Recognized as a digital music and entertainment thought leader, Deborah Newman founded MusicStrat in 2008 to combine her 20+ years of senior level experience in the music, television, home video and online/digital businesses with her interest in copyright and digital media. MusicStrat advises entertainment and technology companies on music content acquisition & licensing, digital distribution, strategic marketing and partner relations. Among her recent clients are turntable.fm, the social music start-up that lets you play and listen to music with friends, and Hear Lyrics, LLC, an innovative service combining social media discovery with songwriter lyrics and music.
Newman started her career at CBS Records in the 1970s, spearheading the company’s activities in television and music video. In 1984 she became VP Programming & Sales for Sony Music Video Enterprises (SMV), a new division charged with producing and distributing longform programming to the worldwide television and home video marketplace. Her work with artists such as Billy Joel, James Taylor, Public Enemy, Wynton Marsalis and others has garnered numerous accolades, including a George Foster Peabody Award and two CableAce Awards.
Newman was an early pioneer in e-commerce and digital distribution of music. As a senior marketing executive for several early online music companies — N2K’s online retailer Music Boulevard and digital subscription services FullAudio and Pressplay — her expertise in branding, advertising and strategic marketing helped create a new consumer framework for the music business.
From 2002-2005 Ms. Newman attended New York Law School, where she focused her studies on intellectual property, First Amendment and media/entertainment law. She is a member of the New York State Bar (admitted 2008), the American Bar Association (ABA), the Copyright Society of the USA, the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers (IAEL), The American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) and Women in Digital Media.
Following law school, Newman served as VP Industry Relations & Licensing for Muze, a provider of digital entertainment content and services to online and mobile distributors of music. She also served as business affairs consultant for Catalyst Mobile, a San Francisco mobile entertainment company that developed a cross-platform music discovery and download service called SoLaTi for deployment in China.
A former classical pianist, Newman holds a B.A. in Music from Brandeis University, where she was also Music Director of WBRS-FM, an influential college radio station in the 70s.