LIMA Study: Global Revenue from Licensed Goods and Services Grows to US$271.6 Billion

Royalty revenue from sales of licensed merchandise and services rose 2.6% to $14.5 billion.

Retail and related revenue generated globally by the trademark licensing business in 2017 rose 3.3% to US$271.6B, according to results from the Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey released by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA). Royalty revenue from sales of licensed merchandise and services rose 2.6% to $14.5 billion.

Entertainment/Character licensing remains the largest industry category, accounting for $121.5 billion, or 44.7% of the total global licensing market. Corporate/Brand Trademarks was the next biggest property type, generating US$55.8 billion in retail receipts for 20.5% of total revenues, followed by Fashion with $32.1 billion and Sports with $26.5 billion. Some of the most significant growth came from property types that play somewhat smaller roles in the overall business, including Publishing-based properties and Art licensing. In addition, the Music and Celebrity categories saw growth reflective of the “influencers” effect – social media trend-setters who, in greater numbers, are building their own brands.

The U.S./Canada remains the largest market for licensed merchandise and services, with revenue accounting for 58% of the global total. The strongest increase came from North Asia (up 6.2%) and LATAM (up 7.6%), primarily driven by growth in China/Hong Kong, Japan and Brazil.

The 2018 Survey results confirm the momentum of licensed product sales worldwide, with growth coming from both traditional and emerging categories,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “This year’s results speak to the reach and value of the licensing business in growth markets around the world, contributing to the sustained strength of our industry.”

Among product categories, growth was widespread in 2017. Apparel, Toys and Fashion Accessories continue to account for the largest shares of the business. Casino gaming/Lotteries increased by 9.6%, as a greater number of licensors seek to expand into more non-traditional categories. Home-related categories, Infant and Video Games/Software/Apps all showed growth higher than the overall 2017 average.

The LIMA Annual Global Licensing Survey was conducted for the fourth straight year for LIMA by Brandar Consulting, LLC. Further information will be published on the LIMA website via Inside Licensing news service. The complete report, including regional and country-by-country breakdowns for major markets, will be made available at no charge to LIMA members later this summer. Non-members will be able to purchase the survey at licensing.org.