Disney, Authentic, Pokémon, Mattel and More Named License Global's Top Global Licensors

License Global’s Top Global Licensors report is back for 2023, showing huge growth for returning brands, the arrival of new players and forecasts for 2024 industry activity.

License Global

July 27, 2023

3 Min Read
Top Global Licensors cover.
Top Global Licensors cover.License Global

Created annually by License Global, the Top Global Licensors report is a ranking of global retail sales for licensed consumer products and experiences. Download the 2023Top Global Licensors report.

Each year, License Global calls for intellectual property owners to provide revenue figures of licensed goods and their formulas for the prior year. The License Global editorial team then validates each brand and curates submitted figures to build each edition of the report. 

In total, the Top Global Licensors report retail sales of licensed consumer products and experiences in 2022 of $278 billion

The top 20 of the 84 brands in the report generated a combined $230 billion, with $189 billion in the top 10 alone. The top 10 brands, each returning to the Top Global Licensors report, saw an average growth rate of 20% year-over-year (YoY), with individual businesses seeing YoY growth as high as 61%.  

The Top 10 Global Licensors of 2023: 

  1. The Walt Disney Company – $61.7 billion  

  2. Dotdash Meredith – $31.5 billion (E)  

  3. Authentic Brands Group – $24.1 billion (E)  

  4. Warner Bros. Discovery – $15.8 billion (E)  

  5. The Pokémon International Company – $11.6 billion

  6. Hasbro – $11.5 billion (E)  

  7. NBCUniversal/Universal Products & Experiences – $10.5 billion  

  8. Mattel – $8 billion (E)  

  9. Bluestar Alliance – $7.5 billion  

  10. WHP Global – $6.7 billion (E)  

Despite working with brands on our list directly to ensure accuracy for the most part, many businesses are often unable to participate due to time pressures, private company structures and confidentiality clauses. Missing brands approached but not included range from Coca-Cola and Netflix to Activision Blizzard and Playboy, to name a few, alongside brands absent from across food and beverage, sports and fashion. Therefore, the Top Global Licensors report can only claim to have part of the picture, yet working with the brands featured in the report, can provide a validated and authoritative barometer of industry health, growth and trajectory.

Brandscape 2023

To emphasize the growth and trajectory of the brand licensing industry, the 2023 edition of License Global’s Brandscape asks brands to rank their strategies, focal partnerships and key collaboration categories for the coming year.

Fashion, one key pillar in the licensing market, came out on top, with 60% of respondents wanting to explore the space through brand-on-brand collaboration and best-in-class partnerships with licensees. What’s more interesting, however, is the second category of interest for brand owners in 2024.

Beauty and wellness is an increasingly important category in licensing. For example, the range of partnerships behind Mattel’s “Barbie” movie beauty ranges, the “Free Fire” Maybelline line that linked high-octane gaming and beauty, or the long line of reveals to take place this year from Lush, Mad Beauty, Scent Theory and Elemis. So, for beauty and wellness to overtake major markets like toys, food and beverage, corporate brands, and gifting is a marker of true excitement for the vertical.

Get the complete Top Global Licensors report and more strategy insights from the Brandscape survey here. 

About the Author(s)

License Global

License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.

Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.

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