Nettwerk Loses Another One: Sarah McLachlan

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This is not exactly the validation that Terry McBride was looking for.

But longtime Nettwerk artist Sarah McLachlan is now leaving, the latest in a string of defectors that includes Avril Lavigne, Sum41, and Dido.   “Sarah and Nettwerk have had an amazing 23 years with over 30 million in sales and we wish her much more success,” McBride told the Canadian newspaper Globe & Mail.

Separately, McBride indicated that Nettwerk would manage McLachlan during her transition, and remain her recording label.  Sounds amicable enough, but why is everyone jumping ship?  McBride is a frequent speaker at music industry events – most recently Midem – and considered a forward-thinking digital thinker.  That includes lots of ideas about fan “tribes,” digital engagement, and the future of content access.

Yet somehow, none of this seems to be translating into actual gains for big-name artists.  Up until her departure, McBride often used Avril Lavigne as an example for various digital strategies, yet Lavigne ultimately walked into the arms of Irving Azoff.