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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Brad Blackwood => Topic started by: masterhse on February 16, 2010, 12:09:04 pm

Title: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: masterhse on February 16, 2010, 12:09:04 pm
More info:

 http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/content_display/industry/e3i4 a73f5d7451749a3e317ca995abbb4ac

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/business/2010/02/100216_ab beyroad.shtml
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: AlexVI on February 16, 2010, 03:43:27 pm
I'm more suprised that they've held on to it for this long!
It's worth a fortune as real estate, probably doesn't generate a decent profit, and had they sold it a couple of years ago at the height of the real estate boom, they could have capitalised on it strongly, built a new place further out of town if deemed necessary, and had a bunch of cash in the bank or to pay down debt.

AVI
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: lowland on February 16, 2010, 04:14:47 pm
We bought their A80 24 track 'B' machine around '87, and Melvyn Toms the splendid maintenance guy there found some extra bits for us so I went to pick them up. The studio was in the throes of a big internal rebuild, and as I arrived the builders had just discovered that several of the ground floor doors wouldn't open because the building had settled on them. Cue worried faces and lots of jacks...
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Waltz Mastering on February 16, 2010, 04:53:11 pm
It would be a major loss... Hopefully someone like Richard Branson or someone with deep pockets can come by and save it.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: William Bowden on February 16, 2010, 06:30:19 pm
Yeah sad news indeed, I hope the mastering operation survives...

The King
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Adam Dempsey on February 16, 2010, 06:56:32 pm
Indeed. Hoping for sustainability in the long term for them. Surely it can be seen as an historical & creatively inspiring asset, even beyond being a Beatles-esque thing.

  http://www.audioprointernational.com/news/1802/Beatles-studi o-for-sale
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Thomas W. Bethel on February 18, 2010, 07:34:20 pm
Sir Paul McCartney should buy it and make it into a working museum.

Imagine it as a tourist attraction and a recording studio.

Seeing what else is going on in the world today it will probably be sold for millions and turned into high end condos or apartments. That would be a real shame. Too many world class, large recording space facilities are biting the dust. It has almost reached epidemic proportions. I guess EMI must really be hurting to even think of selling this prime piece of historical importance.

FWIW and YMMV
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 19, 2010, 09:32:44 am
Another casualty of digital convenience in the information age?

Apple should be proud, iT*nes & Garage Band have... well you know

One article says 3 Billion pounds in debt?

Does the Queen grant gov't bailouts?

JT
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: bblackwood on February 19, 2010, 09:46:07 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 19 February 2010 08:32

Another casualty of digital convenience in the information age?

I dunno, I told my former employer a decade ago that the studio for hire model was a dinosaur - not a matter of if, but when they would virtually all close up shop.

Based on convenience? In part, yes.

But what we're really seeing, imo, is more of a natural shift as budgets have dropped. It's way more complex than iTunes and Garageband - as the major label models have changed, their financial successes have dropped dramatically. Lower budgets have forced producers to build their own shops in order to continue to make what they used to or even survive (instead of paying a significant potion of the budget for studio rental).

There are tons of owner / operator type studios opening up every year now - rooms not for hire. That's the new model, Abbey Road is the old model. It sucks to see great old studios shut down, but this industry is constantly in flux...
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 19, 2010, 10:06:42 am
bblackwood wrote on Fri, 19 February 2010 08:46

It's way more complex than iTunes and Garageband


Well of course, just citing Apple as one facet of digital democracy, it's way bigger than the music biz as well, look how at Photoshop and digital cameras have affected professional photographers, online news is obsoleting print news, etc, etc, etc.

Hopefully the trends won't destroy brick and mortar independent mastering facilities like yours and mine : -)

Another reason to embrace and innovate digital convenience I suppose.

Perhaps the law of gravity wil remain steady, and cream will always rise to the top, regardless of paradigm shifts

JT
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: compasspnt on February 19, 2010, 10:10:50 am
Jerry Tubb wrote on Fri, 19 February 2010 09:32

One article says 3 Billion pounds in debt?



Not Abbey Road itself in debt, but rather Terra Firma, the group that WAY overpaid for EMI, without having any idea of what the music business involves.

AR is a casualty of their arrogant, ignorant greed.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 19, 2010, 10:25:52 am
Perhaps Terra Firma has gone into Terra Incognito.

Oh yes there's the National Trust movement afoot to save AR.

