The Top Global Licensors Report 2023

License Global's Top Global Licensors Report 2023 Spotlights $278 billion in retail sales from world’s biggest brands, Disney, Dotdash Meredith, Authentic Brands Group , Warner Bros., Pokémon, Hasbro, NBCUniversal, Mattel, Bluestar Alliance and WHP Global.

License Global

July 27, 2023

12 Min Read
License Global's Top Global Licensors Report 2023
License Global's Top Global Licensors Report 2023License Global

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. 

The Top 10 Global Licensors of 2023:   

  1. The Walt Disney Company – $61.7B

  2. Dotdash Meredith – $31.5B (E)

  3. Authentic Brands Group – $24.1B

  4. Warner Bros. Discovery – $15.8B

  5. The Pokémon International Company – $11.6B

  6. Hasbro – $11.5B (E)

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

  8. Mattel  – $8B (E)

  9. Bluestar Alliance – $7.5B

  10. WHP Global – $6.7B (E)

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

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%. 

Top Global Licensors Report 2023 Year in Review

Statistics from the Top Global Licensors Report:

Inside this Report: 

  • The most powerful brands based on prior-year merchandise sales and the activity that helped them to achieve that outcome

  • Strategy and category insights from the world’s largest brands

  • Brandscape, a directionally informed market survey of brand licensor activity, from License Global, that includes the product categories licensors will bank on in 2024, top performing licenses and entertainment properties and more statistics and infographics

  • And more!

Top 10 Global Brand Licensing Companies:



Retail Sales 2022

Retail Sales 2021

Last Year's Ranking


The Walt Disney Company


$56.2B (E)



Dotdash Meredith

$31.5B (E)




Authentic Brands Group

$24.1B (E)




Warner Bros. Discovery





The Pokémon Company International






$11.5B (E)




NBCUniversal/Universal Products & Experiences






$8B (E)

$7.4B (E)



Bluestar Alliance





WHP Global




*(E) signifies an estimated figure.

Top Global Licensors Brand Growth in 2022

More about the Top 10 Global Licensors:

The Walt Disney Company

Rank: 1

Retail Sales 2022: $61.7B

The Walt Disney Company logo

As part of The Walt Disney Company, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing brings brands into the daily lives of families and fans of all ages by creating innovative products and immersive experiences worldwide. Its products and retail experiences span across the company’s brands – Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucas­film, ESPN, 20th Century Studios and National Geographic – and are delivered through a variety of channels, including mass market, specialist, value, grocery and digital retailers globally, the shopDisney digital and physical portfolio, and Disney Parks.

As the world’s largest licensing business, Disney Consumer Products, Games and Publishing works with top brands, including Hasbro, Mattel, Mad Engine, the LEGO Group, Jay Franco, adidas, H&M, Pandora, Kimberly Clark, Funko and Procter & Gamble, to create world-class products across multiple categories that appeal to global consumers. The business is also one of the world’s largest licensors of games across platforms and the home of Disney Publishing Worldwide, one of the world’s largest publishing brands.

Dotdash Meredith

Rank: 2
Retail Sales 2022: $31.5B (E)

Dotdash Meredith logo

Dotdash Meredith is the largest digital and print publisher in America. From mobile to magazines, nearly 200 million people trust Dotdash Meredith to help them make decisions, take action and find inspiration. Dotdash Meredith’s over 40 iconic brands include PEOPLE, Better Homes & Gardens, Verywell, Food & Wine, The Spruce, Allrecipes, Brides, Byrdie, REAL SIMPLE, Investopedia, Southern Living, Coastal Living, EatingWell, Cooking Light, LIFE and InStyle. In 2022, Better Homes & Gardens celebrated 100 years as a leading home, garden and lifestyle authority.

This media brand reaches a monthly audience of over 43 million with a robust, multiplatform presence across print, digital and social, as well as highly successful and long-standing licensing partnerships with Walmart and Anywhere Real Estate that continue to thrive and grow. The Better Homes and Gardens collection at Walmart has over 3,000 active SKUs online and in Walmart stores nationwide. In 2022, BHG expanded its home décor and outdoor living collection to include new indoor furniture and lighting fixtures.

