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confused about Dispatch rules

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:07 pm
by jfiegen
I got a new listing email yesterday and had a perfect piece of music for it, so I remixed and mastered it, put it in My Music, and went to submit it.
I discovered that I have to sign up for Dispatch to submit to this, even though I'm a member. Am I missing something? Since I've been a member for almost three years and never even had a forward, I'm reluctant to spend more money to continue to be ignored. Here's the listing

Below is a brand new TAXI Dispatch listing. If you'd like to upgrade your membership to TAXI Dispatch, to be able to submit to this and all Dispatch listings, simply call us at 800-458-2111 or click the DISPATCH QUOTE link below and we'll get you started immediately. And remember, the cost to upgrade your membership is only a little more than 41 CENTS per day.

*****************TAXI Dispatch*****************

SNEAKY, MISCHIEVOUS, INSTRUMENTAL TRACKS are needed by a MUSIC LIBRARY specializing in REALITY TV placements. This Library has signed and placed tons of TAXI members' tracks, and they want to hear more! Keep the tone and feel of your Tracks light-hearted, quirky, sneaky, and fun! Think of the type of instrumentation that could add some comedic tension to a scene. The music often played in Desperate Housewives when somebody is sneaking around trying to peek in a neighbor's window is the type of Instrumentals they're looking for! And then there are always the Kardashians sneaking around trying to find a hidden birthday present before the rest of the family gets home. Got it? This company needs it! Pizzicato strings, xylophones, marimbas, bells, etc., could all work well for this pitch. You'd be wise to avoid anything that's dark, dramatic, or creepy sounding. All Tempos will be considered, as long as your Track can add the right vibe to various comedic scenes. All Instrumentals should be a minimum of 60 seconds long. Tracks with lots of edit points and tight, buttoned endings should work best, but they're not absolutely necessary. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine). Please avoid anything that sounds stiff, MIDI-driven, or dated. This Library offers an EXCLUSIVE three-year agreement. If your Instrumental Track is placed within the three-year term, and earns over $300, it will automatically enter into an agreement for perpetuity (meaning for life of the copyright) with this Library. If your Track is NOT placed within the three-year term, 100% of ALL rights will revert back to you! You must own or control 100% of the Master and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity. You CANNOT have your Track placed with any other libraries or catalogs. All Instrumental Tracks will be screened on a Yes/No basis. No full critiques. Please submit one to three Instrumentals online or per CD no later than TUESDAY, MAY 6th, 2014 by 1pm (PDT)
. What am I missing? :?

Re: confused about Dispatch rules

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 2:47 pm
by 2lane
Hey JF,
I'm confused about your confusion? Dispatch is an addition to your membership, just like you posted. Just because you got an email about the listing, doesn't mean it's part of your membership.
And, just because you haven't had any forwards yet, doesn't mean your being ignored....on the contrary, it means your being listened to as I see it.
I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything, but you could've just asked a simple question about it and not slighted Taxi over it......I'm just saying. :)
May I suggest you hang around, post some things, get to know some folks, and ask for help. It's a great group of peeps around here......REALLY!! :D

All the best

Re: confused about Dispatch rules

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 3:27 pm
by andygabrys
its a fine idea to call TAXI and see how much your upgrade to dispatch can cost you. Many people around here (myself included) will upgrade to dispatch if there is a listing that we think one of our tracks would be a home run for and its later in the membership year. Its prorated depending on how much of your membership year is left. So if you renew Dispatch at the same time as your membership, one year is $149.99.

if you wait until the start of the 12th month of your membership, then Dispatch costs you $149.99 / 12 = $12.49, but of course you only get one month.

In that scenario, its not a big deal to kick in the extra $12.

Lately it seems like TAXI is running Dispatch listings more often. Who knows why. I imagine its an economic decision. In the past Dispatch was supposed to be for quick turnaround listings, but they have been many that we just given to the general membership over the last three years (for example advertising listings especially with big sync $$, which have pretty much disappeared as of late).

On a side note - of the three deals that I have had through TAXI, all three have been as a result of dispatch listings.

Re: confused about Dispatch rules

Posted: Thu May 01, 2014 4:19 pm
by admin
Hi Jfiegen,

Here’s the scoop on Dispatch. This is going to be long read, but I think it’s worth it. Thanks for asking about why Dispatch costs more, and giving me a reason to get off my butt to respond.

When we started TAXI more than 20 years ago, we typically published about 30 listings per month. Over time, that number has risen to 100 “regular” listings a month.

About 10 years ago, we started getting calls from music supervisors who heard about TAXI and needed music much faster than our normal (back then) 30, 60, or sometimes even 90 day turnaround times. To handle the extra listing intake time and expense, “emergency” screening (which is often quite a hard to coordinate), quick turnaround on the outbound music to the supes, and quicker responses to members, we needed to hire an extra staff person who was at higher level than our normal administrative staff.

That person had to be able to essentially run a small company within the company, and to handle the work of what would normally be the jobs of three people, albeit on a smaller scale. We surveyed a group of members, explained what we were doing, and asked them if they liked the idea and if they would be willing to pay extra.

The answer was “yes,” and the members who weren’t interested liked the idea that they didn’t have to pay for it if they didn’t want it. And they REALLY liked the idea that we didn’t raise the price of the overall TAXI membership to pay for that extra person, the office space needed, the extra benefits for that person, computer, etc. You get the idea!

Dispatch was an instant hit, and about 10% of our members signed up for it. They loved it as the people asking for music were often more “desperate.” We found that to be the case with supervisors, and eventually libraries that quickly started to use Dispatch as well.

