The Top Global Licensors 2021

Read License Global’s annual report that tracks the 2020 retail sales of licensed merchandise from the world’s leading brands and IP owners
License Global

June 25, 2021

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The Top Global Licensors 2021 report identifies the

world's top IP owners

that drove the consumer product business forward during 2020 – a year unlike any other.

The annual report, which showcases the

world's most powerful brands

based on prior-year sales of licensed merchandise, is once again topped by

The Walt Disney Company

, which reported $54 billion in retail sales worldwide of licensed and direct-to-consumer products, slightly less than the $54.7 billion the company reported in 2019. The latest report also includes a number of newcomers such as the United States Postal Service at No. 63 with $200 million in retail sales of licensed consumer products.

Unlike previous editions of the report, which has touted a ranking of the most powerful 150 brands around the world, the 2021 report hones in on 75 companies to ensure all retail sales listed are accurately reported and estimated in a systematic and accountable way

"This year's report may look different; however, it is arguably the most important one yet," says Amanda Cioletti, content director, 

License Global.

"As the year presented forced retail closures and brand consolidation, the latest report not only highlights trends that surfaced from the chaos of 2020, but the companies that have been able to find success in weathering such storms."


The Top Ten Global Licensors



Retail Revenue


The Walt Disney Company



Meredith Corporation



Authentic Brands Group









NBCUniversal/Universal Brand Development






The Pokémon Company International



Bluestar Alliance





Download the report for the full list

Newcomers to the Top 10

Top Global Licensors 2021 report sees two new entrants to the Top 10 –

The Pokémon Company International


Bluestar Alliance


The Pokémon Company comes in at No. 8 with $5.1 billion in retail sales in 2020, a $900 million increase year-on-year. Pokémon, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, attributes retail sales to the franchise growth efforts that have grown to include video games, apps, the popular trading card game, animation, movies and play, as it extends beyond its core to gaming, toys, apparel and accessories, designer collabs, tech gear, home decor and more.

Bluestar Alliance also saw very strong gains in 2020, reporting $4.5 billion in retail sales of licensed consumer products, a $1 billion increase from 2019, enabling it to achieve the No. 9 spot on the list. The company attributes its success in part to influencer-led marketing, the acquisition of Justice, direct-to-consumer and e-commerce platforms like Amazon, as well as distribution to all major markets globally.

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