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Any TAXI success stories out there? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 28th February 2007
  #61
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerHunter View Post
This is sort of what I was saying in an earlier post about "canned" responses. Using your quota of 10 songs per hour means that the A&R guy would only have a couple of minutes to write a critique. I would think that this critique would be along the lines as my daughter's high school report cards where they select from a list of predefined comments as he/she simply wouldn't have enough time to write them from scratch.

I'm not expecting much out of them (TAXI) really. Just trying to get some exposure. But if their critisism is meaningless then it could end up sending us in the wrong direction. If this is the case it would be better not to join.
I think your last statement makes an extremely vital point. I think if you want to ever have a chance at real success in the arts you better hang onto some of that screw-you attitude that got you into it in the first place, and which will be the only thing that distinguishes you from the bland hordes of ass-kissing deal-chasing sycophants who are searching for someone to show them how to conform so they can make a lot of money. Which won't happen, of course, because they're just like all the other hordes of ass-kissing, etc.

Now ask me how I really feel about it

-R

And yes, the critiques are mostly phoned-in check-off categories sort of like a fifth grade report card.
Old 28th February 2007
  #62
Gear Addict
 
SpiderM69's Avatar
 

Quote:
A yearly membership costs 300 bucks. If they have 10,000 members that'd make 30 million bucks (excluding the submission fees).
You might want to check your calculator...that actually comes to $3 million, which is not a lot of yearly revenue upon which to run a business.

Also, I imagine the reason we see the same ad's over and over is also simple economics. Advertising and marketing are very expensive. I imagine Taxi is trying to maximize their return in that area and frugal with their advertising budget.
Old 28th February 2007
  #63
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Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboy2854 View Post
My .02 on Taxi.

I was once a member, and I know Michael Laskow (the owner) personally. One of the nicest guys you can hope to meet. Several years back when I was in L.A. to get my CD mastered, he met with me, gave me a tour of the offices, listened to my tracks, and liked what he heard enough to pick up the phone right there and then and get me a meeting with two major A&R guys.

So the service is a legitimate service, and their contacts are indeed legitimate as well.

Now, for the reason you still see many of the same ads in the magazines for Taxi. While the service is for real, it is better for certain people, depending on what they're looking to get out of it. If you're a songwriter looking to place songs or tracks, and you have no networking or connections of your own, it can be a valuable service.

If you're an artist or a band looking for a record deal, you'll probably find yourself disappointed. The reason being, the one flaw in the Taxi model is lack of follow up. If you respond to a listing and your stuff is forwarded, there is no way to follow up with the recipient to A) make sure they got it, or B) see if they've listened to it. And one thing that is huge in this business is the followup. In a lot of cases stuff will languish on a person's desk if a fire is not lit under their ass, and that's where Taxi falls short in my opinion.

Combine that with the fact that when it comes to finding and signing actual artists and bands, most A&R guys are looking to hear about the act through buzz, word of mouth, etc. In other words, they only want to sign acts that already have it going on for themselves. Which is a big reason you don't see a lot of major success stories with artists getting their deals through Taxi.

The other reason, in Taxi's defense, is that some of the acts that have gotten deals and been successful as a result of Taxi connections didn't credit Taxi with it. Sixpence None the Richer was an example.

In any case, if you're a songwriter looking for placements, it can be a good service. If you're an artist looking for a deal, you're likely better off getting out there and building a buzz on your own, and the industry will come to you. But then again, even Taxi says that's what you should probably be doing anyway.
Old 28th February 2007
  #64
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blaugruen7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahiaman View Post
So is he a publisher or promoter? Or are you self published and just give him a precentage?
i have puplished it through cdbaby, have all my rights and he does non exclusive promote it to his film contacts.
Old 28th February 2007
  #65
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderM69 View Post
You might want to check your calculator...that actually comes to $3 million, which is not a lot of yearly revenue upon which to run a business.
It doesn't suck either!!!
Old 28th February 2007
  #66
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
I think if you want to ever have a chance at real success in the arts you better hang onto some of that screw-you attitude that got you into it in the first place...

amen to that. bonus: you'll sleep a lot better.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 28th February 2007
  #67
Gear Addict
 
BeerHunter's Avatar
Fortunately for me I have a good fulltime job (all of us do actually) and our only real aspirations are for us to do our best. We all have families and the responsibilities that go along with it so we have no intentions of touring or gigging. We feel that we have some good material and we are just hoping that it can be used somewhere. Possibly TV and such. Making big bucks would be awesome but we are fully aware that the odds are against us. However, that being said, you don't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket. The question is which ticket gives you the best odds? I thought that a TAXI membership may just be the ticket but after reading some of these responses I am just as uncertain as I was when I first posted this.

