"This is not only a massive achievement in itself, but when you compare us to other successful app franchises, very few companies have reached even 1 billion downloads, so the fact that we've now reached 2 billion is monumental," says Angeles Blanco, senior director of licensing and merchandising at OutFit7's U.K. subsidiary.
For Blanco this milestone is a testament to the enduring strength of the company and its brands.
"As we all know digital brands can come and go," she says. "Their shelf life can be very fickle, but this shows us that we've sustained interest from fans around the world, and it's increasing year after year."
Blanco believes the key to that success has been the brands' interactivity, which keeps fans returning regularly. "My Talking Tom and Friends" currently has 230 million active users across more than
Now Blanco is embarking on a new adventure for the budding company–an international licensing program.
"The introduction of smartphones has changed the face of entertainment, and now we're seeing a ripple effect on licensing," she says. "I'm working on something that maybe a couple of years ago wasn't a traditional licensing platform, but the mechanics for me remain the same. You put your key partners in place, your toy, your publishing and your apparel, and when you can you do your global deals and when can't or it doesn't make sense you do your pan-European."
And that's exactly what she's done over the last year. The My Talking Tom and Friends brand now boasts 44 licensees and 12 agents around the world.
Among some of the first product to hit retail will be daywear, nightwear, underwear and swimwaer from AA Brands in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (brokered by Team! Licensing); fruit confectionery treats from Perfetti Van Melle alongside a cross-promotion with Chupa Chups and Chocoballs as well as a monthly standalone magazine from AST License in Russia (brokered by Icon Promotions); and apparel and accessories from Lotty Dotty in the U.S. and Canada (brokered by Bulldog Licensing).
"Our long-term plan is to continue to grow as we are, organically, start building on the licenses that we have and reaching out to different territories," says Blanco. "This year has been a year where we've signed many licensees. Next year will be actually seeing those products come to life and hit the marketplace and then building on the relationships with retailers and just growing, growing, growing."
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