BuzzFeed Appoints Head of Licensing

Eric Karp will tap outside partners to develop new products for BuzzFeed brands like Tasty, Goodful, Nifty and Top Knot.

NORTH AMERICA–BuzzFeed has hired Eric Karp to serve as its first head of licensing.

In his new position, Karp will work with a variety of licensees to develop new products around BuzzFeed’s brands including: the master BuzzFeed channel, Tasty, Goodful, Nifty and Top Knot. He will also oversee the company’s existing content licensing partnerships.

Previously, Karp was the general manager of licensing at Crayola. He has also held a number of top licensing positions with companies like Lima Sky, Mind Candy, Massiverse, Chorion, MGM and Saban Brands.

Karp’s appointment also marks a period of growth for BuzzFeed, which recently began licensing its brands, as well as made its Licensing Expo debut, earlier this year. Early deals for the company’s slate of brands are primarily for Tasty, which has secured brand extension deals for cookware and bakeware, as well as a custom cookbook.

However, consumers likely won’t see BuzzFeed’s name on just any product. According to Ben Kaufman, head of BuzzFeed Product Labs, who spoke with License Global in May, the company will take a “thoughtful” approach to licensing in order to better connect with its fans as well as make the license more valuable.

“In the world of licensing, I think BuzzFeed represents a new set of brands that have a truly unique angle with its audience in that we talk to these people every day in a way that isn’t commercial,” says Kaufman. “So when we do licensing deals, we are going to be extremely thoughtful in making sure that they are authentic to these brands and can provide value to our audience, making the licenses themselves that much more valuable.”

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