The libraries often used Dispatch to find music (mostly instrumentals) that they didn’t have on hand when a certain type of request hit their doorstep, and they didn’t have enough (if any) of the right thing to pitch. In the end, Dispatch was loved by the members making mostly Instrumental music and the people who needed it quickly.

In fact, as our more veteran members will tell you, the number of signings and placements resulting from Dispatch listings was higher – we think it’s because of the “desperation factor.”

As time marched forward, the Film and TV side of the industry began to demand quicker turnarounds in general, so about 4 years ago, we began running what we internally call “special listings.” The cost to service all those special listings skyrocketed on our end. Now, at least 3 staffers dedicate much of their time to doing listing intake, clarifying what the end users really need (which is harder than you might think!), writing the listings, re-writing the listings, proofing the listings, getting the screeners assigned to meet the short deadlines, doing fast turnarounds to get the music in the hands of the end users, etc., etc.

I would estimate that we’ve added at least $100,000/yr. in overhead to bring those listings to you, and get the music back to the industry. But in 20 years, we’ve never raised the price of TAXI, even though our members now get about 90 MORE opportunities per month than they used to get for the same $299 per year.

We’ve thought about getting rid of Dispatch and raising the over all price of TAXI, but a survey of a sample group of members told us that most people wanted to the price to stay the same, and the people who wanted Dispatch were happy to pay the pro-rated 43 cents a day to get the Dispatch listings, so we’ve left it as an a la carte service.

Frankly, we don’t market it very heavily because we find that new members who haven’t yet figured out how to hit targets well probably won’t benefit from it as much as more senior members who pitch more effectively due to their experience and learning.

We often tell members to wait until they’re “more in the saddle” before they try Dispatch. We also recommend that maybe they should just try it for the last few months of their membership year so it doesn’t cost them much to give it a test drive (pun intended).

We tend to pick the listings that go out through Dispatch based on what we think are best suited to the TYPE of members who join Dispatch. Those members are typically more Instrumental cue writers/producers who really “get” that side of the business. Some Dispatch listings are in fact for songs, but more often than not, they’re Instrumental-based.

We still see posts like this: confirming that Dispatch is effective and loved by the members who choose to upgrade.

So, in the end, I would personally like to raise the price of TAXI to $350/yr. for everybody to help offset the big spike in overhead we’ve seen during the last 4 years of adding about 30 MORE “special” listings per month, on top of the normal batch of 100 per month, which is about 433% more listings than we used to put out for the same $299 per year that our members used to get back in the day.

But feedback from members tells me that’s not a popular idea ;-) There are very few services or products that give you 433% more than what used to be offered for the same price you paid 20 years ago. Not to mention that renewing members – even with a full year of Dispatch – get the whole enchilada for just $350, and that includes two passes to the Road Rally, TAXI TV, and lots of other personal care that you won’t find elsewhere.

My advice: If you’ve been a member for at least 6 months, and you’re getting some forwards, and you tend to pitch Instrumentals, consider trying Dispatch. At 43 cents per day, it’s pretty cheap thrill. If you’re still not getting a decent amount of forwards, and you don’t primarily pitch Instrumentals, it’s probably not a good investment.

Thanks again for asking the question, and for taking the time to read this “book” I just wrote ;-)

One last thought: We’ve recently seen a much more steady flow of great Dispatch listings. And really good ones to boot! As a result of that, one of our members called to thank me the other day, and suggested that we move the additional 30 quick turnaround listings over to Dispatch and charge more for the upgrade, while giving Dispatch members a TON of value for their extra investment.

His logic was that the members who are most productive and prolific benefit most from the fast turnaround listings, and he felt those members would pay more for a larger batch that only they could submit to.

I’m curious to see how other members reading this feel about that.

Thanks again for reading this far!

Re: confused about Dispatch rules

Posted: Mon May 05, 2014 10:35 am
by coachdebra
jfiegen wrote:I got a new listing email yesterday and had a perfect piece of music for it, so I remixed and mastered it, put it in My Music, and went to submit it.
I discovered that I have to sign up for Dispatch to submit to this, even though I'm a member. Am I missing something? Since I've been a member for almost three years and never even had a forward, I'm reluctant to spend more money to continue to be ignored.
Michael wrote you a great and informative response.

I'd add that perhaps you would benefit from the "peer to peer" board. What if you see a dispatch or regular listing that you think you want to submit for - and post your submission up to the peer board for feedback BEFORE you submit? So that you can edit, remaster or whatever. In addition, if you aren't reading the feedback you receive from your postings carefully - I recommend going back and reading them. Feedback is only useful if you hear it and apply what you learn.

Submitting to TAXI in a throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks manner tends to lead to frustration. There is a specific skill set to using TAXI effectively. Which includes understanding what those listings are looking for, as well as all the skills (writing, playing, mixing, mastering) that are required to make the music good enough. Achieving a TAXI forward requires reaching a pretty high bar for the music.

Instead, use the amazing mastermind resource available to you here on the forum to hone your craft. This, in turn, will lead you to more success in your submissions - both from an understanding what they're looking for and an improving your craft standpoint. And will positively impact the quality of your product across the board.

Then, when you are getting forwards on a fairly regular basis - it will be a good investment to upgrade to dispatch.

Your coach,

Re: confused about Dispatch rules

Posted: Tue May 06, 2014 11:25 am
by jfiegen
Thanks everyone, for your advice.
I reread the listing and realized that it sounded too dark, dramatic, creepy, and MIDI driven to get a forward, so I saved everyone the trouble by not submitting it. See if you don't agree.

Re: confused about Dispatch rules

Posted: Wed May 07, 2014 2:02 pm
by coachdebra
This would be better posted in peer to peer, rather than general hangout. How about making a new thread with the listing description and the song you're considering and asking for feedback.