JT
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 19, 2010, 10:04:52 pm
A new twist from Andrew Lloyd Webber:

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory?id=9893324

JT
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Bob Olhsson on February 20, 2010, 07:48:45 pm
bblackwood wrote on Fri, 19 February 2010 08:46

There are tons of owner / operator type studios opening up every year now - rooms not for hire. That's the new model, Abbey Road is the old model...
What's sad is that the owner/operator model is locked into the DAW version of the '80s production methodology. It's a pretty safe bet that "the next big thing" probably won't be related to that and once again require studios that can accommodate recording ensembles all at once.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: bblackwood on February 20, 2010, 08:28:03 pm
Bob Olhsson wrote on Sat, 20 February 2010 18:48

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 19 February 2010 08:46

There are tons of owner / operator type studios opening up every year now - rooms not for hire. That's the new model, Abbey Road is the old model...
What's sad is that the owner/operator model is locked into the DAW version of the '80s production methodology. It's a pretty safe bet that "the next big thing" probably won't be related to that and once again require studios that can accommodate recording ensembles all at once.

Hi Bob - can you explain what you mean by "locked into the DAW version of the '80s production methodology"? Not sure I follow you there...
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: TotalSonic on February 20, 2010, 08:38:20 pm
Abbey Road is indeed an example of the "old model" yet I think it's business model was to a completely different niche than anyone is discussing in this thread.  

Namely they were primarily doing larger orchestral sessions - for which there are only a few adequate facilities in the world - and for which high net dollar items like games and films there is indeed still a need and a budget earmarked for this.  In this regard their competitors are not dweebs with DAW's but orchestras located in Eastern Europe (primarily Prague in Czech Republic and Sofia in Bulgaria) which are willing to do the same sessions for a fraction of the price (although with a debatable quality difference).  

As for the mastering facilities at Abbey Road - I think Sterling's continued success shows that it is indeed possible to continue to make a high overhead multi-room mastering facility generate a definite profit as long as it can continue to convey it's "name brand" as worth the extra cash it takes to book a session there in comparison to other options.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: AlexVI on February 21, 2010, 09:15:27 am
TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 21 February 2010 01:38

Abbey Road is indeed an example of the "old model" yet I think it's business model was to a completely different niche than anyone is discussing in this thread.  

Namely they were primarily doing larger orchestral sessions - for which there are only a few adequate facilities in the world - and for which high net dollar items like games and films there is indeed still a need and a budget earmarked for this.  In this regard their competitors are not dweebs with DAW's but orchestras located in Eastern Europe (primarily Prague in Czech Republic and Sofia in Bulgaria) which are willing to do the same sessions for a fraction of the price (although with a debatable quality difference).  

As for the mastering facilities at Abbey Road - I think Sterling's continued success shows that it is indeed possible to continue to make a high overhead multi-room mastering facility generate a definite profit as long as it can continue to convey it's "name brand" as worth the extra cash it takes to book a session there in comparison to other options.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson


Steve,
You're spot on with regard to the competition for orchestral sessions; much of it is of course now done in Prague and elsewhere in Eastern Europe.
As an aside, I wonder, sometimes, how much cheaper it actually is, though - the musician costs in particular are a lot lower per unit of time, but you need more time to rehearse because they're nothing like as good as the top session outfit(s) in London. I put together a budget recently for a film being made in the ex-USSR, supplying one quote to orchestrate and record the around 30mins of cues with a substantial set of forces in London, or recording in Prague (both ways mixing in London). Allowing for the extra time you'd need in Prague, plus flying a small recording team out there, I came to the conclusion that it was only around
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Thomas W. Bethel on February 21, 2010, 09:58:25 am
AlexVI Wrote:

That's a little O/T, but back on topic, I also agree that mastering facilities with high overheads have a place to stay, too. Abbey Road, Metropolis, and others in the UK often seem busy on the occasions I've been working there, and I don't think they're too empty the rest of the time...

I've also thought for a while that the greater the amount of home  / budget recording that goes on, the greater a lot of artists are going to feel the need to go somewhere really nice to have it made better at the end of the day...