All I can say is that I'm happy I'm not a new band striving for a gold record in this day and age. I guess this is why we are able to have a "screw you attitude" as we will not starve on our journey.
Old 28th February 2007
  #68
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emkay's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quietdrive View Post
Umm.. dont wanna sound like a jerk, but do you actually know what indie promoters do? I doubt you can afford them, and even need them. Or are you trying to get songs on the radio?
.......



I know you don't wanna sound like a jerk, but I guess you just can't help it!!
Old 28th February 2007
  #69
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jmikeperkins's Avatar
TAXI

The best thing about TAXI is their Road Rally convention in L.A. If you pick the right person, I have found their one to one mentoring sessions (offered at the convention) to be very useful. Bring your newest recording and you can get some instant and professional feedback on what you are doing right and wrong. I was amazed by some of the very specific (and accurate) production advice I was given after a review of my work by a guy named Fett from Nashville who I met there. I got a lot more than just the (fairly short) mentoring session as I continued to speak with him afterward for a couple of days. For me, that alone was worth the trip to L.A. this last November. Some of the panels and workshops at the convention are also great (some are not). You can come away with a lot of ideas and you can meet a lot of nice people who do the same thing you do. As you might expect, the talent level of the TAXI members is all over the map. Some are really bad, have totally unrealistic fantasy expectations and are sincerely hurt by some of the blunt feedback they get from industry professionals. Other members, often with non-industry jobs and from places far away from L.A., have amazing talent and give you hope for the future of music. Its important to note that TAXI has no direct financial interest in the music of its members and just passes the material along to others, so its hard to measure specific success as it comes AFTER TAXI was involved.

TAXI is certainly no magic bullet and is very unlikely to make you an instant star or get you a major label deal by just submitting something to one of its listings. If that is what you expect, you will not be happy. But if you look at it as a way to get very valuable professional feedback, make contacts, get a feel for the current state of the industry, and you can make it to the convention in L.A., I think it has something important to offer. Many music industry people in the Ivory Tower really do want to reach out to the masses SOMEHOW and TAXI does give them one way to do that. Its certainly lasted longer than I would have thought.

J. Mike Perkins jmikeperkins.com myspace.com/jmikeperkins
Old 28th February 2007
  #70
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
I have a little insight into TAXI as a guy that has been invited to speak at the TAXI Rally a few times (I am not a member) and my manager is also a screener at TAXI.

A couple cool things I can say about TAXI:

A) They do exactly what they say they are going to do, at exactly the price they say they are going to charge you for it. There is no bull ****, no hidden costs, no hidden scams. If TAXI is right or wrong for you is your own decision, but there is no hidden scam, no hidden agendas. They perform a service, charge set fees and that is it. They do not take any percentage of any deals that they help their clients get, and there is no up sell to "premium services", etc.

B) The Road Rally is really fun and its free to TAXI members and a guest. Aside from a conference I go to on the French Riviera, its my favorite conference and if you take a buddy a long, your $300 dollar TAXI membership has just gotten two people into a really cool conference. That is $150 a piece for a 3 day conference, even if you never do anything else with TAXI. Its worth it just for that. I have made quite a few clients, friends and collaborators just by going to the Road Rally.

Some people make the mistake of just joining TAXI and hoping that alone will make them stars, which is not so smart, but it can be valuable for as part of an over all business plan. I personally know several people that have made real money through things at TAXI and I know lots of other that view the feedback and critiques as very valuable. I actually know some people who join TAXI just as a way to get people to check out their music and give them some feed back.

In regards to the screeners, they come from a wide background, and a few I am surprised they work there. Guys and gals who were A&R people for major labels. big publishers and hit songwriters. I am sure that 100% of the screeners may not come from that pedigree, but my manager who works there, before she started her own management company worked for Atlantic, Interscope publishing, and several management companies with major label rosters.

In case any one wants to discover me and make me rich.... http://www.myspace.com/venetowestrecords
Old 28th February 2007
  #71
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juicylime's Avatar
 

Well said Ronan! that Celtic blood in you talks alot of sense.
Old 1st March 2007
  #72
Gear Addict
 
BeerHunter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
I have a little insight into TAXI as a guy that has been invited to speak at the TAXI Rally a few times (I am not a member) and my manager is also a screener at TAXI.

A couple cool things I can say about TAXI:

A) They do exactly what they say they are going to do, at exactly the price they say they are going to charge you for it. There is no bull ****, no hidden costs, no hidden scams. If TAXI is right or wrong for you is your own decision, but there is no hidden scam, no hidden agendas. They perform a service, charge set fees and that is it. They do not take any percentage of any deals that they help their clients get, and there is no up sell to "premium services", etc.

