This chapter is concerned with three key elements of a ‘digital disruption’ effecting the contemporary recording studio sector: (1) falling recording budgets from a wider economic crisis in the musical economy; (2) home recording technologies; and (3) audio quality. These developments have challenged the future viability of recording studios as formal, professional spaces of recording. The chapter examines diversification as a strategy being adopted by recording studios to remain economically viable businesses in the face of these challenges. Set in the context of the rise of ‘dual-market’ audio facilities, the chapter provides a case study of the service diversification of the world-renowned Abbey Road Studios in London. Then, considering the potential for diversification across the sector more widely, the chapter identifies medium-sized professional studios as the potential losers in an industry in which large ‘audio service centres’ gain the lion’s share of heavily reduced corporate recording budgets, and small home and project studios offer audio services at rates that larger studios simply cannot afford.
Michael Hoyler, Christof Parnreiter and Allan Watson
Beginning from a concern with how relational perspectives being developed within economic geography might contribute in important ways to relational understandings of global cities and the world city network, in this introductory chapter we outline a renewed critical agenda for global cities research that attends to issues of agency and practice in the making of global cities. We see the future development of this agenda as having four crucial elements: first, a need to incorporate perspectives on agency and practice from relational economic geography into global cities research; second, a need to specify the practices underlying global city making; third, a need to recognize the diversity of actors involved in global city making; and, finally, a need to account for the role of actors and practices not only in the making but also in the un-making of global cities.