Highlights from the 2007 Nashville Recording Studio Survey
Most studios are commercial and for profit. Most owners and managers said their studios were
commercial and open to the public (87%) rather than project studios closed to the public (7%) or
private and not-for-profit (7%).
The recent increase in independent record labels in Nashville is seen in clientele. Independent
record labels were the primary client for studio owners and managers in the past year (29%), while
business that aren’t record labels as well as independent artists with no manager account for 21%
each of studios’ primary clients.
Nashville is still home to country music. The most common style of music produced in studios by
owners and managers that responded is country (16%), with rock (13%), contemporary Christian
( 12%), gospel music (11%), and demos (11%) all following close behind.
Studio owners and managers that responded said their studios grossed an average of $125,205 last
tax year. Additionally, most studio owners and managers either saw an increase in gross revenue or
stayed the same (73%) compared to the previous tax year. 91% of studio owners and managers say
they are experiencing growth or the same amount of gross revenue this tax year compared to last
year. Also, the average length of time studios have been in business in Nashville is 15.55 years.
Engineers are the most common type of employee in a Nashville Studio. Every studio owner and
manager (100%) that responded to the survey that have any full-time employees have at least one
Engineer on their full-time staff. More than half (55%) of studios also hire a full-time Studio
Manager as well.
Studio owners and managers are looking for help from interns more and more. While there were
increases in the number of Engineers (9%) and Studio Managers (11%) hired, Interns saw the
biggest hiring increase (27%). Assistant Engineers and Engineers saw the greatest increases in
independent contractor work (30% and 18% respectively).
Primary use of studios is to track audio. Almost half (47%) of studio owners and managers
surveyed say they use their studio primarily for tracking, while only 13% use their studio primarily
for mixing. Mixing, however, is the largest (57%) secondary use for studios.
6 out of every 7 studios have at least one mixing room. 86% of studios have at least one room
used for mixing, while less (71%) studios have at least one room for tracking.
While 70% of studio owners and managers feel the studio business is getting worse in the
Nashville area compared to last year, 45% say that their own business is performing better than the
rest of the Nashville recording studio businesses. Also, while 18% of studio owners and managers
feel optimistic about the future of the studio business in Nashville, over three times as many
(64%) feel optimistic about their own studio’s performance.
The PDF with all of these results can also be found here. More information regarding the Nashville Recording Studio Survey can be found here.