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Licensing Biz Grows by Nearly $9 Billion

The licensing industry continues to grow, according to Licensing International’s Annual Global Licensing Survey. Revenue increased by 3.2 percent year-over-year to $280.3 billion in 2018, while royalty revenue for brand owners grew to $15 billion, a nearly 4 percent increase.

The entertainment and character sector remains the largest licensing category, accounting for $122.7 billion (43.8 percent), with corporate brands coming in second at $58.8 billion (21 percent). Fashion is the third largest category, accounting for $32.2 billion (11.5 percent), and sports rounds out the top four, reporting $27.8 billion (9.9 percent).

As far as regional growth is concerned, the U.S. and Canada remain the largest market for licensed goods, equating to 58 percent or $162.6 billion (up 3.1 percent).

Where these sales are coming from remains flat year-on-year–79 percent of business is reported to have come from brick-and-mortar in 2018, compared to 21 percent from online sales.

“The 2019 Global Licensing Survey drives home the fact that licensing continues to be a vital part of the consumer marketplace, and a versatile tool for brand owners and licensees to creatively build their businesses,” says Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “This year’s results highlight licensing’s wide reach, value and potential in both developed and growth markets. It’s an exciting time to lead the licensing business into its promising future.”

This is the fifth year Licensing International (formerly LIMA) has commissioned this global survey in conjunction with Brandar Consulting, and has shown consistent industry growth since inception (up 16 percent).

For the complete report, including category and regional breakdowns, visit

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