Get a true behind the scenes look at TAXI’s process, success rate for Film & TV Placements and deals with Record Labels and Music Publishers. See Why TAXI is the Best Resource for Getting Your Music to the Right People.
Posts Tagged ‘music publishing’
Record labels, music publishers, production music libraries and music supervisors haven’t traditionally accepted music submissions directly from songwriters, artists and composers. Unsolicited music was unfiltered, often a waste of their time, and rarely targeted to fit their needs.
TAXI changed all that starting in 1992. It was the first company of its kind - a true game-changer for independent musicians - TAXI has been the industry leader ever since.
I just got off the phone with a Film and TV composer from Dallas, Texas who inspired me to write this. He said, “I’ve been to your website and the websites of three other companies that look like they do the same thing and I don’t see any huge differences.” Maybe I’m not doing a great job of communicating exactly how TAXI is different and better than our competitors.
Immediately after finishing the phone call with the composer, I went to TAXI.com and confirmed that he was absolutely right! Our Website doesn’t do a great job of telling you why TAXI is better and different. Blogging about those differences seems like the quickest way to get the word out. Here goes!
- TAXI offers a Money-Back Guarantee.
None of the other companies have a guarantee at ALL!
- TAXI gives you TWO FREE tickets to a Best-In-Class convention for songwriters, artists and Film & TV composers.
None of the other companies do.
- TAXI guarantees that every song you submit will be heard by a TRUE industry professional specializing in the genre of music you submit.
None of the other companies do.
- TAXI gives you detailed feedback on your music from heavy-duty music industry professionals.
Other companies do not.
- TAXI only presents you with opportunities to submit your music to top shelf, pre-qualified companies.
Other companies do not. In fact, some of the other companies split your submission fees with the company or individual running the “listing.” That could encourage them to run a “listing” just to make money from their cut of the submission fees, whether or not they actually need the music.
- TAXI has multi-decade long relationships with executives from nearly every Major Record Label, Top Music Publishers, and hundreds of Film and TV Music Supervisors and publishers who specialize in Film and TV music.
None of the other companies can say that.
- TAXI has successfully helped thousands of songwriters, artists and composers get record deals, publishing deals and Film and TV music placements since 1992.
None of the other companies can say that.
- TAXI fosters transparency by providing its members and the general public with a public forum where they can post unedited comments. We’re not afraid of the truth!
None of our competitors have a public forum. Some had them, but took them down.
- TAXI is a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau and we’ve enjoyed an Excellent rating during our entire tenure.
None of the other companies can say that.
But let’s talk about you and your situation. If you’ve got the time and the know-how, you can often submit music to the music industry yourself.
Ten Steps to Submit Your Music to Record Companies,
Publishers and Music Supervisors.
- Identify the type of artist or songwriter you are; Rock, Pop, Country, Singer-Songwriter, Urban, etc.
- Research which companies typically sign artists or use songs in the genre you fall under.
- Identify the person (s) at the company who signs the type of artist you are or uses the genre of songs you write. Don’t waste your time pitching your material to people or companies who are not in your genre. They have no use for your music, and even if they love it, they’re not the right people for you if they don’t work with your genre.
- Find the phone number or email addresses for the people you’d like to pitch your music to. Organize a database or spreadsheet with all the contact info for the record labels, publishers and music supervisors by category. Systematically cold call or email them and request permission to submit music to them.
- When submitting your music to them, make sure to be brief and concise. They’ll be more likely to listen if you’re direct, to the point and give an accurate description of your style when you submit your music.
- Don’t just make one submission of your music and wait to hear back before you make more. Keep identifying new targets and systematically submit music every day of the week. The faster you submit your music, the more likely it is that you’ll make that one submission that gets somebody in the music industry excited.
- If Country is your genre, don’t submit your music to New York or LA record labels or publishers. If you are a Film composer, chances are you’ll do best by submitting your tracks in LA and maybe New York. In other words, use common sense when making your music submissions. It will save you lots of money and get a better result.
- Be very patient and accept reality! Most people will not give you permission to submit music to them. Most music industry executives are not sitting at their desk anxiously awaiting your submission. What is crucially important to you is just another person submitting music to them.
- Don’t pester them once you’ve submitted your music. You’ll only make them hate you. If they love your music, they’ll contact you. If they don’t love the music you submitted, you will probably never hear from them. They’ve got better things to do than tell you why they didn’t love your music and what you can do to make it better. If you do get a chance to ask them why they didn’t like it and what you can do to improve, they’re likely to refer you to TAXI.
