Consumer Products

Global licensing industry sales up 4.4%

The annual global report from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) finds that global retail sales of licensed goods reached US$262.9 billion in 2016.
August 8, 2017

New data from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) shows that global sales of licensed products and services rose 4.4% last year to the tune of US$262.9 billion.

Conducted by Brandar Consulting, and fielding responses from licensors, licensees and agents/consultants, LIMA’s Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey found that Entertainment/Character licensing continues to be the largest industry category, accounting for US$118.3 billion (45% of the total licensing market) in 2016. Corporate/Brand Trademarks was the second-largest property type, generating US$54.6 billion in retail receipts and accounting for 20.8% of total revenue. Fashion (US$31.1 billion) and Sports (US$25.3 billion) followed, making up 11.8% and 9.6% of the total licensing market, respectively.

Apparel led the product categories with 14.9% of total global licensed retail sales (US$39.3 billion), followed by Toys at 13.3% (US$35.1 billion) and Fashion Accessories at 11.3% (US$29.6 billion).

According to LIMA, Infant and Pet Products were the fastest-growing categories, showing year-on-year growth of 13.6% and 33.6%, respectively. Additionally, the survey shows growth in Home Décor (up 8.2%) as well as in Video Games/Software/Apps (up 8.1%). In fact, this growth has bumped the Video Games/Software/Apps product category to the fifth-largest segment, now accounting for 6.9% of revenue.

Geographically speaking, the US and Canadian markets still lead the way for licensed merchandise and services, with revenue accounting for US$152.3 billion (57.9% of the global total in 2016). Western Europe followed with revenue accounting for US$52.4 billion (20% of the global total), and the Southeast Asia/PAC region was the fastest-growing market globally, with 6.8% year-on-year growth to make up 3.4% of global licensing revenue in 2016 (US$8.97 billion).

Royalty revenue from sales of licensed merchandise and services also grew in 2016, rising 1.3% to US14.1 billion. According to LIMA, this increase is the byproduct of a 3.5% decrease in the weighted average industry royalty rate (8.2%, down from 8.5%).

The report follows on the heels of recent findings from market firm The NPD Group, which reported that global toy industry sales were up 3% in the first half of 2017.

About The Author
Elizabeth Foster is Kidscreen's Copy Chief & Special Reports Editor. Contact Elizabeth at


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