Sales of licensed merchandise reached $ 251.7 billion in 2015, boosted by “Star Wars” – The Hollywood Reporter

Global retail sales of licensed merchandise, such as products bearing images or references to TV shows, sports team logos and more, increased 4.2% to $ 251.7 billion in 2015, according to the second annual edition of the Licensing Industry Merchandiser’s Association. Licensing Industry Market Sizing Study.

The data will provide food for thought and discussion as Licensing Expo kicks off in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

Last year’s study reported $ 241.5 billion in global retail sales in 2014. Although LIMA does not track specific products, NPD Group found that the film category outperformed the market in 2015, growing 9.4%, driven by Star wars, who managed to become the number one property for the year with over $ 700 million in sales. It also generated more sales and contributed to more growth than Jurassic World, Minions and Avengers combined, NPD find.

“The 2016 survey shows the resonance that licensed intellectual properties continue to have among consumers around the world,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “The size of the global licensing market is increasing and strengthening as our industry expands to new corners of the world. “

Star wars was really the best story of the year, ”said Marty Brochstein, Senior vice-president industrial relations and information at LIMA. “You take what has historically been a uber-popular franchise, and this was the first time it was released by Disney. You had that combination of factors, and they used it really well, starting with Force Friday and going through the rest of 2015. “

Minions was another big hit in the licensed merchandise. “Minions was one of those somewhat surprising successes, ”said Brochstein. “When it comes to licensing, there are always things that go at least a little under the radar and exceed people’s expectations. [Minions was helped by] the sheer popularity and some of the inventive ways the color yellow has been used – one of the things that caught my eye was that they made quite a twist Tactics thing, among many others.

TV side, The walking dead and Game Of Thrones the products remained popular among licensed merchandise offerings.

Overall, entertainment / character licenses remained the primary type of license ownership, accounting for $ 113.2 billion, or 45%, up from 44% in 2014, of global retail licensed product sales. Corporate brands come second with $ 52.8 billion, or 21%, from 22%, followed by fashion with $ 29.8 billion, or 11.8%, down to a minimum, and sports with $ 24.9 billion, or 9.9%, compared to 11% in 2014.

Among product categories, clothing leads ($ 37.9 billion, or 15.1% of total worldwide licensed retail sales), followed by toys and fashion accessories.

The $ 251.7 billion in worldwide sales of licensed merchandise in 2015 translated to $ 13.9 billion in royalties, up 7.8%. The growth was driven by higher retail sales and an increase in the industry average royalty rate from 8.2% to 8.5% in 2015, according to LIMA.

The United States and Canada saw their retail sales of licensed merchandise increase 3.9% in 2015 to $ 145.5 billion, but their global market share edged down to 57.7% from 58 , 0% in 2014. The following regions were Western Europe ($ 51.8 billion in retail sales) and North Asia, including China, Japan and South Korea ($ 22.1 billion ).

The survey was carried out for LIMA by Brandar Consulting using “multiple sources of market information and data,” including a survey in six languages ​​in April, which drew responses from 331 companies, 147 licensors, 102 licensees and 82 agents / consultants .

Regarding new trends, Brochstein said YouTube and other online stars, led by Bethany Mota, “Become a source” of income in the licensed merchandise sector, as “licensing revolves around popular culture”. He did not have specific data on that part of the business or specific personalities.

Looking at 2016, Brochstein noted Finding Dory it looks like it will be a key contributor, with Star wars again. “Star wars certainly generated a lot of business in 2016, and there are Thief one is coming later this year. ”He added,“ There’s a lot going on around Finding Dory. There is a lot of pent-up demand for Discovery Nemo characters ”in the middle of the release of his sequel.

“With licensees and retailers approached a year in advance about licensing, most of the merchandising activity typically comes from the second movie or, in TV terms, the second season once. that he has drawn up something from a balance sheet, ” Brochstein noted. “There are so many franchises and tent pegs that licensees and retailers don’t feel the need to take risks for something.

When Discovery Nemo was released, “there was definitely some merchandising done, but not to the extent that you see now,” he explained. “This is the first time that there will be a large-scale merchandising program around the Nemo characters. “