- Write more songs and record more music. Getting a record, publishing or Film/TV placement isn’t typically a one shot effort. Most industry pros would tell you that it took them YEARS of doing exactly what I’ve spelled out in steps one through nine. Don’t give up to quickly. It’s almost always the person who hangs in the longest that gets the reward!
Learn how to make Broadcast Quality Recordings and Tracks at TAXI’s Road Rally, November 5th-8th..
How to Choose the Right Music Licensing Companies
It seems like so many songwriters and artists have given up on the dream of getting a record deal with major record label. Flying around on private jets and trashing hotel rooms is a dream now long forgotten. Film and TV placements are the new “record deal.”
Most musicians don’t know how to choose the right music licensing company or companies, because they haven’t done their homework yet. They haven’t learned how to know which company has the best chance of getting them a film or TV placement period, and they often have no idea which company has the best track record for making the most money for the songwriters ad artists they work with.
Truth be told, it’s not all that hard to set up a web page that looks great, add a database that hosts music, post up a couple of success stories (true or not), and bammo, you’re in business as a music licensing company! Doesn’t matter if you’re in the cow pastures of Wisconsin, the heart of Hollywood, or the plains of Africa. Nobody does due diligence any more. “If they’ve got a cool web page, they must be real!” Uh-huh!
Things to watch out for:
Open submissions — Not ALL companies that allow any old Tom, Dick or Harry to submit to them are schlock shops, but many are. Accepting music from any and everybody seems appealing at first, but it also means that the music supervisors and music editors are going to hear a lot of mediocre music (at best), and quickly leave the site with nothing in hand.
Rating and filtering by fans and competing musicians — Music supervisors want filtered music. They want only the very best music. In many cases (but not necessarily all), music that has been selected or filtered by competing songwriters or artists doesn’t stand up to the quality of music that has been pre-screened by real music industry professionals. Why? Two reasons: The musicians doing the filtering have never worked at a music supervision company, a film company, a TV production company, a record company, or a Film or TV publishing company. They simply don’t know how high the bar is set. They also may not know that just because they personally like a particular song or instrumental track, it doesn’t mean that it will work well for TV or film music companies.
The second reason is that some less than ethical people will “vote down” the competition. It’s become somewhat common for musicians who want their music to rise will ask fans, friends and family members to visit the music web sites that have “contests,” to give them high scores and give the competition low scores.
Companies that are too quick to accept music into their catalogs – There are companies who will sign almost anything. even though the deals are often non-exclusive, it can be a sign that the company is just trying to fatten the catalog or music library for a later sale, and is more interested in quantity, not quality.
Companies that don’t have solid, long-term relationships with the industry — Music supervisors have go-to people that they’ve worked with for years. They trust their ears. They know they can rely on them for great music. If you can’t find solid evidence that those relationships exists at te company you’re about to sign with, you might want to keep looking and find a company that does!
If you’d like to lean more about how to get started licensing your music through production music libraries and how to pick the right film & TV licensing companies for your music, watch this series of short videos I did with Matt Hirt. Matt is a long-time TAXI member, and through diligent work, persistence and getting his music picked up by the best music licensing companies (mostly through TAXI, if I can be so immodest) he’s created an income that any songwriter, artist or composer would be happy to have.
Watch the video. I promise you’ll learn just about everything you need to know about music licensing in a very short time.
My staff and I often get asked if there are Film and TV licensing opportunities for songwriters and artists who make Christian music. The answer is “yes,” though maybe not as frequently as secular music.
But fear not! Because the overall market is smaller, the number of people producing Christian Music is also smaller. It’s proportionate. You could end up being a bigger fish in a smaller pond!
But there’s an often overlooked aspect to all this. Most artists and songwriters also do mixes without vocals as a matter of course these days. If your Christian lyrics and vocals are subtracted, guess what? You’ve got yourself an instrumental track that could be licensed in any TV Show or Movie, religious or secular!
I just saw an article on TAXI as it relates to the Christian music Industry from a musician and author named Abbie Stancato, who’s doing a series of articles on the music business for a site called, Everyday Christian, called, “So You Wanna Be a Star?”
Check it out. Mikey likes it!