Home/budget recordist by in large are cheap. That is why they want to do everything themselves, somehow convincing themselves that spending 6 to 10 thousand dollars on a studio full of equipment is better than going to a real recording studio and getting their stuff professionally recorded. There is also, of course,  the musician that wants total control over all the processes that go into making his or her music and is willing to do what it takes to have that control including spending a lot of money on equipment that he or she does not know how to operate just do they can "do their thing". Neither of these types are going to go to a place like Abbey Road to get their material mastered. It is not in their genes to spend money so someone else can do their mastering.

I think that the day of the very large multi-room mastering facility is going away very quickly. The business model is just wrong for today's music climate. It worked in the old days because with vinyl you had to go to someone who had a lathe and knew how to operate it and you had so many more people needing their services.

Today with digital recording for CDs and web casting there is no need for the musicians to go out of their houses. ANYONE can do recording and mixing in their bedroom or basement and can also "master" their own recordings and have it pressed, duplicated or put up on the WWW without involving another human being, (except for the people doing the actual production of the CD). Big expensive to maintain multi room facilities are, excuse the French, pass
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: MoreSpaceEcho on February 21, 2010, 02:26:42 pm
apparently it's NOT for sale....good news if true...

http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Music/02/21/abbey.road/index .html?eref=igoogle_cnn
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Jerry Tubb on February 21, 2010, 04:05:36 pm
MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Sun, 21 February 2010 13:26

apparently it's NOT for sale....good news if true...

 http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Music/02/21/abbey.road/index .html?eref=igoogle_cnn


Hahaha... joke's on us!

JT
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Adam Dempsey on February 21, 2010, 11:37:13 pm
Good news. Also reported here today
http://www.fasterlouder.com.au/news/international/22605/Abbe y-Road-not-being-sold.htm
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: masterhse on February 22, 2010, 09:48:59 am
Great news, thanks for reporting!
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: jetbase on January 24, 2011, 11:50:10 pm
Maybe it's for sale again:
http://www.audiotechnology.com.au/news/misner-negotiating-to -buy-abbey-road-studios/
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Ben F on January 25, 2011, 12:38:23 am
jetbase wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 15:20

Maybe it's for sale again:
 http://www.audiotechnology.com.au/news/misner-negotiating-to -buy-abbey-road-studios/


Yes, sold SAE as well.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Geoff Emerick de Fake on January 25, 2011, 12:40:26 pm
Hell, what is Sir Paul doing?
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: TotalSonic on January 25, 2011, 01:11:59 pm
Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 12:40

Hell, what is Sir Paul doing?


If he's a smart man that cares for leaving the biggest possible estate for his family - then he's investing in things with a lot more future and likelihood of a decent return than the music "industry"!

So, he recorded there 40 years ago - still why would he want the headache and likely loss from buying a large recording facility?

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: bblackwood on January 25, 2011, 01:27:03 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 12:11

Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 12:40

Hell, what is Sir Paul doing?


If he's a smart man that cares for leaving the biggest possible estate for his family - then he's investing in things with a lot more future and likelihood of a decent return than the music "industry"!

Yep, I'd not buy it, either.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Geoff Emerick de Fake on January 25, 2011, 05:33:28 pm
Did anyone really think I was serious?
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: TotalSonic on January 25, 2011, 06:46:17 pm
Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 17:33

Did anyone really think I was serious?


Sorry - couldn't see the twinkle in your eye through my LCD screen - and didn't notice the <sarcasm></sarcasm> tag.  
Razz

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Bonati on January 25, 2011, 07:12:01 pm
Some are sellin', some are buildin'...
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/arts/music/26studio.html?a dxnnl=1&hpw=&adxnnlx=1296000071-skv89V+O81hE/i7+hlDz eg
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: lowland on January 26, 2011, 03:52:11 am
Bonati wrote on Wed, 26 January 2011 00:12

Some are sellin', some are buildin'...
        http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/arts/music/26studio.html?a         dxnnl=1&hpw=&adxnnlx=1296000071-skv89V+O81hE/i7+hlDz eg

Wow - good luck to them, but justifications in the article notwithstanding I don't understand how building a facility like that makes any kind of business sense. The return surely can't get anywhere near covering the outlay in a realistic time period, which would consign it to the status of  'vanity project'. I'm sad to say it, because this seems a fine studio, but I wonder what its status and ownership will be in, say, three years.

Who knows, I might revisit this thread then and see how wrong I was, but if Abbey Road with its provenance can't make money why should any other high-end studio?
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Allen Corneau on January 26, 2011, 04:02:47 pm
Bonati wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 18:12

Some are sellin', some are buildin'...
 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/arts/music/26studio.html?a  dxnnl=1&hpw=&adxnnlx=1296000071-skv89V+O81hE/i7+hlDz eg



Wow, indeed.

