Deputy Director, Global Distribution & Licensing

The TED Global Distribution & Licensing team develops media partnerships, editorial programs, and educational products that make TED’s content accessible to diverse audiences around the world in collaboration with leading Internet, television, radio, and publishing companies. These partnerships generate 100 million monthly views and listens of TED-branded programming including TED Talks, TED-Ed animations, the TED Radio Hour series, and other content, and contribute new revenue to help resource the organization’s goals as a not-for-profit educational media brand.

We are seeking a Deputy Director to pursue and establish content distribution and licensing collaborations with media companies and platforms around the world that bring ideas worth spreading to new audiences in new contexts. This position will report to the Director of Global Distribution and Licensing and work closely with our team to scale TED’s global reach and generate licensing revenue in support of TED’s mission. 

Our ideal candidate is both a strategic thinker and has a track record of negotiating and closing sophisticated deals. This person must be comfortable with outbound “cold call” prospecting and adept at vetting inbound partnership inquiries. Well-honed negotiation skills and the ability to bring deals across the finish line without compromising TED’s high-standards and values are a must. Strong familiarity with intellectual property licensing; contract language and drafting; and the rapidly evolving media distribution landscape are essential to success in this role.

 Candidates should be able to handle multiple concurrent projects, prioritize effectively, and take on time-sensitive initiatives with diplomacy, grace, and enthusiasm. This person should also possess exceptional communication skills, intellectual curiosity, and cultural sensitivity. The Deputy Director will represent TED and its core mission of ideas worth spreading in conversations with prospective partners, and must be able to effectively navigate cultural and linguistic barriers.

Primary responsibilities:

  • New Distribution and Licensing Partnerships: Negotiate and establish new collaborations with leading media companies and platforms.
  • Evaluate the quality and value proposition of prospective partners; negotiate business terms based on TED’s established licensing models; draft license contracts in collaboration with TED’s GC; conduct smooth hand-offs to team members to facilitate launches and ongoing operations.
  • Utilize targeted prospecting to identify and connect with high-quality media companies and platforms that are aligned with TED’s objectives.
  • Field qualified inbound inquiries to explore and pursue collaboration opportunities.
  • Tap existing professional contacts to source new business opportunities.
  • Partnership Renewals: Oversee and negotiate the annual renewals with existing licensees; help identify opportunities to optimize performance in audience growth and/or revenue generation; draft renewal amendments in collaboration with TED’s GC.
  • Other Licensing: Spearhead other revenue-generating, mission-aligned licensing deals in non-media sectors such as corporate; travel & hospitality (airlines, cruise ships, hotels); education, and so on.
  • Strategy and Market Research: Contribute to developing new distribution and platform strategies for the team; oversee market research by the team to identify prospective partner companies and senior executives in the U.S. and internationally.
  • Special Projects: Undertake special projects as requested.

Required for the Position

  • 5-7+ years of experience in business development at a leading and/or highly innovative media company (e.g., Internet/OTT video company; a film, TV or music company; an online publishing platform; mobile technology platform that supports media distribution, etc.).
  • Well-developed knowledge of intellectual property licensing.
  • A strong, working understanding of online video, online publishing, mobile applications and new media platforms for digital content distribution purposes.
  • Significant experience with contract negotiation and legal terms.
  • Competence in drafting contract language.
  • Significant experience and comfort with “cold call” prospecting.
  • Comfort interacting with senior level executives.
  • Excellent writing and communication skills, with a polite but firm “bedside manner” in external interactions.
  • Impeccable organizational skills, thoroughness, and ability to multi-task in a fluid environment.
  • Experience with marketing, both online and off, and social media. An understanding of online advertising is a plus.
  • Fluency with Google Docs, Excel, and Keynote/Powerpoint.
  • Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent work or educational experience.

Beneficial to the Position

  • Confidence in leading important initiatives, public speaking, presenting to groups, learning quickly, and assuming new responsibilities.
  • Willingness to execute tasks independently, and work well with remote team members.
  • International work experience and foreign language skills a plus.
  • MBA a plus.

A curious mind and passion for learning are essential to this position. Enjoying TED Talks and other TED content helps too! Candidates should find joy in ambitious goals, meaningful responsibilities, teamwork, and humor. We’re serious about our work but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. TED hires nice people – if that’s you, join us!

This is a full time position, based in TED’s Manhattan office. Competitive salary and innovative, generous benefits including a 2-week company-wide break each summer plus PTO.


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