Editorial
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“New York’s most storied recording studios have been vanishing, victims of more accessible digital recording techniques and escalating real estate prices,” noted a September 5, 2017 feature in The New York Times.

This trend is, of course, not limited to the Big Apple – nor is it “new news.” The move away from the pros and towards the home has been ramping up for decades, throughout the U.S.

Back in October of 2009, the Los Angeles Times observed that, “Inexpensive software is shifting music-recording to the home. Industry experts estimate that up to half of the commercial studios in the L.A. area have closed or been sold to artists for private use.” Closer to home (for me), all three of the Boston-area recording studios that I once worked or interned at have shuttered their doors and, of the five studios I’ve recorded/performed at, all have either gone out of business, downsized, or moved out of the metro area.

This is, clearly, an uncomfortable trend for anyone who had been banking on any type of fiscal stability associated with working at or owning a large-scale commercial recording studio. It’s also, however, pretty good news for many MI retailers.

While the gigantor studios of yore could be counted upon to make some very sizable, big-ticket purchases – not only when first getting off the ground, but whenever technology and tastes evolved – even the biggest markets only fielded a handful of such operations. That meant that, while an area music store might expect to make the occasional “big sale,” it wasn’t a consistent revenue generator.

With the market for computer-related music equipment, software, and other essentials continuing to expand as more and more folks eschew heading to a professional studio in favor of compiling a usable recording space in their garages, basements, or bedrooms, the opportunity for MI dealers to tap into that market segment grows, as well.

In this month’s issue of MMR we examine two product areas which many home studio fanatics consider “must haves”: reference monitors and keyboard workstations. This is gear that runs an expansive gamut in terms of pricepoint and functionality, meaning that not only can you likely target any consumer interested in getting his or her foot in the “home recording door,” regardless of income or ability level, but you’re also looking at a lot of potential repeat and step-up business. Never a bad thing.

While some (fine – many) tech-driven trends pose undeniable threats to the venerable brick- and-mortar MI commerce model, here’s one area where we can embrace how innovation is ushering “the old ways” out in favor of a new approach. Yes, you still have to contend with Internet competition and big box stores for these potential sales, but it’s nonetheless a vibrant, growing segment of the market and one that might represent whole new avenues of profit for your business.



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