Office overheads are not the most glamorous part of the music business, but in an industry of large multinationals with glitzy offices in capital cities, the money paid in rent and property upkeep is enormous.
Of the many disruptions caused by Coronavirus, one of the most visible has been the closure of big office spaces – and the lack of disruption that has generally caused. So when international office-based businesses in other industries start scaling back their office rental commitments, accountants in the music business will take note.
Pinterest has cancelled a nearly half-million square-foot office lease in San Fransisco at a cost of $89.5 million – a penalty that doesn’t seem as huge when you consider that they’d have paid “at least $440 million” in rent over the course of the lease. They’re not the only tech companies to radically change their office policies: Twitter and Slack now say that staff can work “from anywhere.”
In an industry that enjoys delivering a little “client theatre” in the form of an impressive office space, many big players in the music industry may want to retain a city-centre presence. But do they need big open-plan rooms if operations can continue with most staff working from home for much of the time?
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