10 Years, and This is What Happened…

“Since joining TAXI I have signed hundreds of pieces of music with top-name licensing companies, which has led to hundreds of placements in the past few months alone.”

If Ken hadn’t waited for 10 years to join TAXI, he could have had thousands of placements by now. Read this unedited excerpt from an interview with Ken we recently ran in our newsletter:

What was it that made you become a TAXI member?

Curiosity, hope. The concept of TAXI seemed really good to me. I just wanted to make sure it was legit before I dropped $300 on it.

How has TAXI helped you and your career?

Hmm. Let’s start with hope. Without hope, it is hard to focus on a goal and my goal was to resurrect my career in music after a 25-year hiatus.

TAXI gave me hope that serious industry insiders would actually consider my recorded music. Then TAXI gave me information-better yet, a real education-and knowledge is power!

The TAXI Road Rallies [TAXI's FREE, Members-Only Convention] have been amazingly worthwhile-so many experts sharing so much experience-I never stop trying to learn and improve, and TAXI has been perfect for me in that respect. TAXI’s critiques have also helped me to produce music that is better suited for TV and film.

Since joining TAXI, I have signed hundreds of pieces of music with top-name licensing companies, which has led to hundreds of placements in the past few months alone.

What musical/career achievement are you most proud of?
That’s a hard question, but I recently got one of my tunes placed in the opening scene of a Criminal Minds episode. That was definitely a rush.

What has TAXI taught you about the music business?
How much time do you have? Seriously, a lot! Way too much to fit into a couple sentences.

What are your goals for 2013?
To write and record more music, increase my catalogue, generate more income from music, and to have fun doing it.

And Here’s the Genius in Ken’s Plan!

Now, instead of watching from the sidelines while other TAXI members are having success, Ken is using TAXI to create the right music. And it’s working for him!

A Few Musicians Have Earned Millions Because They Joined TAXI.

Others quit their day jobs and earn their living making music now. Many are just starting out-making a couple hundred here, a few thousand there. But they’ve all done three critical things you probably haven’t done yet.

  • They didn’t wait until their music was “ready” before joining TAXI. They used our expert feedback to get ready.
  • They didn’t wait until they “had more music.” Instead, they used TAXI to build a catalog of the right music.
  • And they all moved past that fear that makes so many musicians “watch TAXI” from the sidelines for years before joining.

What is That Fear?

It’s that insidious little voice of doubt that lives deep inside the heads of most creative people.

“Am I good enough?”

“Is my music ready?”

“What if I’m ‘rejected?’”

You’ve Been Robbed…

That voice of doubt is a “procrastination generator,” and I’ll bet it’s already robbed you of your dream of doing music and nothing else. Stephen Baird joined TAXI, and here’s what he wrote (unedited!) in a recent email:

Hey Michael,

I joined TAXI in September of 2007 with nothing more than Reason 2.5 and an old Roland keyboard from the 1980′s.  Until joining TAXI, I knew nothing about the Film/TV/Advertising market. Actually, I was quite the newbie.

Now, nearly 5 years later, I’m in my second year of making a full-time living writing music for TV Shows, Commercials, Promos, and Movie Trailers. Nearly every penny I’ve made can be traced back to TAXI-either through my music being sent to a company by TAXI, or through people I’ve met at TAXI’s free convention, or on the TAXI forum.

I’m really quite ecstatic with the way things have turned out. Not only am I making as much or more money than most of my friends, but I’m doing so via a career that I have dreamed about since I was a child.

If it weren’t for TAXI, I wouldn’t have a music career. I can’t even imagine what my life would be like right now.

So, I’d just like to thank you for offering such a great service to aspiring musicians, composers, artists, and bands.  Not just for the opportunities offered through TAXI’s Industry listings, but for creating such a great environment for musicians to learn and grow.

You’ve definitely changed my life, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Stephen Baird

Don’t Expect a Miracle…

I want to be frank with you. It’s not likely that you’ll join TAXI and start making money right off the bat. Like any other business, raw talent usually isn’t enough. You need to invest your time and energy to make it work. And you need to be patient!

Are Ken and Stephen Exceptions or the Rule?

Click here and judge for yourself!

And click here too!

The bottom line is our most successful members all seem to do what I’m about to tell you.

Three “Secrets” That Improve Your Odds…

1.     Carefully read all of TAXI’s Industry Listings and be selective when you pitch your music.

2.     Use the feedback you get from our experts.

3.     Become part of the community on our Forum.

And Here’s a FREE Bonus!

Watch TAXI TV every Monday. Nearly every successful member I met at our recent convention told me they regularly watch TAXI TV. You can watch the live shows and all the archived shows here!

