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What The #&@$ Do You Do, Nicole?!

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Nicole?!

With offices and employees spread across the globe, sometimes it takes time to get to know everyone. In our series ‘What The #&@$ Do You Do?!’ (WTFDYD), The Orchard highlights Orchardites from all over the world to learn more about their role at The Orchard and experience working in the music industry.

Hey Nicole, can you tell us about what the #&@$ you do!?

As the Director of Rights Management, I oversee the team that manages our deliveries, conflicts, and claiming at any DMS with a user-generated component – YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, etc. 

The goal of my team is to ensure our clients’ content makes it to the stores and monetizes (or blocks) user uploads containing their content via the platforms’ fingerprinting tools, maximizing our clients’ revenue potential and protecting their rights along the way. My day-to-day varies, but a lot of my role involves troubleshooting issues, working closely with our partners to communicate feedback and roadblocks, sharing platform updates internally, and finding ways to streamline our processes and workflows to provide the best service to our clients. 

How does your role / department fit into The Orchard? 

My team works daily with multiple teams within The Orchard, but most often with the label management team to help out with any issues labels may be facing when it comes to their catalog on the aforementioned platforms. We’re also in touch with Data Analytics, Finance, and Product very often to build out new reports and tools that’ll help us work more efficiently and provide our clients with more transparency into the health of their catalogs on the Rights Management platforms. 

What’s your favorite part of your job? 

As the idea of fingerprinting and user-generated content evolves, I love that it’s an endless learning experience and truly is ever-changing. Whether it’s a new platform we’re onboarding that has just developed fingerprinting, a new policy introduced by a platform, or a label or YouTube channel we’re bringing on board, there’s never a dull moment and always a problem to solve. First and foremost, though, I have a really incredible, hardworking, fun team that I’m so grateful to work with every day!

What’s a campaign/project you are proud to have worked on?

There are so many! One highlight a few years ago was working with the Product team to develop Conflict Manager, our internal tool in Workstation where labels can review and respond to their YouTube conflicts directly, giving them visibility into where their revenue at YouTube may be held up and giving us an edge over other distributors who may not be able to provide this data to their clients. My career at The Orchard began working on resolving YouTube conflicts, so this one definitely holds a special place in my heart. 

How did you first get started in the music industry? 

Music has been a huge part of my life since I was very little. I grew up with my dad playing piano and my brother singing and playing guitar, and very frequently seeing musicals on Broadway, so I’ve always been surrounded by and loved music. I also used to play the flute, and in high school would create and sell merch for my friends’ band, but it wasn’t until college that I realized I could make a career of music without actually being a musician or going on tour. 

I ended up studying Music Industry, which allowed me to intern in a few different areas of the industry, become a College Marketing rep at UMGD, and eventually get a marketing job at a small label out of college. I realized after a few years that the marketing/creative side was not where I wanted to be, and instead I was more interested in the less sexy but incredibly important side of the industry, so I bounced around a bit until I found my home in Rights Management at The Orchard.

What advice do you have for independent artists / those who want to break into the industry? 

This is a big, saturated industry. Find out what sets you apart from the rest and run with it. Surround yourself with people who truly believe in you and your music, and stay true to yourself!

What artist have you been listening to on repeat lately? 

I can’t get enough of [Human Re Sources artist] Jensen McRae! Her lyrics, storytelling, and voice are so powerful and beautiful. I can’t wait to hear more from her! Also, some of my go-tos when I’m not sure what I’m in the mood to listen to are: Manchester Orchestra, Julia Jacklin, Lucy Dacus, Middle Kids, Taylor Swift, and the Hadestown Original Broadway Cast Recording.

What’s your favorite thing about working at The Orchard? 

It’s impossible to choose just one – the people, the culture, our leadership, the commitment to growth and learning, my incredible team! The Orchard is a truly unique, special place to work that attracts the most talented, dedicated, motivated people, and I’m so proud every day to call myself an Orchardite. 

Favorite tradition at The Orchard? 

Another one that’s so hard to choose, but I’d put Halloween Trick or Treating and Global Summit at the top. I’m consistently blown away by everyone’s creativity and talent at this company! Also, who else but an Orchardite can say that their holiday party consists of an epic battle of the bands with an extravagant half-time show hosted by Santa?!

How do you discover new music?

Recommendations from friends and family, Spotify Browse/Made for Me mixes, and The Orchard! Pre-pandemic times I’d often pick a random Orchard show to go to for an artist I had never heard of, and I’ve discovered a few really great artists that way, like Samia and Darlingside, to name a few. 

What’s something you’ve learned outside of work that helps you to be your best self at work? 

What a great question! I’m not sure if this is something I’ve learned outside of work, but it’s something that I think is innate in my personality – the ability to not overreact or let things bother me. Work can get stressful sometimes, but I’m able to stay calm, take a step back, and assess the situation calmly to figure out the best solution. 

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