What are you doing to stay afloat in the studio business?

There are a lot if indicators that point to the fact that the studio business is a tough place to stay alive.

If you read Billboard, Mix, or some of the other professional trades that deal with the studio business, they’ll tell you that studios are closing up shop left and right and those spaces are being turned into condos. Yeowch! Priorities, eh?

Anyway, the recording studio business has never been easy, and it’s being made a lot tougher on studio owners that aren’t very business savvy and those that try to cling on to the way they did business ten or fifteen years ago.

My research shows that at least SOME studio owners are charging less for their services as a way to stay competitive in the marketplace. How bad of an idea is that? With the increased cost of doing business (employee salary/wages, rent) there’s no way you’re going to stay in business if you continually charge LESS money over time. May work in the short term, but that’s not an effective long-term strategy for success. And, once you DO start to charge less money, when you try to increase your rates, all your clients are gonna grumble and complain about how much it costs to record at your facility.

So, my challenge to you is this:

What can we do as an industry to keep ourselves alive (a la Queen)? I think it’s going to take some pretty innovative thinking. It looks like the people that are out there making a real go of it are doing something creative and unique. I’m not sure of the right answer(s), but I have my thoughts… How about you?


One Reply to “What are you doing to stay afloat in the studio business?”

  1. For some of the larger studios that get to cut big acts, I think a way to get the profits to stay in business could be changing the artists' contracts altogether. Royalty points already go to Producers, and sometimes if it's successful enough the engineers or AFM/AFTRA guys get themselves a slice of the pie too. Why not tack on royalty points for the Studio? If studio owners (Company A) and say… the replication companies (Company B) responsible for the printing of the CD's came to an agreement (stay with me… this is very theoretical and I know I'm not a Law school graduate…) to knock down the hold that Company B charges for damages and packaging (Because you damn well know 25% of CD's don't break and 20% of all sales isn't required to shrinkwrap a piece of plastic…), than Company A (the studio) could introduce a clause that they get a declining royalty rate based on the number of units sold. Start out at say… 10 percent until 50,000 units are sold, then it'll bump down to 7.5, then so on.

    It's unprobable, and for all I know maybe not even possible… but hell, it doesn't hurt to brainstorm 😉


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