I recently had a member of TAXI’s forum ask what the difference was between a production music library and a music publisher. Great question! Here’s the answer I posted:
Production Music Libraries and Publishers are both publishers, and it’s my observation that the best music libraries get most of their best placements by doing hand to hand combat — meaning that they develop relationships and actively pitch. Another observation is that Film and TV music supervisors really don’t like to search databases for music. They’d rather email or call a human, have them cull a few tracks they think would work and pitch them, whether by email or in some cases, in person. The world’s biggest and best music libraries have sales forces all over the world.
A straight up music publisher like Warner Chappel or Universal Music Pub might have as many as 250,000 (or more) titles in their catalog (spanning decades) and a staff of creative people who act kind of like TAXI, in that they tell their writers which songs are best, give their writers some creative advice and hand-holding, sometimes in the form of pairing up co-writes, as well as pitching their songs to artists, and yes, even film and TV opportunities.
A couple of major differences are that publishers like Universal typically don’t sign single songs. Instead, they sign songwriters, give them an advance against future income, and the songwriters need to turn in a song or two per month (that meet the pub’s standards), depending on the number of co-writers they will be splitting the income with.
To get a staff songwriter deal, it typically takes having a song that’s already been cut to get the publishers interested. Once they know there’s an income stream, they’re much more interested. They often want a piece of the existing cut. Another way to get a pub deal is to get a record deal and be the songwriter in the band, or for yourself if you’re a solo artist. Once you’ve inked the record deal, a publisher will often offer you a pub deal because there is some probability that the record will generate mechanicals, and with tons of good fortune, performance income as well through airplay, etc.
A big difference with libraries is that they typically don’t give advances (unless you’re creating custom projects/CDs they commission you to create to order), and many of them offer non-exclusive contracts on single songs. I think it will be quite some time before the majors do non-exclusives, as they’re interested in building equity. Exclusive rights build equity, much like equity in stocks or real estate. Eventually, they cash in their chips and sell off the entire catalog for what is called a multiple, similar to selling a business for X times net profit.
Gotta stop now before I write a book. Hope this helps,
I just wanted to let you know that Mega-Hit Country Songwriter Jeffrey Steele will be our honoree this year and our keynote interview at TAXI’s annual convention, the Road Rally.
Here’s a list of his professional accomplishments:
- 2007 BMI Songwriter Of The Year
- 2007 BMI Song Of The Year, “What Hurts The Most”
- 2006 NSAI Writer Of The Year
- 2005 NSAI Writer Of The Year
- 2003 BMI Writer Of The Year
- 2003 BMI Writer Of The Year
- 29 Top 10 Songs
- 24 Top Five Songs
- 8 No. 2 Songs
- 8 No. 1 Songs
- Currently for 2008: Rascal Flatts “Here” climbs the charts.
- Recently for 2008: Rascal Flatts “Everyday” #2, Phil Vassar’s “Love is a Beautiful Thing” #2, Craig Morgan’s “International Harvester” #8 and Cascada’s pop smash, “What Hurts the Most” #1
- One of Billboard magazines Top 5 Writers, 6 years in a row
- Over 35,000,000 airplays on radio and television
- Over 500 songs cut in an 8-year period by over a 100 artists
- 95 singles released off more than 75 Gold and Platinum records
- Over 50 million records sold
- More than 50 writers awards
- 2007 CMA Triple Play Award (3 no 1 songs in a year) “Brand New Girlfriend”, “My Wish”, and “What Hurts the Most”
- 3 Grammy nominations as a writer and as a musician
- 1991 Academy of Country Music award, Band of the Year
- Judge/mentor on season 6 of NBC’s, “Nashville Star”
- Star of the G.A.C. T.V. reality show, “The Hitmen of Music Row”
- Multi Platinum Producer of artists like: Montgomery Gentry, Keith Anderson, and John Waite, with 2 no. 1 songs and 6 Top 10 songs.
My Town, Speed, Something To Be Proud Of, Hell Yeah, Gone, Chrome, I’m Trying, Brand New Girlfriend, What Hurts The Most, My Wish, Me And My Gang, These Days, Everyday, The Cowboy In Me, When The Lights Go Down, Unbelievable, Big Deal, She’d Give Anything, A Cowboys Born With A Broken Heart, They Don’t Make Em Like That Anymore, Everytime I Hear Your Name, Couldn’t Last A Moment, Help Somebody, Love Is A Beautiful Thing, International Harvester.
To learn more about becoming a TAXI member, getting two free tickets to this event, and to see the schedule of events for this year’s Rally, please click here.
That’s all for now,