Another FREE Bonus!!

In case you didn’t notice, virtually all of our successful members come to our FREE, members-only convention (the Road Rally) every year. Click here to see what you’ve been missing.

Do TAXI members meet industry people and sign deals at the Rally? Again, you be the judge after you click here.

Are You Ready to Get Your Music Heard?

If you’ve read this far, you’re obviously serious about doing something with your music. You have a couple choices. You can sit on the sidelines another year, or you can start NOW, and learn what the music industry needs and how to give it to them!

Remember Ken Eichler, who waited ten years before he joined TAXI, then got hundreds of placements in a few months?

Make sure you don’t waste another year. Start down the path of making money with your music right now!

P.S. Need a refresher course on how TAXI works? Click here!

TAXI’s Music Service Still the Best Bet For Songwriters, Artists, and Composers

June 21st, 2012

Songwriters and artists who want to license their music for film and TV placements, get record deals, publishing deals, and placements in TV commercials and video games have been using TAXI’s A&R service since 1992 for good reason—TAXI has more REAL connections with record labels, music publishers, and top music supervisors than ever.

Why? Because TAXI has been around for more than twenty years, and we filter the music before it’s pitched to the A&R reps, publishing companies, and Film & TV music supervisors.

Why Music Filtering Matters

With millions of songwriters, artists, and composers all trying to pitch their music to what is a relatively small group of professionals in the music business, there has been an ever-increasing deluge of unsolicited music. People who license music, look for artists to sign, and songs they want to publish, just don’t have the time to listen to music that isn’t on target for what they need at a particular time for a particular project.

It’s Not Just WHO You Know…

Knowing somebody at a record company, publishing company, or a music supervisor working on a TV show, Hollywood feature film, or a TV commercial is only half—maybe even a third the battle. Knowing WHAT they are looking for and WHEN they are looking for is the real key to success.

And that’s what TAXI does better than anybody!

TAXI’s Industry Listings were nothing short of revolutionary when the company first opened its doors two decades ago. Though many other so-called music or A&R services have tried to copy TAXI’s business model, the thing that makes TAXI the stand out firm is it’s A&R team. The TAXI imitators don’t have experts filtering music.

Having genre specific experts who pre-screen the music is what has kept Indie Labels, Major Labels, Music Supervisors coming back to TAXI time and time again. And those long-term relationships have translated into thousands of TAXI member songs being licensed for TV shows and films, thousands of publishing deals, and yes, some TAXI members have even landed record deals with major and indie labels, and a couple of number one Billboard hits and platinum records.

“Is TAXI a Scam?”

Ironically, you’ll still find that question posted on message boards and forums all over the Internet. Though TAXI has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, has a success rate that remains unmatched, and success stories posted all over the Internet, there are those who remain unconvinced.

TAXI isn’t for everybody! Our service is for songwriters, artists, and composers who are looking for commercial success, not a pat on the back or stroke to their ego. While some believe that TAXI is only for musicians who write and record music that is targeted ONLY at the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, the opposite is often true. Most of the songs licensed from TAXI members are in genres and styles that won’t be found on that chart at all!

What Kind of Music Gets Licensed Most Frequently?

If you want to know the answer to that question, the quickest way to find out is to simply sign up for TAXI’s Industry Listings before you join! It’s free, and you’ll get an updated list of what music supervisors, music libraries, record labels, and publishers are looking every two weeks. You’ll also daily alerts when music supervisors, ad agencies, and Hollywood movie trailer companies are in a time crunch and need something in hurry.

If you don’t see a lot of requests for the type of music you make, then don’t waste your money on TAXI. Truthfully, we don’t want you to join TAXI if you aren’t going to get any benefit. We like happy customers!

And if you see posts on music blogs and forums from people who weren’t happy with TAXI, please take a moment and listen to their music and ask yourself, “Would I license this music, would I sign this artist to a record deal, or would I pitch this music if I were an industry professional?”

If you wouldn’t, maybe that’s why that person has posted a negative review of TAXI. It’s always easier to blame a music service than it might be to admit your music isn’t ready for prime time.

TAXI Success Stories

Check out this forum thread where TAXI members post their success stories. These are unedited and in the members’ own words. What is the difference between the successful TAXI members and those who post sour grape stories or bad reviews of TAXI’s music service?

The music they make and how well (or not well) they targeted their music at TAXI’s opportunities. Everything else is the same!

Both successful and unsuccessful TAXI members use EXACTLY the same service, have EXACTLY the same opportunities for their music, and get heard by EXACTLY the same experts on TAXI’s A&R team. Only the music and what it is pitched for are the variables.

