Advisory and Consulting Services to Help Navigate the Complex Global Digital Music Landscape
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 creating & licensing music models
I am product focused, so I help companies license, build, and launch
I share my unique knowledge base of the music ecosystem, industry players and market dynamics
I leverage a worldwide network in music and tech but only work with companies I personally believe in
And I want to actively help shape the future of the digital music industry
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, emerging tech, and creating new business models. It is an exciting time for music with no end in sight for music opportunities in Web3.
Music Rights & Licensing: New technologies and products require viable models, a licensing framework married to functionality, and deal execution. CrossBorderWorks starts with your vision and goals, and develops the following:
ARC - Artist-Centric Models - Artists, labels, platforms want to make a specific artist catalog available digitally, which requires master, publishing and name/likeness. Must-have for Web3 and emerging artist-led initiatives.
Music in Games/Video Models - One-off sync or bulk sync with rights that are inclusive of master and publishing.
Full Catalog Models - Blanket, broad catalog deals either directly licensed or via statutory licenses.
Relationships - Music is a relationship-driven industry with both licensors and service providers, often needing partner translation.
International Expansion - Expanding US rights abroad, or entering the US, each territory has its own challenges.
Rights Tech Stack - Systems and processes to operationalize rights, reporting, messy metadata, and settlement.
Launching Music Products: Getting a set of music rights is the start, not the finish line. Many companies struggle with the unexpected complexity of building music products so CrossBorderWorks offers experienced guidance, and experts are on hand:
Music and Audio Specialists - Do you know what music do you want? Help is available on music curation, audio production, and podcasting with Amanda Wilde (KUOW, KEXP, curator), Will Boston (songwriter, publisher, curator) and Mikel Ellcessor (WNYC, Radiolab, podcasting)
Legal: All music licensing requires experienced legal counsel. CrossBorderWorks works efficiently with your counsel, or can bring trusted, highly regarded, specialized outside counsel to you with Tom Frederikse (Partner, Clintons), Monika Tashman (Partner, Manatt), Jeff Liebenson (Principal Liebenson Law), Elizabeth Moody (Partner, Granderson Des Rochers)
Nauman photo credit: Aaron Jay Young Photography
Advisory Work as Subject Matter Expert:
Nauman acts as strategic advisor on new music initiatives for large organizations, does M&A work providing insights and closing blind spots, helps expand a product or service strategically, and serves as startup advisor to guide long term success.
Client portfolio is constantly evolving and in addition to those listed below, Nauman works with all music-adjacent industries who need help navigating the music industry as well as early stage startups. Most current list on LinkedIn. Several startups have successfully exited with CrossBorderWorks-led custom music models, deals, and music integrations.
Active relationships with digital business and sync departments at Universal, Warner, Sony, Sony Publishing, 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 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, along with the metaverse and decentralization, all require equally creative business models and strategy.
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 and another reinvention with Web3.
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, emerging tech, transparency and digital music trends, as well as gives talks at universities and events.
These discussions at industry events and with the media 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 (2005-22) - gaming, innovation, connected devices, blockchain, rights tech, wearables, next gen UX, music culture, music in China, HQ audio
Trusted Advisor (2022) Web3
NY:LON/Music Ally NYC/London (2017-22) - metaverse, investment, models, platforms
Music Tectonics (2019-22) - innovation, metaverse, 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 recommendations
MusicBiz Nashville (2012-2022) - innovation, rights, licensing, data, new models
Music Finance Forum (2019-22) - trends, data, buying/selling catalogs
Rights Tech/Digital Ent. Week (2016-22) - blockchain, metadata, finance, sync licensing
Who Knew Nashville (2018) and Smartest People in the Room (2020-21)
Midem Cannes France (2016, 2020) - trends in music/tech, startups
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 MEDIA
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:
Billboard (2022) Growth in Sync Revenue (2022)
Music Ally Licensing Music in the Metaverse (2022)
Music Tech Fest podcast (2020) Music Software Law Product
Music Ally Music in the Metaverse (2022)
ASCAP Music NFTs with Pooh Bear (2022)
Synchtank Age of Songwriter Report - Growth (2022)
Music NFTs for Bloomberg (2021) NFTs Shift Power to Artists
Vickie Nauman/Will Page Fireside Chat (2021) Music Tectonics
Variety Buying/Selling Catalogs (2021) Ins and Outs of Music Catalog Sales
Vickie Nauman interviewed for Smartest People in the Room (2020)
The Verge (2019) Metadata is the Biggest Little Problem Plaguing the Music Industry
KillRockStars podcast 'Future of What?' (2018) Music's Black Box
Complete Music Update (2017) Cost of Entry for Music Startups
Bloomberg Tech Business live TV (2016) Artist Exclusives
Bloomberg (2016) Prince's Push for Control Set an Example for Today
Marketplace Radio (2016) about Soundcloud Go Offering
Billboard (June 2014) The 5 Biggest Headaches in the Apple-Beats Deal
Inc. (2014) - How Neil Young Won Kickstarter
2021California Copyright Society - proud recipient of Apollo Award for extraordinary copyright advocacy
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