B) The Road Rally is really fun and its free to TAXI members and a guest. Aside from a conference I go to on the French Riviera, its my favorite conference and if you take a buddy a long, your $300 dollar TAXI membership has just gotten two people into a really cool conference. That is $150 a piece for a 3 day conference, even if you never do anything else with TAXI. Its worth it just for that. I have made quite a few clients, friends and collaborators just by going to the Road Rally.

Some people make the mistake of just joining TAXI and hoping that alone will make them stars, which is not so smart, but it can be valuable for as part of an over all business plan. I personally know several people that have made real money through things at TAXI and I know lots of other that view the feedback and critiques as very valuable. I actually know some people who join TAXI just as a way to get people to check out their music and give them some feed back.

In regards to the screeners, they come from a wide background, and a few I am surprised they work there. Guys and gals who were A&R people for major labels. big publishers and hit songwriters. I am sure that 100% of the screeners may not come from that pedigree, but my manager who works there, before she started her own management company worked for Atlantic, Interscope publishing, and several management companies with major label rosters.

In case any one wants to discover me and make me rich.... http://www.myspace.com/venetowestrecords
Thank you very much rcm for taking the time to post this information. It is greatly appreciated.
Old 1st March 2007
  #73
Gear Addict
 
burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcm View Post
I have a little insight into TAXI as a guy that has been invited to speak at the TAXI Rally a few times (I am not a member) and my manager is also a screener at TAXI.
Hey, Ronan! We were co-panelists in '05, methinks (Production Techniques, or something to that effect)...
Old 1st March 2007
  #74
Lives for gear
 

I'm a singer/songwriter with a pretty big catalogue and I just record myself and all the instruments. Sounds like a good fit for me. What the hell, for $300 and $5/per, what's there to lose?
Old 1st March 2007
  #75
..

i bought taxi in 1986 at roughly $250 / share
(not including load).

my annual yield on dividends ALONE
has been at least forty times that.

and so, as a result, i'll be selling off about half of my taxi portfolio shortly
(domestic and international small, medium and large cap taxi),

in order to gobble up some of the (suddenly very appealing)
options index today.

but have no fear -

my taxi investments may currently be helping me collatoralize my
soon-to-be real estate empire.

heh

..
Old 1st March 2007
  #76
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I remember McCartney talking about Apple Corps. and how they set it up to 'discover' talent by letting anyone and everyone submit material.

He went on to talk about James Taylor and Mary Hopkin, who were in the roster, but ultimately revealed that all the zillions of submissions Apple Corps. received from the general public as a result of their ad campaign resulted in zero real output.

Just got me thinking...
Old 1st March 2007
  #77
Sample developer
 

Just FYI Taxi stands behind their guarantee of satisfaction. If you aren't happy with membership, you can request your $300 back and they WILL give it to you. You can't get your $5 submission fee(s) back but hey, if you submit 10 songs, it's only a $50 loss. Plus, you've hopefully gleaned some nice critiques out of it.

I was a member back in 2005 but my music wasn't very good then. Most of my submissions got forwarded, so I got my membership fee back and decided to work harder at it. I rejoined in late 2006 and have forwarded about 14 songs since then. No deals yet, but other members I speak with regularly say that it can take 3 to 6 months, sometimes longer, to hear back from the companies your music was sent to.

There was another fellow, a guitarist (www.martytone.com) who joined around the same time I did. He has struck 2 deals with MTV for placements on various shows, including "Pimp My Ride". Not bad. Another guy, Matt Hirt, literally makes his living through Taxi. I believe he said he has made in the millions of dollars to date since he joined Taxi, with the majority of his deals coming through there. He once said that applauds people w/ the ability to get deals on their own and make contacts, but he personally doesn't want to spend his time doing that, and he needs a 3rd party to help. Taxi is that service and it works great for him.

BTW the $5 submission fee is really only to prevent people from spamming the listings. Think about it. If there were no such limit, you would just be able to submit ALL your songs to EVERY listing, no matter how obviously out of place. It's not really a device to earn more money for them. There was a breakdown on either the Taxi forums or the Just Plain Folks forums at one point where someone did the math and showed that the $5 sub fee doesn't really generate much revenue for Taxi anyway.
Old 1st March 2007
  #78
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Obsessed View Post
That's Jenna Drey in the TAXI ad and she was a fixture in Boston. [clip] She makes a GREAT success story, right? I'd push her in my ads if I were TAXI as well.
Yeah, but that ad is at least two years old, right? You're telling me that with their advertising budget, they don't have any other success stories they could show off? It's gotta make prospective customers wonder...
Old 1st March 2007
  #79
Sample developer
 

http://taxi.com/abouts/successdeals.html

Just read the site... there are 11 "major" successes there and countless smaller ones.
Old 1st March 2007
  #80
Gear Addict
 
BeerHunter's Avatar
Is the Road Rally always in LA? Same dates everyyear? Wouldn't happen to correspond to the NAMM show dates would it?
Old 1st March 2007
  #81
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C Heat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerHunter View Post
Is the Road Rally always in LA? Same dates everyyear? Wouldn't happen to correspond to the NAMM show dates would it?
Early November apparently.

