A breath of fresh air is undoubtedly wafting through the convention floor at this week’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, thanks to the latest figures from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA). According to the trade association’s 2016 Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey—conducted by Brandar Consulting—retail sales of licensed products grew to US$251.7 billion in 2015, amounting to a 4.2% gain over 2014.
Royalty revenue from retail sales of licensed merchandise rose 7.8% to US$13.9 billion, due to higher retail sales and royalty rates that averaged 8.5% in 2015 versus 8.2% in 2014.
Among the categories, Entertainment/Character licensing remained the largest, accounting for US$113.2 billion, or 45%, of the total global licensing market. Corporate Trademarks was deemed the next biggest property type, generating US$52.8 billion at retail.
In terms of products, apparel reigned supreme with US$37.9 billion in sales—a 15.1% of total global licensed retail revenue—followed by toys at US$33.7 billion, which accounted for 13.4% of the total.
Geographically speaking, the US and Canada remained the largest global market for licensed products last year, representing a 57.7% share that brought in retail sales to the tune of US$145.5 billion—indicating a rise of 3.9%. The second-largest global region was Western Europe, with especially strong results hailing from the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, which together tallied revenue of US$51.8 billion. This was followed by Northern Asia, including China, Japan and South Korea, with total retail sales of US$22.1 billion.
Overall, retail sales of licensed goods outside the US and Canada totaled US$106.35 billion in 2015, up 4.8% from 2014.
As for how a booming e-commerce landscape impacted licensed retail sales last year, survey respondents said that online revenues accounted for an average of 18.3% of their business, up from the 16.4% they reported in 2014.
Further excerpts from the LIMA Annual Global Licensing Survey will be published in future issues of LIMA‘s Inside Licensing, and the complete report, including regional and country-by-country breakdowns for major markets, will be made available to LIMA members for free later this summer.