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LIMA Releases Global Licensing Industry Survey Results

Report delivers detailed breakdowns of the $241.5 billion industry by property type, product category and geography; Extensive analysis reveals rapid growth in e-commerce, significant increase in products predominantly purchased and distributed digitally, and expected surge in Asia-Pacific region.

NEW YORK -- The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association’s first annual Global Licensing Industry Survey is now available for digital download, putting the latest statistics about the worldwide licensing industry just a click away. The leading authority for the global licensing industry announced topline results of the report last month during the 2015 Licensing Expo. Commissioned by LIMA and conducted by Brandar Consulting, LLC, the survey provides detailed breakdowns, quantifying worldwide royalty revenue and corresponding retail sales by product category, property type and geographical region. It also identifies the latest trends and offers forward-looking analysis of the $241.5 billion global licensing business.

“LIMA’s first-ever global survey clearly shows that the licensing industry is alive and well, as licensing continues to be a major marketing and retail force around the world,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “We’re pleased to provide LIMA members with our most broad-based and comprehensive report to date, which they can use as an excellent and relevant tool to develop effective marketing plans to help them establish and build their brands in ways that are most advantageous to their business and bottom line.”

According to the report, the market for products bearing the trademarked names and likenesses of cartoon characters, corporate logos and brands, major sports teams and more generated an estimated $13.4 billion in royalty revenues on $241.5 billion in retail sales in 2014.

U.S./Canada was by far the most dominant region with more than $144 billion in retail sales, nearly 60% of the worldwide total. Europe, with more than $57 billion in retail sales, accounted for just under one-fourth of the total global market while Asia, with its huge and growing population, accounted for nearly 10% of total retail sales. However, one of the major findings is that, spurred on by the impact of digital product distribution and overall growth in e-commerce, the industry is becoming increasingly global and much of the new opportunity will come outside the saturated North American market, specifically in the Asia-Pacific Region. In fact, the proliferation of broadband connections and the strength of Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba resulted in online sales accounting for 33 percent of retail sales of licensed product in China, the highest in the world by a large margin.

By category, the licensing industry continues to be dominated by five major sectors: Character & Entertainment, Corporate Trademarks, Sports, Fashion, and Collegiate. Together, they represented 89% of all licensing revenues in 2014. Character & Entertainment, by far the most dominant category with more than $107 billion, accounting for 44% in retail sales, was more than double the next highest category, Corporate Trademark ($53 billion, 22%). Fashion, with $29 billion in estimated retail sales or 12% of the total, was third, followed by Sports ($26 billion, 11%), Publishing ($12 billion), Collegiate ($4.6 billion), Celebrity ($3.3 billion), and Music ($2.3 billion).

The full LIMA Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey is available free to LIMA members and priced at $750 for non-members. Click here for more information and to order a report.

Source: International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.