Business is looking up for the licensing industry as sales of licensed products have increased for the first time in five years, according to the International Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association’s (LIMA) 2012 Licensing Industry Survey.
Sales rose 5% in 2011 to an estimated US$109.3 billion in North America, a figure that comes from the survey’s findings that trademark owners including entertainment studios, sports leagues, fashion houses, and corporate brand owners generated US$5.316 billion in royalties in 2011, an increase of 5% versus 2010.
LIMA attributes the sales boost to an improved consumer economy, an increased use of licensing by major corporate brands, and the rise of online retailers, e-commerce sites and new digital properties.
Sales of entertainment/character-related goods, which is the study’s largest category, led the growth followed by trademarks/brands, fashion and sports.
Character-related merchandise (covering celebrities, entertainment, TV, and movies) rose 4.4% to nearly US$2.5 billion in royalty revenues and an estimated US$48 billion in retail sales.
Trademark/brand licensing, the second largest category in the survey report, grew 7.7% to US$910 million in royalties and US$21.2 billion in retail sales, while licensed fashion sales went up 5.8% in 2011 to US$730 million in royalties and US$16.0 billion at retail.