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B&LIS: Comments on Content Evolution, Day 3

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A wrap-up of the final day of Brand and Licensing Innovation Summit.

Streaming, hybrid models, top-selling IPs and influencer engagement, the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit today broke down the leading growth sectors and innovative new paths entertainment is taking in 2021 and beyond. License Global shares some of the team’s top comments from the final day of B&LIS Europe. 

From Script to Screen: Origins of Content Driving Growth 

Frédérique Tutt (NPD)  

“It's not just on major categories where consumers spent more, there were other categories that benefited from the COVID crisis. In fact, video game sales fared better than ever. There was 27 percent growth driven by next gen consoles, but also by evergreen and brand-new games. Likewise, toy sales recorded record-breaking increases with a 17 percent, compared to 2019. Parents and children had to stay home and keep busy for hours on end, and days of lockdown. So, games, puzzles, building sets, garden toy equipment, all did well, and even books did well after years of flat sales. In fact, for children books we saw a double-digit increase for every single age group. But licensed book sales declined. Is there a new world out there? Well, not really. On this table you can see the Top 5IPs in the U.S. in 2021. It's worth noting that these IPs are truly international, and if we were to look at the top-selling in Europe, they would not be dissimilar. So, Mario Bros. was the unchallenged No. 1 IP in the U.S. of course.” – Frédérique Tutt 

Case Study: emojitown – The Power of Building Brands with Digital-First Strategies 

Marco Husges (emoji) – Maarten Weck (WildBrain CPLG) – Rachel Taylor (WildBrain Spark) 

“We're using 10 billion emojis, daily, to express our emotions when we use our smartphone or social media messengers, etc … ‘Emojitown’ is a digital-first series targeting Generation Z and is all about real-life struggles. It's about real emotions, real day-to-day situations and anyone can relate to things like when you go on a blind date. What happens to you how you feel when you have to pass a test in school or when you can't find the right clothing while you're shopping.” – Marco Husges 

News Streams of Consumerism: The Evolution of Entertainment 

Rachel Wakely (Warner Media) – Valerie Rolandez-Barrios (StudioCanal) – Adam Steel (Moonbug) 

“Well, yes, the situation is pretty complex. Now people have come back to theatres and with great enthusiasm. People want still to experience watching a movie, but people also have new habits, and although everything seems to go back to normal, things have changed. Now we have virtual cinema, VOD, AVOD, Pay for TV, gaming, physical video. This is very complex for the consumer, I guess we will have small theatres closing unless financed by governments. AVOD is arriving in Europe, as well as multichannel offers coming on the market. We will have multi-platform offers. As we’ve seen with Disney+. And platforms will also offer podcast, gaming, etc. This said, I think content is more than ever key, creativity and quality that's fundamental to emerge in the market, and we will have to provide offers very creative, and inspiring to the consumer as the new generation is really more volatile.”  Valerie Rolandez-Barrios 

“Theatrical partners have done an amazing job in 12 months to have great experiences, Look at some of the breakthrough experiences that have happened across the country. Famous chefs have offered meal deals to cars in drive-thrus. We've seen some phenomenal experiences that combine new concepts and classic content. I saw Back to the Future with my family, it’s not a new release but the experience was awesome. So, I think it depends on the way you want to do this. I think it's going to mess with the model.” – Rachel Wakely 

“Just because we're going to go to the cinema, doesn't mean that suddenly we're going to stop viewing content online or across these different areas so, with moonbug, our content is fantastically successful and now we're looking at how we can extend that. Product is very much the traditional way and we're starting to build that now, but also looking into that experience. Again, this isn't new, studios are working with and building theme park attractions or mall events, like Secret Cinema. This has always been around, but I guess now people are just kind of looking for it more.” – Adam Steel 

Social Media Strategy for Licensed Products: Creating a Highly Reactive Environment 

Emily Aldridge (Abysse Corp) 

“Before today, you would just go on social media and look at your friends' posts, things on your stories with adverts. Now, those adverts allow you to click through and buy. So, according to research 54 percent of social media users are now using social media as a tool to research products, so they are actively shopping on social media.” – Emily Aldridge 

NFT Playbook 

Gary Ma (Epik) 

“I believe the industry is now transitioning the large–scale adoption and commercial-use case era, and that's really exciting and that's what we do at Epik … there are endless possibilities, and it's up to you with your own creativity.” – Gary Ma 

Console Gaming, The COVID Effect and the Arrival of Gen9 

Dorian Bloch (GfK) 