Quote:

Financed by private investors, Jungle City cost about $3.5 million to build, Ms. Mincieli said, and another $5.2 million to secure the real estate.


Makes my own aspirations seems like pocket change.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: lowland on January 26, 2011, 04:29:34 pm
Allen Corneau wrote on Wed, 26 January 2011 21:02

Bonati wrote on Tue, 25 January 2011 18:12

Some are sellin', some are buildin'...
  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/arts/music/26studio.html?a   dxnnl=1&hpw=&adxnnlx=1296000071-skv89V+O81hE/i7+hlDz eg



Wow, indeed.

Quote:

Financed by private investors, Jungle City cost about $3.5 million to build, Ms. Mincieli said, and another $5.2 million to secure the real estate.


Makes my own aspirations seems like pocket change.

If the studio's three rooms take a total of $5000 per day every day of the year it would need just under five years to cover the $8.7M. That assumes a probably unattainable usage level and doesn't cover interest, salaries, depreciation, maintenance etc. etc. Unless the money has been written off in some way my head says I can't see how the studio's going to survive, though my heart really wants it to.

Personally, I hope Ann Mincieli will see this and pop up with a rebuttal...
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Bonati on January 26, 2011, 06:32:02 pm
lowland wrote on Wed, 26 January 2011 03:52

I don't understand how building a facility like that makes any kind of business sense.

It doesn't have to. Studio ownership of that type is a status symbol. Probably quite a few tax strategies thrown in too. This is all fine - I don't get work from studios like this but it sure didn't bother me to hear about a studio opening up rather than closing down.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Rick O'neil on January 27, 2011, 12:44:09 am
so Tom Misner (who just sold sae for 300 million )
annouced in a interview  for audio technology  just last night (yet to be published)   that he is currently negotiating to buy  Abbey road !

if your going to buy a studio for a status symbol i suppose you might as well buy THE Status symbol

lets check back in in a year an see if it happens
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Hallams on January 27, 2011, 02:31:33 am
Rick O'neil wrote on Thu, 27 January 2011 16:44

so Tom Misner (who just sold sae for 300 million )
annouced in a interview  for audio technology  just last night (yet to be published)   that he is currently negotiating to buy  Abbey road !

if your going to buy a studio for a status symbol i suppose you might as well buy THE Status symbol

lets check back in in a year an see if it happens



.......and the beat goes on!!!
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: lowland on January 27, 2011, 03:18:22 am
Bonati wrote on Wed, 26 January 2011 23:32

lowland wrote on Wed, 26 January 2011 03:52

I don't understand how building a facility like that makes any kind of business sense.

It doesn't have to. Studio ownership of that type is a status symbol. Probably quite a few tax strategies thrown in too.

Fair enoughski, Josh, that's why I referred to a vanity project and later the possibility of the money being written off: I've seen my share of tax loss studios (and record companies) going up in the past, and they rarely trouble the planet for very long before selloff at a thumping loss or being otherwise dissolved. Actually, for 'rarely' read 'never', IME at least.
Quote:

This is all fine - I don't get work from studios like this but it sure didn't bother me to hear about a studio opening up rather than closing down.

Yes, at least somebody with a love of music is doing something. Ms. Mincieli is no doubt a good AE and manager, I just hope she hasn't put any of her own money into this.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: turtletone on January 27, 2011, 10:12:36 am
from the looks of it, she's put her heart and soul into this new studio. It's refreshing to see this kind of investment in a recording studio.
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: Jerry Tubb on January 27, 2011, 12:26:26 pm
TurtleTone wrote on Thu, 27 January 2011 09:12

from the looks of it, she's put her heart and soul into this new studio. It's refreshing to see this kind of investment in a recording studio.


Yes, thank goodness someone has the cojones to do something bold, for the love of music and audio engineering,

...instead of succumbing to the mindset of fear, panic & crisis.

Godspeed to Ms. Mincieli !

JT
Title: Re: EMI Puts 'For Sale' Sign On Abbey Road
Post by: masterhse on February 01, 2011, 12:27:49 pm
EMI with an unlimited supply ...

http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/record-labels/citigr oup-takes-over-emi-1005017112.story