Answered by: Michael Laskow

I was pondering if TAXI screeners have some kind of coherent way to evaluate the numbers given in feedback form. Are those numbers in "straight relation" to how well the song fits that particular listing? Of course different people have different opinions, but huge differences would make more sense to me if they had been evaluated as a relation to how well the song fits the listing.

Best wishes,

Jarno Huhtanen

Dear Jarno,

The numbers are merely used as an independent gage by each screener. It would be impossible to set up any sort of uniform standard, as listening to music is very subjective. That being said, the people supplying the subjective opinions are all industry veterans who have been heavily involved in the process of writing hits, producing hits, or signing hits. So while I can certainly understand your frustration in getting numeric opinions that vary from screener to screener, I can tell you from near absolute certainly that the material that gets forwarded deserves to be, and the material that that gets returned is also appropriately annotated. I know this because we've been checking and rechecking the work of our screens for 13 years. And even though the screener pool and screeners have changed in course of our history, the numbers come up in near perfect levels every time we check. What's my definition of near perfect? 98% accurate or above. The 2% error rate would be attributed to any human involved in any subjective process, of course. And I have yet to meet anyone who has achieved perfection.

Dear TAXI,

Is there still interest in teen-queen power pop songs? Or is the demise creeping up? I have some good ones.


Rick Anthony aka Ric Sreeter

Dear Rick,

The market may have waned somewhat, but there's hardly ever a period in modern history when there hasn't been one little queenie on the charts. So, I think there will always be a market for what you do, just sometimes more and sometimes less.


I was wondering if you could also publish a version of the listing in date order (perhaps on the Web site). I presume you keep the listings in some sort of a database (perhaps even as simple as a spreadsheet). Any chance the listings would be made available as a download?


J. Oscar

Dear J.,

The beauty of being the CEO of the company is that over time I've been able to concentrate more on the direction of the company and the quality of our service versus the day-to-day details. Therefore, I'm currently clueless as to what our capabilities are relative to delivering what you've asked for. The good news is I'm also the kind of CEO who gives a damn, so I promise to look into this and have an answer for you in next month's column. See you then!

I receive your listings, but don't see many opportunities in the Celtic/New Age field.  Do you expect these to increase in the coming months?  If they did increase, I would join in a minute!

Jennifer Cutting

Dear Jennifer,

As much as I would love to just take your money and promise you that there would be more listings for you in the future, I just can't do it. That's not the way I run this company.

Truthfully, the ebb and flow of listings is controlled almost entirely by the industry's needs. Just one look at Billboard Magazine would show you that rock, pop, country, and urban outnumber Celtic and new age by a large margin. However, there are times when the numbers of listings of Celtic and new age do increase, but I'm just not sure it would be enough for me to encourage you to join TAXI based solely on those genres. I do strongly suggest that you go to our Web site and sign up to get free updates of all our current listings e-mailed to you so you can keep tabs on your genres and decide if you think there's enough activity there to warrant your membership.

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