Director, Business Development

Merlin New York, NY

About the job

The Company

Merlin provides independents the means to own their future. Merlin is a member led, music focused organization providing digital music licensing for the leading independents across the globe. Members benefit from Merlin’s premium deals, but work directly with key digital partners. Our membership consists of independent labels, distributors, and other rights-holders, representing tens of thousands of labels and hundreds of thousands of artists from every country in the world. Merlin works collaboratively with our digital partners, delivers value back to those digital partners, and seeks to drive other incremental benefits to our members.

Merlin’s approach has enabled our membership to grow to represent 15% of the global market share. Merlin’s membership includes independents such as Amuse, Armada Music, AVL Group (including CD Baby, DashGo and FUGA), AWAL, Beggars Group, Cinq Music Group, Dim Mak, DistroKid, Domino, Entertainment One, Epitaph Records, Foundation Media, Kontor New Media, Mad Decent, Monstercat, Mushroom Music, Ninja Tune, [PIAS], Pony Canyon, Secret City, Secretly, Symphonic Distribution, Sub Pop, Ultra Records, Vydia, and hundreds more.

Merlin now has deals with over 30 digital services, including Alibaba, AWA, Boomplay, Deezer, Facebook/Instagram, JioSaavn, KKBox, NetEase, Pandora, Snap, SoundCloud, Spotify, Tencent, TikTok, Triller, Yandex, and YouTube Music, and is in conversations with dozens more.

Merlin has offices in New York, London, and Tokyo.

The Opportunity

The Director of Business Development is a newly created role for an experienced and enthusiastic digital music executive with a strategic view of the marketplace. The hire will lead, collaborate, and support in deal negotiations, deal structuring and partner vetting, and will manage ongoing conversations with existing digital partners throughout the world. The Director of Business Development will work closely with our collaborative global team in a fast paced, energetic, and fun atmosphere.

Position Status, Location, and Reporting

This is a full time role based in New York and reports to the COO.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Proven track record of negotiating complex deals in a fast-paced environment with digital music services in streaming, UGC, social music, and new and emerging tech
  • Support the deal team in global and regional deal negotiations with financial analysis and strategic input
  • Ongoing deal and relationship management, including gaining insights into our digital partners and their plans, and advocating to those partners about the needs and position of Merlin and our member companies
  • Coordinate with Merlin’s Member Operations (i.e., commercial partnerships) and Analytics teams in managing account performance, development, and revenue growth
  • Act as a central resource for strategic insights, deal support, and expertise as required
  • Evaluate and prioritize new business partners and opportunities
  • Regular assessment and tracking of Merlin’s digital partners, market trends, and new and existing business models 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

The successful candidate will be a detail-oriented proven self-starter with a demonstrated ability to successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously and to communicate confidently with digital partners, record labels, distributors, and colleagues. 

Minimum Qualifications

  • Passion for music, technology, and supporting independents
  • 4-6 years experience working at a digital music/media organization in a business development, legal, or commercial role
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, with the ability to concisely advise senior management
  • Strategic mindset that can operate in different modalities of thinking and the ability to switch seamlessly between a multiplicity of tasks
  • Strong interpersonal and empathy skills, including the ability to work with clients of all personalities, interface collaboratively across functional areas of the business, and build positive working relationships based on collaboration
  • Detail oriented, process-oriented, high integrity, and well organized
  • Strong analytical skills, using data, insights and market realities to inform your recommendations
  • Comfortable prioritizing multiple issues
  • Ability to work under pressure


A competitive salary, incentive and benefits package will be offered, commensurate with the role and the relevant experience of the final hire.

Equal Opportunity and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Merlin is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, age, or any other status protected by law. Further, the company strives to create a diverse, welcoming, equitable and inclusive environment for all applicants, employees, member companies and partners.

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