Licensing remains as one the most exciting activities of the marketing mix. Many celebrities and brand owners are waking up to the idea that their brands have a value that can be exploited in areas outside their current existence.
According to LIMA’s 2nd Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey, which quantifies worldwide royalty revenue and accompanying retail sales; retail sales of products bearing the trademarked names and likenesses of cartoon characters, corporate logos and brands, major sports teams and more totaled an estimated $251.7 billion in retail sales in 2015 – a healthy 4.2% increase over 2014 – with the majority of the growth driven by Entertainment, Sports, Publishing and Celebrity properties. Royalty revenue grew by 7.8% to $13.9 billion due to a combination of retail sales increase, product mix changes and an increase in the average industry royalty rate to 8.5% from 8.2%.
By category, the licensing industry continues to be dominated by Character & Entertainment, Corporate Trademarks, Sports, and Fashion. Together, they represented 87.7% of all licensing revenues in 2015. Character & Entertainment, by far the most dominant category, accounted for 45% of retail sales and was more than double the next highest category, Corporate Trademark, at 21%.