Sales of licensed merchandise hit $ 262.9 billion in 2016, boosted by “Star Wars” – The Hollywood Reporter

Global retail sales of licensed merchandise rose 4.4% to $ 262.9 billion in 2016, from $ 251.7 billion the year before, according to the third annual market size study of licensing industry from the Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association.

The organization said the results were being fueled by products derived from films like Star wars, Trolls, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Finding Dory, as well as Nickelodeon Paw Patrol and Pokemon.

The results of the survey, carried out for LIMA by Brandar Consulting, was released ahead of the Licensing Expo, which kicks off in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

Overall, entertainment / character licenses remained the number one type of licensed property, accounting for $ 118.3 billion, up 4.5% from 2015, and contributing 45% of global sales of retail licensed products, the same share as in 2015, when the amount had reached $ 113.2 billion.

“One of the engines of this growth is the connection with the films,” said Marty. Brochstein, Senior vice-president industrial relations and information at LIMA. ” In 2015, Star wars was really a phenomenon in Q4, whereas last year it had a full year while filling the force awakens and Thief one. “

According to the research firm NPD Group, Star wars was the largest property for the toy company last year. LIMA does not measure individual properties, but Star wars performed very well across a wide range of commodity categories, according to Brochstein.

Asked about the unexpected success of the 2016 licenses, he said: “Every year there are also surprises that drive the market, like Frozen made when it was launched. The surprise success of last year was Dream work/ Universal Trolls. The combination of a good movie and really strong marketing made it one of the biggest launches of the year.

What about entertainment hits outside of film? LIMA mentioned Nickelodeon Paw Patrol as one of the television licensing hits.

And it’s not just movies and television that drive entertainment. “The launch of Pokémon Go was a global phenomenon, ”said Brochstein. “While there hasn’t been a lot of licensing directly with the game, the excitement has helped Pokemon produced at all levels and made it one of the stories of the year. He added: “I think the mania that surrounds Pokémon Go took everyone by surprise, and this has resulted in a huge increase in business for all things Pokemon. “

The increased focus on women is also a licensing business trend that has become more concentrated over the past year. “There is definitely more focus on women of all ages and a product in development for them” Brochstein noted in discussions on licensing business trends. “The empowerment of women has become such an important driver in today’s society and this has led to some very exciting growth opportunities. Although Star wars leading the way in this area with Rey, frankly, the property probably would have done as well. However, we see this path beyond Star wars with Wonder woman, DC Super Hero Girls, innovative preschool television programs and much more.

Behind entertainment / character licenses, commercial brands again came in second with $ 54.6 billion, compared to $ 52.8 billion. This represented 20.8% of the total. Fashion with $ 31.1 billion, or 11.8%, and sports with $ 25.3 billion, or 9.6%, against 9.9%, followed.

Among product categories, clothing led the way with 14.9% of total worldwide licensed retail sales, followed by toys and fashion accessories.

The $ 262.9 billion in worldwide sales of licensed merchandise in 2016 translated to $ 14.1 billion in royalties, up 1.3%. Growth was driven by higher retail sales, partially offset by a 3.5% drop in the industry’s weighted average royalty rate from 8.5% to 8.2%, according to LIMA.

“The 2017 survey reinforces the positive momentum for licensed products around the world and across all categories, especially the large and growing entertainment / characters industry,” said Charles, president of LIMA. Riotto. “This year’s results are also a testament to the impressive scope and strength of licensing initiatives in growing markets around the world, contributing to the continued vitality of the industry. “

The United States / Canada remains the largest market for licensed goods and services, with revenues accounting for 57.9% of the global total, up slightly from 57.7% in 2015. The region of L ‘Southeast Asia and the Pacific has experienced the fastest growth of any region in the world, with 6.8% growth that brought it to 3.4% of global license revenue .

Brochstein says studios tent pole policies also affect licensing activity. Brochstein noted “how good companies have become at”event“Their consumer products as well as content. He explained, “Disney’s Force Friday was a pilot in this area, but we see it happening in all areas.”

For example, Hasbro will launch its first Hasbro Con later this year, Transformers just passed Transformers Week, and Wonder Woman Day arrives on June 3rd. Brochstein: “All of these events are big drivers of commodities.”