Authentic Brands Group

Rank: 3
Retail Sales 2022: $24.1B (E)

Authentic Brands Group logo

Authentic Brands Group (Authentic) is a global brand development, marketing and entertainment platform with a portfolio of over 40 iconic and world-renowned lifestyle, entertainment and media brands. With global headquarters in New York City, Authentic has regional headquarters in major markets worldwide. Authentic’s proven playbook connects strong brands with best-in-class partners and a global network of operators, distributors and retailers to build long-term value in the marketplace.

In 2022, Authentic continued to evolve its platform via a series of acquisitions and strategic moves. The company signed a partnership with David Beckham to co-own and manage his global brand. Its Europe-based satellite office evolved into a fully operational regional headquarters focused on driving brand and business growth in EMEA and India. In addition, Authentic completed its largest acquisition to date with the Reebok deal and finalized the acquisition of Ted Baker.

Warner Bros. Discovery

Rank: 4
Retail Sales 2022: $15.8B

Warner Bros. Discovery logo

Warner Bros. Discovery is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes a differentiated portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming.

Available in more than 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its brands and products, including Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others.

The Pokémon Company International

Rank: 5
Retail Sales 2022: $11.6B

The Pokémon Company International logo

For over 27 years, Pokémon has remained one of the world’s most popular entertainment properties through its vast portfolio of video games, apps, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, consumer products, animation, movies and Play! Pokémon competitive events.

Pokémon ushered in a new era with the launch of the “Pokémon Scarlet” and “Pokémon Violet” video games, which introduced newly discovered Pokémon in the Paldea region, and the reveal of “Pokémon Horizons: The Series,” an upcoming animated series featuring a new storyline and characters. Both are primed to drive the brand forward by invigorating mainstream interest in the property and cementing Pokémon as a sought-after collaborator.

This strong momentum fuels The Pokémon Company International’s (TPCi) robust licensing program spanning gaming, toys, apparel and accessories, designer collaborations, home décor, publishing and more, partnering with licensees to introduce new and unique ways for fans to engage with the brand and earning the 2022 License of the Year accolade by The Toy Association.


Rank: 6
Retail Sales 2022: $11.5B (E)

Hasbro logo

Hasbro is a global leader in play whose mission is to entertain and connect generations of fans through the wonder of storytelling and exhilaration of play. Hasbro delivers engaging brand experiences for global audiences through gaming, consumer products, entertainment and licensing programs, with a portfolio of brands that includes Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, Hasbro Gaming, NERF, Transformers, My Little Pony, Play-Doh and Peppa Pig as well as premier partner brands.

The company also out-licenses its classic brands, like Tonka, Spirograph, Lite-Brite and Lincoln Logs to unlock their full potential. In addition to leading in toy and entertainment, Hasbro enables consumers to showcase their fandom through a plethora of location-based entertainment, fashion, games, publishing and more. Guided by its Blueprint 2.0 strategy, Hasbro offers innovative branded entertainment experiences and products for everyone.

NBCUniversal Products & Experiences

Rank: 7
Retail Sales 2022: $10.5B

NBCUniversal Products & Experiences logo

The year 2022 was a record one for Universal Products & Experiences (UP&E). Universal’s culture-driving ‑ film and TV slate continues to fuel its core franchises and introduce new IP to audiences and future fans.

The Universal Destinations & Experiences (UDX) business also has incredible momentum, delivering new lands, attractions and retail experiences. With UP&E’s recent integration within this division, the combined strength of UDX with a blockbuster ‑ film slate and expansive TV portfolio has catapulted UP&E to the No. 3 entertainment licensor spot globally per Circana/Retail Tracking (YTD 2022).

In 2022, UP&E reported its largest brand growth ever for Jurassic World, tied to the billion-dollar release of “Jurassic World Dominion.”

The franchise was the year’s NO. 1 action ‑ figure property and the No. 2 entertainment property of the year. UP&E also launched the largest global licensing program ever, with Jurassic World spanning across all Universal theme parks and every aisle at retail around the world with more than 900 licensees. This included mainstays like Mattel and LEGO, as well as innovative products, digital content and new categories that appeal to casual and super fans alike. The video game category continued to expand with “Jurassic World Evolution 2,” while the popular VR title, “Jurassic World Aftermath,” launched onto new platforms. And the Jurassic World live experiences are selling out around the world with “Jurassic World Live Tour,” “Jurassic World: The Exhibition” and “Jurassic World by Brickman.”