Is TAXI For You?

Yes, if you want to get your music heard by true experts, and you’re looking for Film and TV music licensing deals, a record deal, or a publishing deal. No, if music is a hobby, you’re not willing to listen to feedback, and you aren’t looking for some form of success on the commercial side of the music business.

TAXI isn’t for everybody, but it may be just what you’ve been looking for if you want to make money with your music!

The Directory of Music Supervisors: Only Part of the Success Formula

June 2nd, 2012

A list of music supervisors might look like the Holy Grail to the uninitiated. But having a music supervisor directory is only part of the puzzle when trying to pitch your music for film and TV. Knowing what the people on that list are currently working on, and what kind of music they’re looking for at the moment is the true key to success..

Music supervisors aren’t just looking for good music, they’re looking for great music that fills a need. And more often than not, what they need is music that supports the central emotion of the scene. They also need the music to enhance that emotion without getting in the way of the story the script and dialog are telling.

What Music Supervisors Are Not Looking For…

In other words, they generally don’t want a song that tells a story of its own. More than likely, that would conflict with the story already being told. Obviously, instrumental music doesn’t have the issue of conflicting lyrics, but the mood, texture, or overall vibe of just the track could also conflict with the mood.

Imagine a scene showing family and friends mourning at a grave site with a happy, uptempo track playing in the background. Incongruous, unexpected, and probably un-cool!

A music supervisor might also be looking for music that puts the viewer in a physical place or location like an elegant restaurant or a redneck bar. Can you imagine that redneck bar scene with classical music coming from the jukebox? How about the elegant restaurant scene with death metal blaring in the background?

A Music Supervisor List Isn’t Much Help On Its Own

So having a list of TV music supervisors or a directory of the top music supervisors in Hollywood in your hot little hands won’t help you much if you don’t know what they need! How do you find out? Do your homework. Watch TV! Make a list of songs or types of instrumental tracks that particular music supervisor uses on that specific show.

Get Inside the Music Supervisor’s Head

Most shows that use a lot of music have what I would call a musical signature or “sound.” Some of that signature sound is determined by the time period the show takes place in. For instance, Mad Men is going to need a completely different type of music than a show like NCIS. One takes place in the 1960s, and the other is current.

Mad Men sometimes uses 60s-sounding songs to act more like what a score would normally do, while NCIS is more likely to use source music—meaning that it comes from a source like a car radio in a scene where a character is driving somewhere.

Beyond how the time period or types of scenes can dictate the music used, many music supervisors like to be on the cutting edge of cool. They want to be known for using music that’s fresh and new. They want to impress the producers they work with by staying ahead of the curve.

That can be critically important, especially when licensing music for a film. The film might not be released for several months, maybe even a year ahead of when the music is selected and mixed into the movie. If they load the film up with music that was on the charts six months prior to completion, then it could easily be out of fashion when the film is finally viewed by the public.

Music Libraries. Friend or Foe?

While music libraries are arguably being used less these days by music supervisors, I don’t think they’ll ever go completely away. They serve a purpose—providing pre-cleared music at a reasonable price. And many of today’s libraries include songs with lyrics, not just the canned instrumental music found in the libraries of yore.

As a parting thought, you might find it more productive to get your music placed in libraries or repped by a film/TV music agent rather than buying a directory of music supervisors, doing all the research yourself, and trying to contact them on a one-to-one basis to pitch your music. You might be smart to give up a piece of the income in exchange for increasing your odds of success and doing much less of the leg work.

After all 50% of something is always worth more than 100% of nothing!

How to Market and Sell Music Like the Record Labels

January 16th, 2011

Learning how to sell your music and create music marketing plans and strategies is not nearly as daunting as it might seem to many musicians. In this article, I’ll not only give you a simple music marketing plan and strategy, I’m also going to give you some free marketing tips and ideas you can start using today!

Marketing music—as it’s done by record labels—is typically too expensive for Independent artists. While major labels will often try regional marketing, and if it works, deploy the same techniques nationally, Indie artists don’t have the budgets to go national, and often rely on the Internet for online music marketing to give them national and international reach.

The Best Music Marketing Tip of All!

Marketing Indie music really isn’t much more than using some common sense and a little elbow grease. It’s all about audience engagement and building relationships one fan at a time. So let me start off with what might be the greatest single music-marketing tip of them all; you’ve got to give to get!

There’s a marketing law; The Rule of Reciprocity – “I’ll give you something for free, if you give me something of equal value in return.” The potential buyer feels a moral obligation to give something in return if you offer something first, and you’re not asking for too much in return.

