Driven by Disney’s vast portfolio of properties, a new LIMA-commissioned report reveals that the character/entertainment sector topped global retail sales of licensed merchandise in 2014 with a 44% market share – or US$107 billion of a US$241.5-billion total.
The first annual LIMA Global Licensing Industry Survey also found that on a regional level, licensing activity in Canada and the US dominated the global industry, cashing in more than US$140 billion in retail sales to grab a 58% market share. Other notable regions included Northern Europe with US$32.2 billion in retail sales (13.3% market share), Northern Asia at US$19 billion (7.9% market share), Southern Europe at US$15.5 billion (6.4% market share) and Latin America at US$10.4 billion (4.3% market share).
However, the survey suggests that due to growth in e-commerce and digital product distribution, the bulk of licensing opportunity rests outside of the saturated North American licensing market, especially in the populous Asia-Pacific region. In China, for example, improved broadband service across the country means about 33% of licensed retail business is now done online.
In breaking down categories, rounding out the top five behind character/entertainment were corporate/brand with US$54 billion (22.4% market share), fashion with US$30.7 billion (12.7% market share), sports with US$23.4 billion (9.7% market share) and publishing with US$12.8 billion (5.3% market share).
As for licensed products, apparel reigned supreme with US$39 billion in retail sales (16.2% market share), followed by toys at US$32.5 billion (13.5% market share), fashion accessories at US$27.9 billion (11.6% market share), home décor at US$17.5 billion (7.5% market share) and apps, software and video games at US$15 billion (6.25% market share).
Added up, last year’s US$241.5 billion in retail sales of licensed goods translated into US$13.4 billion in royalties.