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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Abbey Road Studios Not For Sale After All

According to a BBC report, EMI Records emphatically stated that the famed Abbey Road Studios are not for sale after all, although EMI is looking for investors in the property. It's easy to believe that the major uproar over the studio's potential sale had something to do with taking the property off the market, since the last thing EMI needs right now is any negative publicity or further confirmation of their weak financial status.

Even if a sale would've occurred, there appeared to be some buyers in the form of uber-composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and former Beatle Paul McCartney, as well as interest from the National Trust (the UK agency tasked with preserving historical sites). In fact, there seems to be ongoing plans to list the Abbey Road as a historical site, which will no doubt be accelerated due to the recent publicity.

According to the story, EMI had an offer for the property last year for approximately $46 million, which the company turned down. If it wouldn't take that offer, which sounds generous, it's hard to believe that it would find a better one now.

While it's true that studios like Abbey Road are dinosaurs in these days of extremely powerful and inexpensive personal recording setups, there will always be a place for a large studio capable of recording an orchestra since not many are left anywhere in the world. In fact, any kind of commercial studio with proper acoustics and a high quality signal path is getting harder and harder to find, which means that the ones left are still pretty busy since there are enough budgets to afford them (but barely so, it's still a struggle).

There will always be high-end projects and clients and they'll demand a studio like Abbey Road. It's unknown whether they'll be enough of them to keep the doors open, but at least it's good to know that the studio will probably have alternatives to stay alive if ever EMI should choose to liquidate it (which is still likely at some point).

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