Exclusive — Christina Goldschmidt: Warner Music Group's new VP Product Design

Membership

Go behind the scenes with Christina Goldschmidt

In this inaugural feature, we go behind the scenes of Christina Goldschmidt's new role. Tune in for an insightful feature that will explore music innovation, strategies, hiring, and perspectives on design leadership.

In the realm of music and entertainment, the technological tapestry is ever-changing, marked by a massive flow of data, changing consumer behaviors, and unpredictable cultural trends. As this tapestry unravels and re-weaves itself in the age of streaming, few people are as poised to thread its many elements together as Christina Goldschmidt, the newly appointed Vice President of Product Design at Warner Music Group (WMG) who was previously VP Product Design at Etsy, and officially joined the Design Executive Council (DXC) as a Founding Member in August 2023.

"Design isn't just about aesthetics; it's a strategic lever for transforming how we leverage data, serve artists, and ultimately connect fans to the music they love."
- Christina Goldschmidt
VP Product Design, Warner Music Group

A Song of Different Genres: Background and Industry Experience

Christina, a founding member of the Design Executive Council, brings to WMG a diverse professional history and an MBA from NYU Stern. She represents a new breed of design executives who wield integrated design and business competencies. Having worked in industries ranging from financial services and InsureTech to advertising technology, she also carries a nuanced understanding of data-driven strategies. This experience melds well with her roots in the entertainment sector. Her early career stints at Discovery Channel and a D.C.-based independent music label signal a kind of homecoming with her new role.

Hitting the High Notes: The Intersection of Streaming, Data, and Innovation

Streaming now accounts for a staggering 70% of WMG's total income, having outpaced industry giants like Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment with a 22% growth in streaming revenue. Christina points out that this growth is powered by real-time, rich data flooding in from platforms like Spotify and Apple Music. With her background in data-centric industries, she is uniquely positioned to harness this influx of information to inform business strategies and artistic decisions.

Leading the Orchestra: Design Leadership and Strategic Vision

In her new role, Christina aims to restructure WMG’s product design team to move beyond cost-saving measures and focus on true impact. That includes honing the right collaborative methodologies to drive innovation and folding in robust research approaches. This vision hinges on flexibility, hands-on engagement, and cross-functional collaboration, virtues she attributes to effective design leadership at this stage of the company’s evolution.

CHRISTINA-7038a.jpg
CHRISTINA-6837a.jpg
CHRISTINA-7011a.jpeg
CHRISTINA-6846a.jpg

The Score Sheet: High-Level Goals and Cultural Insights

When it comes to immediate objectives, hiring stands as a crucial aspect. Christina is considering adding both generalists and specialists to her team, with expertise in user experience, data solutioning, and visual design. This approach is underpinned by her broader belief that a well-rounded team is essential for producing great products.

As an advocate for mental health, Christina also emphasizes the role of emotional well-being in professional settings, a philosophy she carries into her leadership style. Her insights into nurturing cross-functional relationships and establishing initial wins to build lasting reputations offer an intriguing blend of emotional intelligence and strategic thinking.

The Cultural Impact: A Universal Language of Music and Design

Beyond numbers and analytics, there lies the question of culture — both within WMG and the broader landscape of music and entertainment. Christina’s design philosophy doesn’t merely aim at operational excellence or market competitiveness; it seeks to amplify the resonance between artists and fans, creating a cohesive musical experience that transcends geographical and digital boundaries.

As WMG embarks on this new chapter, the composition of its future is being written in the keys of data, design, and undeniable passion. With Christina Goldschmidt holding the baton, the symphony is bound to be a masterpiece.

We wish Christina Goldschmidt all the best at WMG!

About

Christina Goldschmidt

Christina Goldschmidt is an award-winning design leader who is known for transforming product design teams to work at enterprise scale. She has a proven track record of fostering cultures that drive both business and social impact by unlocking the power of data. Before joining Warner Music Group as their VP of Product Design, Christina spent 25 years gaining cross-functional experience driving digital innovation including at Fortune 500 companies like Etsy, Accenture, Morgan Stanley, American Express, Omnicom Media Group, The Discovery Channel and others. With a foundation in anthropology, human and customer behavior is her key to helping designers unlock and empower themselves and their careers.

She is also an advocate for mental health and works to help managers lead from a place of authenticity.Christina received her MBA from NYU Stern and a B.S. in design from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is passionate about education and is a leading instructor and guest lecturer at NYU Stern and General Assembly, to name a few. She has also been featured at numerous conferences and publications. Outside of work she loves to focus on craft, be it in millinery, ikebana, cooking or the perfect cocktail.