For years, the UK’s major recorded music labels have called Kensington, West London their home. Now, they’re moving north – right next door to some of the biggest tech companies on earth.
Sony Music UK looks set to ink an agreement to relocate from its current base in Derry Street, W8, to N1 over the coming three years.
A report in Property Week, confirmed by MBW sources, suggests that Sony is closing in on 124,000 square feet of space in King’s Cross at 4 Handyside Street. We’re told that the most senior figures at the major music company have now approved the relocation, and that the move is expected to happen in 2021.
Sony’s potential new London HQ will be located next to Facebook’s new headquarters (also due to open in 2021), while it will be a stone’s throw from Google’s brand new ‘landscraper’ office in King’s Cross – an 870,000 sq ft complex featuring a ‘skyscraper turned on its side’, which will cost £1bn to erect and is also due to open in the next few years.
Google’s existing UK headquarters is already located in King’s Cross, alongside the likes of PRS For Music, Vevo, Havas and the UK operation of Universal Music Group.
UMG’s recorded music and publishing companies made the switch to Pancras Square, King’s Cross last year.
The decision on whether recorded music would keep a foothold in West London or not was always in the hands of the next major label to move to the burgeoning creative arts/tech hub that is King’s Cross – and Sony Music has now thrown down the gauntlet. (Some will ask: could Warner follow suit?)
According to recently published market share data, Universal and Sony jointly claimed 58% of all AES (Album Equivalent Sales) consumption in the UK in 2018. Both companies will soon be rubbing shoulders with tech leaders in King’s Cross.
A source told MBW: “The new Sony office will be right in the artistic hub of King’s Cross, alongside Central St Martins and Coal Drops Yard, which was designed by Thomas Heatherwick. Sony Music, Google HQ and Facebook will be completed and fully operational simultaneously – it will be an exciting time to be getting there when all the work is finished and it’s no longer a building site.”
Sony Music UK recently upgraded its current space in Kensington – in full knowledge, it seems, that the company would be moving towards central London over the next few years.Music Business Worldwide