“I've highlighted six brands that are from outside the games industry and five of them are in the Top 10. The No. 1 is FIFA from Electronic Arts, which has traditionally published one game per year. No. 5 is Lego. They've had 12 games in the past five years, driven by Lego Marvel Avengers, LEGO Star Wars Force Awakens and LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2. No. 7, we have Marvel, so a huge range of Marvel games, and nine in the last five years. We're talking about things like ‘Marvel's Spider Man,’ but also of course ‘LEGO Marvel’ and ‘Marvel Avengers.’ No. 8, we have Star Wars as a brand and franchise, of which there have been seven games in the past five years. So again, we're talking here about ‘Star Wars Battlefront 2,’ ‘Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’ and ‘Star Wars Squadrons.’ Those three games accounted for 74% of the entire Star Wars brand in the last five years. After Star Wars, we have Tom Clancy's game series that's published by Ubisoft. So, outside of this, if we look at games that are internal brands and franchises. Then, after FIFA we have Call of Duty, which is a huge, huge title, published by Activision Blizzard every year. And then of course, No. 3, we have Mario. Mario games being extremely popular with the success of switch so ‘Mario Kart 8 Deluxe’ and ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ are two good examples. And after that we have Pokémon also driven by the Nintendo Switch popularity of 2020.” – Dorian Bloch 

Next Level: Why Gaming and Esports is Dominating the Entertainment Leaderboard   

John Friend (XBOX) – Scott McRae (George, Asda) – Dan Amos (Difuzed) – Winston King (Epik) 

“What I will say is, if you combine all the different eSports together. Yes, it's bigger than hockey, like if you combine all the different platforms, different titles of different genres that are considered eSports, eSports is gigantic. But maybe one in its own entirety one particular genre. Yeah, it's hard to say that that's bigger than any one particular sport, but eSports is funny, people have debated it for a while now. Is it a real sport, is it a real thing? The debate has been had. It's too late. It's happening. There are people showing up in the venues, they're watching the streams and being a part of the communities, you know, I think it’s still got a very long way to go. But it's big, you know, it's definitely a big industry.” – Dan Amos 

While I love and respect eSports, the interesting thing to me is what we see in terms of video consumption of gaming, eSports is around or less than 5% of the total amount of video consumed. So, I like to look at it in terms of the bigger pie, which is consumption of gaming as entertainment, which we also see continue to skyrocket. And just some interesting factoids kids and these are U.S. facts so apologies for not having the U.K. and the full global one. But kids eight to 11, the number one thing they want to grow up to be is either an influencer or a YouTuber, like they want to be content creators, and why? Because this is the number one form of entertainment they consume. Like it's easy, right? We look at what we did recently with a group called FaZe Clan who you may have heard of, and I'm not trying to shamelessly plug them. But interestingly, like, yes, they participate, and they have teams in eSports, but it's their content creators who are the stars, and the sport is part of what they do, but it is not anywhere near the totality of what they do and what they do is they're a modern media production and broadcasting vehicle.”  – John Friend 

“We look at NFTs as a bridge. A bridge between the real world and the virtual world. And, you know, we work with different kinds of IP where for instance I'll give an example, they wanted to create 250 dolls of their favorite character, and they want to authenticate that they were indeed 250. So, we made them 250 NFTs that were basically the virtual version of the doll. And then so in that doll, once you own that entity you also got a code that you could use that doll in a game in play as and unlock that character. So, kind of ties the whole thing together.” – Winston King

KEYNOTE: The Wayfair Boost: Leveraging E-comm Ads for Product Programs 

Ankit Mangal, Wayfair 

Our mission is to help you get to the right customer at the right time with the right message, and we provide you full funnel support.” – Ankit Mangal 

“Either you're building your brand, or getting a higher return on investment, based on the conversion rate. Powered by the advanced learnings that we have, and the insights and the reporting that we share with you on how to capitalize on this ad unit and what operators are doing and how it can have a bigger share.”
 – Ankit Mangal
 

“Our demographic was once more towards 45-year-old women, but we're seeing is a massive shift towards Millennials. If they got the right experience, then they become lifelong customers.” – Ankit Mangal 

While B&LIS U.K. has come to an end, B&LIS is scheduled as a hybrid event in New York City on Oct. 27-28. For updates on B&LIS U.S.’ workshops, panels and more – and to watch B&LIS U.K. content on demand – log onto Brandlicensinginnovationsummit.com.

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