[NetBehaviour] No Suit Required.

marc marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Wed Sep 6 22:49:10 CEST 2006

No Suit Required.

Terry McBride has a maverick approach to music management:
Take care of the fans and the bands, and the business will take care of 

By Jeff Howe.

Terry McBride has an idea. Another idea. A good – no, a great idea. 
McBride, CEO of Nettwerk Music Group, is sitting in his Vancouver, 
British Columbia, office with his local marketing staff discussing 
strategy for the release of a new album by Barenaked Ladies. The 
marketing departments in three other cities are conferenced in. The 
conversation ping-pongs from Nascar promotions to placement in a Sims 
videogame. McBride is on a roll.

"This one's a real wingdinger," he says, leaning into the speakerphone 
so New York, Denver, and Los Angeles won't miss a word. "Let's give away 
the ProTools files on MySpace. Vocals, guitars, drums, and bass. We'll 
let the fans make their own mixes." The room falls quiet. Musicians 
usually record their instruments and vocals on separate tracks; the 
producer and mixer combine those tracks into a finished product. McBride 
wants to make the individual files available so that amateur DJs can use 
them like Lego bricks to create something all their own. The record 
industry likes control. McBride is proposing unfettered chaos.

A voice from LA breaks the silence: "For the single, you mean, right?" 
McBride's features screw up in concentration, then quickly expand into a 
grin. "What I'm proposing," he says, "is that we make all 29 songs 
available as ProTools files. In two weeks." The Internet marketers in 
Vancouver look worried. "But," he adds, "we'll get the files from the 
single up on MySpace by Monday." Libby White, a member of the 
department, shoots McBride a skeptical look. Can they make it? McBride 
asks. White sighs. "We'll make it," she says.


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