Music | Technology
Products | Business
US | International
Rights | Data
Partners | Deals
CrossBorderWorks is the Los Angeles based consultancy and advisory firm of Vickie Nauman, who manages a portfolio of forward-thinking digital media and technology companies.
Statement from the Founder
I built this respected consultancy on a simple philosophy:
I draw upon my direct experience developing partnerships, creating & licensing music models, and building music products to help companies find a clear lane, solid strategy and great partners
I share my unique knowledge base of industry players, market dynamics and an insider's view of the landscape
I leverage a worldwide network in music and tech, and only work with companies I personally believe in
I have a team of equally skilled and experienced specialists
Working with experienced pros in music will help save you time, money and headaches.
CrossBorderWorks can spin up initiatives, license music, act as project or company advisor, guide strategy, and yes, fix problems. Core interests are innovative uses of music, new tech, and creating new business models.
Advisory Work as Subject Matter Expert:
Nauman acts as strategic advisor on new music initiatives, M&A, and as a startup mentor to address blind spots and guide long term success
Nauman creates models and licenses music in the US and internationally, offers best practices advice around rights and data management, expands partnerships, and helps select API, platforms, and music infrastructure service providers
Getting a set of music rights is the start, not the finish line. Many companies struggle with the unexpected complexity of building music products -- rights-based functionality limits, music metadata, honing a compelling consumer offer, and time to market.
CrossBorderWorks has a dedicated practice around helping implement music rights and launch successful music products with a one-stop team of experts and five disciplines:
Unique Music Model - five step process for creating a unique, licensable music business model with Vickie Nauman
Music and Audio Specialists - music curation, audio production, podcast strategy and creation with award-winning, diverse team of Amanda Wilde (KUOW, KEXP, curator), Will Boston (songwriter, publisher, curator) and Mikel Ellcessor (WNYC, Radiolab, podcast producer)
Legal - highly regarded outside counsel specializing in music with Tom Frederikse (Partner, Clintons), Monika Tashman (Partner, Manatt), Jeff Liebenson (Principal Liebenson Law), Elizabeth Moody (Partner, Granderson Des Rochers)
Client portfolio is constantly evolving and in addition to those listed here, various finance and PE firms navigating the music industry as well as early stage startups are advisory clients. Most current list on LinkedIn. Proud that I've had two recent startups exit with custom music models, deals, and catalog.
Active relationships with digital business and sync departments at Universal, Warner, Sony, SonyATV, UMPG, Warner Chappell, Merlin, Beggars, and many more labels, publishers, PROs, and distributors, as well as emerging sync platforms and rights administration services.
My Digital Music Journey in the Trenches
When I tried the first Napster in 1999 on my 14.4 modem, I knew that the world of entertainment had just changed forever. It also kicked off what has become a 20+ year digital odyssey to understand and help shape this multi-dimensional digital puzzle and evolving global landscape.
This journey started when I joined the product team at one of the first legal music services called MusicNet, a JV between RealNetworks and major labels; then built KEXP’s Webby winning DMCA-compliant service; did music business in China and an MBA at the London School of Economics; worked on the product team at wireless home audio pioneer Sonos; and then started up and led the US business for UK B2B platform 7digital, in which I worked with hundreds of startups and corporations, and licensed every conceivable model.
Since 2014 I have been running CrossBorderWorks, sharing knowledge and experience with my clients.
I've seen every digital music mistake imaginable, and I help you avoid them. I know where the landmines are buried in the sand and help steer you away from them. I understand how deals, financial models and rights function, and help simplify this for you.
Technology is rapidly evolving with capabilities we could only dream of a few years ago, and music enhances all of it. The 2020 pandemic accelerated adoption and we are now in a golden era of innovation with music in games, live streaming, fitness, and niche music apps. These all require equally creative business models and approaches.
Music was the canary in the digital coal mine back in 1999, and that bird is now free and thriving. It's time for bold, new ideas.
Founder & CEO
The global music industry has a dynamic of all parts moving at the same time, which makes it very difficult to keep pace.
Nauman frequently speaks and debates on panels about rights, data, transparency and digital music trends, as well as gives talks at universities and events.
These discussions serve not only as a way of fostering public dialogue about hot topics and ongoing challenges, but also as a means of educating the next generation.
A few highlights:
SXSW Austin TX (2005-21) - innovation, connected devices, blockchain, rights tech, wearables, next gen UX, music culture, music in China, HQ audio
Music Finance Forum (2019-20) - trends, buying/selling catalogs
Who Knew Nashville (2018) and Smartest People in the Room (2020-21)
Midem Cannes France (2016, 2020) - trends in music/tech, startups
NY:LON/Music Ally NYC/London (2017-21) - investment, models, platforms
Music Tectonics (2019-21) - value of music, rights
US Patent Office Summit DC (2018-19) - rights, data, copyright law
US Copyright Office Roundtables LA/DC (2014, 2021) - MMA/MLC
MusicBiz Nashville (2012-2020) - rights, licensing, new models
Rights Tech/Digital Ent. Week (2016-21) - blockchain, metadata, sync licensing
Ad:Tech Summit Tel Aviv (2014) - music trends
CES Las Vegas (2012,14) - HQ audio, connected devices
Eurosonic Netherlands (2014) - artist royalties
Speaking in Nashville at Who Knew
credit: Jeff Fasano Photography
IN THE PRESS
Nauman is a frequent source for providing entertainment reporters with context and quotes around industry movements, trends, and changes in the landscape.
A few selected features:
Music Tech Fest podcast (2020) Music Software Law Product
Buying and selling of catalogs for Variety (2021) Ins and Outs of Music Catalog Sales
Vickie Nauman interviewed by Dick Huey for Smartest People in the Room (2020)
Music metadata (2019) in The Verge Metadata is the Biggest Little Problem Plaguing the Music Industry
KillRockStars podcast 'The Future of What?' (2018) Unpacking Music's Black Box
Guest on Gigi Johnson of UCLA Music Innovation podcast (2018) Music 3.0 The Artist Led Revolution
Quoted in New York Times (2018) Death of XXXTentacion
Complete Music Update (2017) Cost of Entry for Music Startups
Bloomberg Tech Business live TV (2016) Artist Exclusives
Quoted in Bloomberg (2016) Prince's Push for Control Set an Example for Today's Artists
Marketplace Interview (2016) about Soundcloud Go Offering
Quoted in Billboard (June 2014) The 5 Biggest Headaches in the Apple-Beats Deal
Comments in Inc. (2014) - How Neil Young Won Kickstarter
Vickie Nauman Opinion Writing
Co-Existing Ecosystems and Music 3.0 (2018) - our emerging industry appears to be artist led
Sustainability in Music (2017) - melding the old and the new to create a more modern industry
Reimagining the Music Business (2016) - a case for moving beyond data silos, flawed norms, and music/tech gaps