Global Sales of Licensed Goods and Services Jump 4.5% to US$292.8 Billion
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.
While there’s no doubt that the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic that began in China in late 2019 is currently impacting global business of all sorts, this report shows that the licensing industry entered 2020 with a strong, productive, and profitable business model that bodes well for continued success as the world economy works its way out of the shockwave that interrupted commerce for all but essential goods.
Even as people around the world were living under the effect of shelter-in-place and other directives that decimated retail sales, the power of trusted brands and well-known licenses have been all around. For example, families have busied themselves with licensed puzzles and games, and consumers around the world have emerged with cloth face coverings sporting children’s and adult characters, sports logos, trademarked sayings, fashion brands, artwork and any number of other designs and motifs that showcase their individuality.
Licensing International commissioned Brandar Consulting, LLC 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 entertainment/character sector remained the leading market share category by far, 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), slightly down from 2018 (21 percent) due to below market growth. 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 (+8.0%) and apparel (+5.1%) showing strong above market growth and share gain. Retail sales of Licensed Toys & Games showed slight growth of 1.2% — well below the overall industry rate. As the nature of childhood play continued to change with the migration to online play and entertainment, the impact on the traditional Toy & Games category persisted this past year.