Terry McBride isn’t someone who shies away from change, whether it’s in popular music, technology or practicing yoga. As one of Vancouver’s most prominent entrepreneurs, Terry’s journey from apartment-sized record label to raising $10.25 million in equity financing for Nettwerk in 2013 is a source of pride for the BC business community. Through his international umbrella company Nettwerk Music Group, he has worked with music artists like Coldplay, Avril Lavigne, Dido and Sarah McLachlan, and in recent years, has grown YYoga to become Canada’s largest corporate-owned yoga company.
Terry is the recipient of multiple accolades, such as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Juno Awards’ Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award and has received the Pollstar Industry Award twice for his work with celebrated artists. But success is about more than just recognition – and the entrepreneur makes sure to keep it in perspective with a “world wide view” that’s distinguished his businesses for the last 30 years.
Follow Your Heart (and Your Ears)
When asked to give advice for new entrepreneurs, Terry simply states, “Always follow your intuition [and] don’t allow logic to get in the way.” With that level of confidence, it’s no surprise that he believes in following your heart and taking risks.
Choosing to represent artists that pushed the boundaries, his instincts paid off. Groundbreaking bands like Skinny Puppy, undiscovered artists like Sarah McLachlan and the rejected work of Coldplay were all eagerly supported by Nettwerk, making huge strides for popular music and the label.
And even though Terry could have easily stayed entirely in the music industry for the rest of his career, he instead decided to pursue his passion for yoga, starting YYoga in 2007. The Canadian yoga and wellness company now operates with over 13 centres across BC and Ontario, offering over 900 classes.
“Success is Not a Straight Line.” – Terry McBride, CEO, Nettwerk Music Group and CEO, YYoga
But before achieving all this success, Terry had to learn some valuable lessons. When Terry’s first record label, Noetix, didn’t succeed, he didn’t give up. He stayed true to his vision and started Nettwerk with his partners, even though the label only had the rights to print for a single band. The first five years were not very glamorous. Terry and his partner’s operated from his apartment until they could afford a dedicated space, and they each had to work multiple jobs just to finance their business. But while their growth wasn’t always linear, Nettwerk kept pushing and quickly grew to become one of the largest and most influential independent labels in the industry.
Be a Technology Pioneer
In the early 2000s, the music industry was in trouble. Digital formatting was creating havoc for traditional music formats and pirating MP3s was becoming a common practice. But instead of stubbornly remaining in the past, Nettwerk was one of the first to embrace new digital formats. The business became one of the first to sell MP3s free of digital rights management and supported consumers against the Recording Industry Association of America.
Terry pushes the importance of experimenting with new ideas in the constantly changing habits of millennial consumption, and encourages other businesses to do the same.
The Nettwerk and YYoga CEO always makes sure he is aware of what’s new in the industry. Terry co-authored “Meet the Millennials,” a white paper for Musictank, a not-for-profit music industry network associated with the University of Westminster in the UK. In it, he looked at the millennial demographic and provided an expert analysis of fan influence on music consumption and the evolving music industry.
It’s Terry’s recognition of the industry’s artists and fans that has helped Nettwerk stay innovative. Terry has pushed the idea of a “collapsed copyright” for nearly a decade, a concept where artists are allowed to release their work under their own label. This allows them to own their intellectual property, while gaining the marketing and promotion help through Terry’s label.
Over the years, Nettwerk has successfully launched the careers of massive artists, who in-turn have used their power to make significant changes. By supporting these community-minded individuals who use their fame for good, Terry’s music label has improved the lives of thousands of other people.
Leadership and Growth Strategies for Driving Bottom-Line Results
- Growing a lean start-up to an industry leader
- The importance of values and culture
- Techniques for lead your team and allow them to grow
- Working with purpose: looking beyond the money