Retail and related revenue generated worldwide by trademark licensing rose 3.3 percent to $271.6 billion in 2017, according to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey.
Royalty revenues from sales of licensed merchandise also rose 2.6 percent to $14.5 billion.
According to the survey, entertainment/character licensing was once again the largest industry category, accounting for $121.5 billion (44.7 percent) of the total global licensing market. Corporate/brand trademarks were the next biggest category, generating $55.8 billion (20.5 percent), followed by fashion with #21.1 billion and sports with $26.5 billion.
However, some of the most significant growth came from categories that play smaller roles in the overall licensing business including publishing-based properties and art licensing. In addition, music and celebrity categories saw growth reflective of the influencers effect.
Regionally, the U.S. and Canada remain the largest market for licensed merchandise and services, with revenue accounting for 58 percent of the global total. However, the strongest increase came from North Asia (up 6.2 percent) and Latin America (up 7.6 percent), which was primarily driven by growth in China, Hong Kong, Japan and Brazil.
While looking at product categories, growth was widespread. For example, apparel, toys and fashion accessories continue to account for the largest shares of the business, and casino gaming/lotteries increased by 9.6 percent. Home-related categories, infant and video games/software/apps also showed growth higher than the overall average in 2017.
“The 2018 survey results confirm the momentum of licensed product sales worldwide, with growth coming from both traditional and emerging categories,” says Charles Riotto, president, LIMA. “This year’s results speak to the reach and value of the licensing business in growth markets around the world, contributing to the sustained strength of our industry.”