I'd like some 'lock-in' dates so I can book flights (early) but I can't get dates for this year from them yet :(
Old 1st March 2007
  #82
Gear Addict
 
BeerHunter's Avatar
It's always in LA though?
Old 1st March 2007
  #83
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zirconst View Post
Matt Hirt, literally makes his living through Taxi. I believe he said he has made in the millions of dollars to date since he joined Taxi, with the majority of his deals coming through there.
Zircon-

Are you he said millions? Matt doesn't like to be misquoted!


Andre
Old 1st March 2007
  #84
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C Heat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerHunter View Post
It's always in LA though?
Yeh. L.A.
Old 1st March 2007
  #85
Gear Addict
 
burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zirconst View Post
No deals yet, but other members I speak with regularly say that it can take 3 to 6 months, sometimes longer, to hear back from the companies your music was sent to.
Just adding a 'second' here... it was months after we were forwarded before we got a call from Columbia for our deal.
Old 1st March 2007
  #86
Gear Addict
 
burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zirconst View Post
Another guy, Matt Hirt, literally makes his living through Taxi. I believe he said he has made in the millions of dollars to date since he joined Taxi, with the majority of his deals coming through there. He once said that applauds people w/ the ability to get deals on their own and make contacts, but he personally doesn't want to spend his time doing that, and he needs a 3rd party to help. Taxi is that service and it works great for him.
BTW, you can find Matt Hirt hanging out at the Taxi online forums helping out anyone who asks... he's a super guy and always willing to lend a hand in the form of free info.

Not sure about the millions statement, though. A million to one person is way beyond their wildest dreams, while to another it barely pays the bills. The fact he's doing it full time should speak volumes.
Old 1st March 2007
  #87
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C Heat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burst View Post
Just adding a 'second' here... it was months after we were forwarded before we got a call from Columbia for our deal.
Man, that's the call I wanna hear (again), but this time round actually have the song see the light of day!

FWIW I just re-joined TAXI. The Broadjam alliance is cool. Living in Australia (it) gives me another week up my sleeve to tweak songs or finish demoing a new one and get them sent because I don't have one week of snail mail to factor in.

I got the Broadjam membership free with my recent Digi 002R purchase also.heh

Whoohoo!
Old 1st March 2007
  #88
Gear maniac
 
Tone Obsessed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
Yeah, but that ad is at least two years old, right? You're telling me that with their advertising budget, they don't have any other success stories they could show off? It's gotta make prospective customers wonder...
No... I believe TAXI is the only proper entity to truly address your question with respect to intent. However, as with any business, you set marketing goals and once positive feedback is attained, you usually stay the course. There's also the retention factor WHICH IS KEY IN ANY MARKETING PROGRAM.

To prove my point, you remember the TAXI ad, right? Seems others do, too. That means it works. Do you look thru the mags to see if the ad has changed? Or is it you just "notice" it's the same ad? No matter since you DO notice which means it works AND RETENTION has been achieved... Great job TAXI!!!

Further, retention does not have to be a great message or positive experience ( think of the song "It's a Small World" after 10 minutes at Disney). Hate it but I have retained every bit of that experience since I was exposed to it 20 years ago. RETENTION... It's a good thing. The fact that we're discussing this topic here IS FURTHER PROOF IT WORKS.

As stated in my original reply, Jenna also "fits" the target market better than a teen or thrash band. Most TAXI members are more mature, have more means, tend to be songwriters and the like. Therefore, when they see an "older" artist that has achieved success thru TAXI, it fosters a belief that you ( an older artist - meaning not a teen/kid) can achieve like results. That's where most of their $$$ is derived - THEIR CORE BASE.

Think about it: Would a Paris Hilton type (or like person) make a great story? Jenna has won many sonwriting competitions and awards, works with big time people and has credibility as a songwriter. If all they did was push American Idol types, would any serious artist believe in them or their service? Or would the artist run away thinking it was a flavor of the month, pop culture factory without substance? Why would you join that? Hmmm.

Like I said, only TAXI can answer your question. Why not email them and ask THEM and report your findings back here?

Now that's interesting!

TJ
Old 1st March 2007
  #89
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tone Obsessed View Post
The fact that we're discussing this topic here IS FURTHER PROOF IT WORKS.
Yeah, proof that it works for Taxi. LOL

-R
Old 1st March 2007
  #90
Gear Addict
 
burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
Yeah, proof that it works for Taxi. LOL
Well, um, yeah... that would be who the ads are for.

Who else would the ads need to 'work' for? Am I missing something here?
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