What do you have that your buyer will value enough to give you his or her email address in return? If you give them a free song download in return for their email address, you can build a relationship and market more of your music to her over time. And to a person who has already shown an interest in your music. Does it get any better than that?

How to Create a Music Marketing Plan and Strategy

Music Marketing Tip #1: Identify your target market and go to where they are. Who is your target market? Thirty-something females? Great! I identify where they frequent or congregate online and off. That’s where you need to be to meet them and market your music to them.

Do they come to your shows? Great! Have an assistant or volunteer walk around the room giving out a CD Single in exchange for email addresses from your. Have that same person selling full albums for $10 to $15. And what about T-shirts or other swag? You can do this! You just need to find someone with a personality and the desire to help you.

And don’t forget; once you have those email addresses, don’t forget to use them! Keep your fans in the loop, but don’t bombard them with spam. Send them short, informative emails that they will find interesting.

Music Marketing Tip #2: Learn some basic sales tracking and record keeping. Not to sound cynical, but make sure you create and routinely use a simple accounting system to make sure all inventory and money balances out at the end of the night. You’ll need to keep an accurate track of those things for tax purposes as well. Use Quickbooks. There are plenty of FAQs and helpful online forums to help you become good at it in no time flat. Suck it up… you’ll need to do some basic business tasks if you want to earn an income marketing your music.

Music Marketing Tip #3: Marketing your music online. People will not buy your music if they can’t find your music. Make it easy for them to find you by learning where your buyers go online and see if you can market your music in those places. Example: If your typical buyers, or at least a significant percentage of them are mid-thirties females who tend to read a lot of romance novels, see if there are any best-selling authors who have their own site. Cut a deal to put a graphic link on their site, and for every download sold, they get a reasonable cut. To summarize: Market your music to your most likely buyers at places where they already go!

Music Marketing Tip #4: Building a website for yourself on the cheap is easier than you think. Google the terms; WordPress Music Retail Themes. Many of them are free, and none are very expensive. WordPress is easy to learn, but if it’s out of your technological reach, there are plenty of small developers that will do it for you for a few hundred bucks. Money well spent.

Use Facebook and Twitter to market your music as well, but don’t over do it! Nobody wants to hear about your trips to the grocery store or what you’re having for dinner. Engaging your fans with information that’s about the making of your music is what they want to hear about.

Tell them about a new song you’re working on. Post video clips of you in the studio. Post lyric sheets. Tell them the story behind the song. Let them meet the other musicians who played on the track. Those musicians will show their friends, who in turn will show theirs!

Let your fans know about every show you’re doing. Comment before and after your shows. Mention the names of fans that you saw in the audience or greeted at the venue. Make it personal to them and they’ll show their appreciation and loyalty by telling their friends about you.

A Music Marketing Strategy is Important But…

If you don’t have a great product—in this case, your music—no matter how many people find you because of great marketing, they are not likely to buy what you’re selling. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. In this case, if the water tastes foul, the horse will never take another sip.

And while I’m using horse metaphors, let’s talk about putting the cart before the horse! There is a common belief that record companies manufacture sales with marketing. I’m sure there may be some cases of that, but it’s my observation that the reason we sometimes believe a hit was “manufactured” is that we personally don’t like what we hear and believe that the only way it could have become a hit is through marketing or some sort of play to play.

The reality is that somebody does like the music—a lot of somebodies! Just because it doesn’t appeal to you or I doesn’t mean the song is only a hit because of great marketing. Radio stations couldn’t keep an audience if they only played bad music they were cramming down the throats of their listeners.

Back to the cart before the horse; is your music ready to be marketed? Do you know what genre it’s in? Is it a niche genre or a more commercial one? Are your songs so catchy and memorable that your listeners will want to hear them over and over again, and then tell their friends? Are your songs as good as the best on the market?

I know it’s hard to take an objective look at your own music, but it seems to be wasted time, energy and expense to market your music before it’s ready enough to capture the fans that you’re after.

What’s Your Strategy to Market Your Music?

Do you have one? Do you have a marketing plan written down? When are you going to start, and what will be your first action steps?

Before you start, make sure your music is top notch, get objective opinions, figure out what genre your music is in, who your fans are, and identify the best marketing tactics to get your music heard by those fans. Whether you’re using an online music marketing plan, or selling CDs from the trunk of your car after shows, making a plan and sticking with it will result in much better sales!

Bonus material:

Music marketing and promotion articles and FAQs:

http://www.taxi.com/music-business-faq/music-promotion/

Great video interview with Youtube sensation Tiffany Alvord:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH8mZX5FX80