According to the 2017 annual Global Licensing Industry Survey, global sales of licensed products and services grew 4.4% in 2016 to $262.9 billion. Brandar Consulting conducted the survey for the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association.
Entertainment/character remains the largest industry category, accounting for $118.3 billion, or 45% of the total global licensing market. Corporate/brand trademarks came in as the next largest property type, generating $54.6 billion in retail receipts for 20.8% of total revenues. Following were fashion, with sales of $31.1 billion, or 11.8% of total licensing revenues, and sports at $25.3 billion, or 9.6% of that total.
Among product categories, home decor took fourth place in terms of global license retailer sales, at 7.1%, benefiting from 8.2% growth that was fueled by increases in home ownership, new housing starts in developing countries and a stronger housing market in the U.S.
Apparel took the top sales spot with 14.9% of total sales. Toys ranked next at 13.3% and fashion accessories finished third at 11.3%. Fifth place belonged to the video games/software/apps segment with 6.9% of the total sales after 2016 revenues gained at an 8.1% pace. Among the fastest growing licensing segments, although off a base considerably smaller than the leaders, pet grew by a third and infant grew by 13.6%.
Royalty revenue from licensed merchandise and service sales advanced 1.3% to $14.1 billion. A 3.5% decrease in the weighted average industry royalty rate, from 8.5% to 8.2%, kept the increase modest.
The U.S./Canada remains the largest market for licensed merchandise and services, with revenue accounting for 57.9% of the global total, up slightly from 57.7% the year earlier. The Southeast Asia/PAC region was the fastest growing global market, up 6.8% year over year, and coming in at 3.4% of global licensing revenue.
“The 2017 survey reinforces the positive momentum of licensed products worldwide and across all categories, especially the large and growing entertainment/character sector,” said Charles Riotto, LIMA president. “This year’s results also speak to the impressive reach and strength of licensing initiatives in growth markets around the world, contributing to the continued vitality of the industry.”