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Editor's Note: The YouTube Influence

In this special May issue, License! Global recognizes a cross section of the businesses and key aspects that demonstrate just how important licensing is around the globe.

Tony Lisanti Global Editorial Director

There are dozens of different and interesting stories that emerge every year from the exclusive Top 150 report, from the very simple deals and retail partnerships that define the basics of licensing to the mega trends that exemplify the importance of global business.

In this special May issue, License! Global recognizes a cross section of the businesses and key aspects that demonstrate just how important licensing is around the globe.

This issue includes:

  • The Top 150 Global Licensors–This exclusive report presents a plethora of analyses that reflect not only the power of individual brand companies and celebrities, but also identifies the development and scope of the business of brand licensing.
  • Power Surge"–The cover story recognizes the fifth anniversary of Saban Brands and looks at how this brand management company has grown so quickly and decisively.
  • 30th anniversary of LIMA–The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association, the trade group that represents brand licensing, has reached a coveted milestone that touches all aspects including the IP owners, licensees, agencies, marketers, service provides, retailers and the people that make it such a dynamic business model.
  • Official Exhibitor Preview–There is no better planning guide in anticipation of next month's Licensing Expo, the largest and most influential licensing trade show of the year.
  • The 25th anniversary of Tycoon–This article describes how the licensing agency is expanding throughout Latin and South America.

There's no doubt the Top 150 Global Licensors issue is valuable based on the information it contains and the potential business opportunities it presents. Consider the following:

  • The YouTubers–For the first time, a YouTube star appears on the Top 150 Global Licensors ranking. Beauty and fashion celebrity Bethany Mota made the list at No. 146 and represents the beginning of more social media and digital stars embracing licensing and making the list in the future. Over the next three to five years, License! Global projects that these personalities could represent as much as $1 billion at retail.
  • The brand management companies–This issue's exclusive cover story about Saban Brands explains how this privately held company has grown to a portfolio of 11 brands and is approaching $1 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise.
  • The apparel angle–The fashion sector continues to be a significant growth area for brand licensing. In addition to Saban Brands, several other IP management companies, such as Authentic Brands Group and Sequential Brands, have grown considerably through acquisition and are climbing the ranks of the Top 150 to become multi-billion dollar licensors in just a few short years. Most recently, ABG acquired Jones New York, while Sequential Brands acquired the Jessica Simpson brand.
  • The sports tip–For the first time, PGA Tour has become a billion dollar licensor, reporting $1.63 billion and ranking at No. 37. Also for the first time, the German Football Association and Minor League Baseball are on the Top 150 at No. 72 ($560 million) and No. 150 ($60.3 million), respectively, demonstrating the impact and potential of these very diverse sports in brand licensing.
  • The automotive nut–The auto sector continues to be a strong performer in brand licensing, from the high-end aspirational market to the average car enthusiast. For the first time, Volkswagen is on the Top 150 list at No. 93 with $280 million in retail sales.
  • The publishing chapter–In addition to the success of Meredith (No. 3), two additional publishers joined the Top 150–Condé Nast at No. 119 ($150 million) and Rodale at No. 139 ($100 million).
  • The corporate brands cause–With more than 40 companies on the Top 150, and several others that are represented by top agents but don't yet make the list, corporate brand extensions continue to be important, especially as they take a lifestyle approach, break into new categories and expand globally.
  • The artist's showcase–A dedicated special area at Licensing Expo will feature more than 50 exhibitors.

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