Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

September 28, 2006

Terry McBride: Crazy Music Marketer or Just Plain Crazy?

Want to read something that will give you faith that the music business may be slowly turning in the right direction? Then head over to Wired magazine and read this article on Terry McBride and his Nettwerk management company.

The article's subhead says it all: "Terry McBride has a maverick approach to music management: Take care of the fans and the bands, and the business will take care of itself."

Here's an excerpt:

To all appearances, Nettwerk is just a midsize music management company with an indie record label on the side. Many of the artists on its client roster -- which includes Avril Lavigne, Dido, Sarah McLachlan, and Stereophonics -- are mainstream acts. But McBride, the company's cofounder and creative force, is quietly carrying out a plan to reinvent the music industry, including legalizing file-sharing and giving artists control over their own intellectual property.

The article then points out the many flaws of the traditional record business. (If you're not aware of these flaws, you REALLY need to read this.) It continues ...

Industry insiders like McBride think the old model is as antiquated as the 8-track. "The future of the business isn't selling records," McBride says. "It's in selling music, in every form imaginable."

McBride's first real test is the new release from Barenaked Ladies, the popular Canadian band that, on McBride's advice, left the Warner Music Group imprint Reprise Records three years ago to create its own label, Desperation Records.

BNL's new album, Barenaked Ladies Are Me, debuted this week at #17 in the U.S. and #7 in Canada. In a news release, McBride had this to say:

"Nettwerk and BNL are trying to get people to see beyond the physical number. Generating revenue, especially in the artist-run model, is about selling music in various mediums, selling concert tickets, licensing music to TV, ring tones, packed USB drives, etc. That is how success is measured, not by the physical album sales.

"The artist-run model is the future. If we can break bands using this model, the industry will be forever changed," McBride says. "We are making a music company, not a record label."

Again, read the entire Wired story here:

And the Barenaked Ladies news release at


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posted by Bob Baker @ 12:26 PM   2 comments


At Sep 29, 2006, 9:40:00 AM, Blogger Jay said...

Had the opportunity to hear Terry McBride speak twice this year. Once was as Canadian Music Week, where he talked about eventually converting all his record company clients into management-only clients, with a big part of the idea being what he is talking about in the Wired article - the idea of supporting artists in ALL activities and being able to share in all revenue streams, which is what a manager does. Traditional labels don't give a damn if you sell tshirts or action figures or website memberships, but managers do.

Also saw him moderate a huge "town hall" meeting (I think there were something like 25 participants) at NXNE earlier this year that McBride lead. The started with the premise that, for everything everyone would talk about, it was NOT 2006, it was 2010. One of the things he talked about was the idea that anybody with creativity could shoot an entertaining video with one cheap camera, and release it online to massive success. Mmmm, we seen anyone do that lately?

I think Terry McBride is THE visionary of the music industry today. Everyone in the business should listen to what he has to say.

Oh and naturally of course, he's Canadian! ;-)

At Oct 13, 2006, 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Doug Alcock said...

He's taking the management level to the message that Bob and other's have been preaching. Forget the big record deal --- look at all the revenue streams available and milk them yourself. Can you sell CD's at gig's? Of course you can --- what about T-shirts? What about stickers? Are you adding names to your email list at every gig? Are you personally connecting with everyone who hears your music? Would your fans buy or download something as prosaic as a bookmark? (See http:\\ ) Would they buy/download something that you wrote that wasn't an MP3 --- or an image you created???
Leverage your fan base while trying to build it --- maybe that cool drawing you put up makes another fan for your music -- and maybe it gives you another 'monetisable' outlet for the creativity that keeps you on the indie music road.


PS and if you check out my website -- there's no need to remind me how much work I have to do


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