Rank: 8
Retail Sales 2022: $8B

Mattel logo

Mattel is a leading global toy company and owner of one of the world’s strongest catalogs of children’s and family entertainment franchises. Mattel creates innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. Mattel engages consumers through its portfolio of iconic brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, American Girl, Thomas & Friends, UNO, Masters of the Universe, Monster High and MEGA, as well as other popular intellectual properties that the company owns or licenses in partnership with global entertainment companies.

Mattel’s offerings include film and television content, gaming and digital experiences, music and live events. The company operates in 35 locations, and its products are available in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and e-commerce companies.

Since its founding in 1945, Mattel has been a trusted partner in empowering children to explore the wonder of childhood and reach their full potential.

Bluestar Alliance

Rank: 9
Retail Sales 2022: $7.5B

Bluestar Alliance logo

The Bluestar Alliance portfolio boasts some of the most prestigious and recognized brands in the world, including Scotch & Soda, Hurley, Justice, Bebe, Elie Tahari, Tahari, Brookstone, Nanette Lepore, Catherine Malandrino, Kensie, Kensie Girl, English Laundry, Joan Vass and Limited Too.

Bluestar Alliance’s omnichannel worldwide distribution strategy achieves success with an extensive and comprehensive lifestyle branding strategy. It includes all product classifications and a significant wholesale, retail brick-and-mortar and e-commerce business.

Key drivers in the womenswear, menswear and childrenswear markets are sportswear, dresses, active, swim, denim, footwear, handbags, accessories, fragrance, eyewear, electronics, massage, wellness and home as well as outdoor gear, to name a few.

WHP Global

Rank: 10
Retail Sales 2022: $6.7B (E)

WHP Global logo

WHP Global is one of the world’s fastest-growing, large-scale brand management firms. Today, WHP Global owns and manages more than 10 powerful consumer brands generating close to $7 billion in retail sales across three verticals: fashion, hard goods and athletic. LOTTO anchors the athletic vertical; Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us anchor the hard goods vertical; and Express, Bonobos, Anne Klein, Joseph Abboud, Joe’s Jeans and Isaac Mizrahi anchor the fashion vertical. Industry veteran, Yehuda Shmidman, founded the company just four years ago with original backing from big-time players Oaktree Capital and BlackRock.

The power of WHP Global’s platform and strong future potential was recently recognized by Ares Management Corporation, which completed a $375 million investment in WHP Global at a $1.6 billion valuation in early 2023. In 2022, WHP Global continued its history of being very active on the M&A front. Most notably, WHP Global entered a transformative partnership with Express Inc. (EXPR) that included a 60% ownership of the Express brand for WHP Global. The partnership also established an exclusive relationship with EXPR’s omnichannel retail platform for future brand acquisitions. WHP Global swiftly followed this announcement with a joint deal to buy the innovative DTC men’s fashion brand, Bonobos. That acquisition closed in May 2023. In addition to M&A, WHP Global was equally busy last year in successfully expanding its brands, as highlighted by several landmark partnerships, including Toys“R”Us.

WHP Global grew the global licensed retail footprint by more than 50% in 2022. Toys“R”Us stores opened inside every Macy’s in the U.S., and new stores opened throughout the world, including in the UAE and China; Toys“R”Us is returning to the U.K. High Street with a WHSmith partnership; Toys“R”Us will debut in Mexico for the first time through a new partnership with Liverpool, and the ­first Toys“R”Us airport store will open through a new license with Duty Free Americas at DFW Airport in Texas, the world’s second busiest airport.


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.


License Global initially printed an incorrect figure for the 2022 annual retail sales for Authentic Brands Group in its previous release of the Top Global Licensors report, issued on July 27, 2023. The corrected figure for 2022 is $24.1B (E). This brings the total figure of licensed consumer products sold at retail from the Top Global Licensors to $278B, bringing the total of licensed goods sold at retail by the Top 20 to $230B.

Other corrections include:

  • Inclusion of BMW, which is no ranked as No. 36 with a reported retail sales figure of licensed consumer products of $1.1B.

  • Inclusion of Church & Dwight, which is now No. 39 with a reported retail sales figure of licensed consumer products of $860M.

  • The correction to include both BMW and Church & Dwight have changed the ranking order of all remaining companies on the Top Global Licensors report.

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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