Sales of Licensed Goods and Services Up 4.5 Percent

Licensing International’s 2020 Global Licensing Survey reveals that sales of licensed goods have climbed 4.5 percent.
License Global

June 5, 2020


Global sales revenue of licensed merchandise and services grew to $292.8 billion in 2019, a 4.5 percent increase over the $280.3 billion generated in 2018, according to topline results of the 6th Annual Global Licensing Survey, released by Licensing International. The 4.5 percent growth is the largest percentage increase for the industry during that period.

Licensing International commissioned Brandar Consulting to conduct the survey for the sixth straight year. The survey results have shown steady growth, year-over-year, with a 19 percent leap in sales and related revenue over the course of the six years the survey has been conducted.

“The 2020 Global Licensing Survey underlines the continued growth of licensing in both developed and growth markets, as well as in both historically big and small categories,” says Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “The numbers also illustrate the solid foundation that the licensing business model offers to businesses of all sorts as they work

through the impacts of Coronavirus this year and eagerly await the ‘next normal’ we all will face.”

The entertainment/character sector remained the leading market share category, accounting for $128.3 billion, or 43.8 percent of the total global licensing market. The second-largest sector was corporate brands with $60.1 billion (20.5 percent). Fashion followed with $33.8 billion (11.5 percent) and sports ($28.9 billion, 10 percent) rounded out the top four.

Apparel (15.1 percent), toys (12.2 percent) and fashion accessories (11.9 percent) continued to lead in the breakdown by product category, with both accessories (+8 percent) and apparel (+5.1 percent) showing strong above market growth and share gain. Retail sales of Licensed Toys & Games showed slight growth of 1.2 percent.

The fastest growing sectors in 2019 were Art (+10 percent) and Non-Profit (+18 percent). Strong growth in Art came in part from rapidly growing print-on-demand companies and online “maker markets” licensees, such as Etsy. Much of the growth in the nonprofit space came from not-for-profits seizing licensing as a way to generate needed funds at a time when contributions are under pressure.

The U.S. and Canada held strong at 58 percent of worldwide consumption of licensed goods and services, with $169.7 billion (up 4.5 percent from 2018), while the Northern Asia and Southern Asia/Pacific markets experienced the strongest year-over-year increases in licensing business, each showing growth of more than five percent for the year.

The complete report, including regional and country-by-country breakdowns for major markets, will be made available for free to all Licensing International members this summer. Non-members will be able to purchase the survey for $975 at

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