Star wars and other entertainment properties helped boost global spending on licensed merchandise by 4.4% to $ 262.9 billion in 2016, according to an annual tally released today.
The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (known as LIMA) has released its âAnnual Global Survey of the Licensing Industryâ to coincide with the Licensing Expo conference taking place this week in Las Vegas.
The United States and Canada accounted for 57.9% of global retail sales, up from 57.7%.
The average royalty rate fell from 8.5% to 8.2%, according to the survey. This limited global royalty revenue, to $ 14.1 billion, to just a 1.3% increase.
Toys, clothing, and other entertainment and character-related merchandise still dominate the industry, according to the numbers. They accounted for $ 118.3 billion in retail sales, or 45% of the total, up from $ 113 million in 2015.
“The great cinematographic properties were Star wars, Trolls, Finding Dory, and Batman vs. Superman“said Marty Brochstein, executive vice president of LIMA.” And outside of movie theaters, PokÃ©mon – inspired by PokÃ©mon Go – saw a surge.
Star wars helped because in 2015 âit was a second semester [of the year] phenomenon ‘that fans were waiting for Star Wars: The Force Awakens – the first addition to the saga in a decade, released that year in December – he added.
Once the merchandise hit the shelves, âin 2016 you had a full yearâ of sales.
Retailers continue to be bullish for 2017, in part because of Hollywood’s growing reliance on established franchises and efforts to fill blockbusters with powerful women.
While Rey from the force awakens stands out, “we see this path beyond Star wars with Wonder woman, DC Super Hero Girls, innovative preschool television programs and much more, âsaid Brochstein.
Disney has already announced that it will generate excitement for related products in the month of December Star Wars: The Last Jedi by holding them back until a Force Friday unveiling event in September.
Toymaker Hasbro will take a page from that playbook soon after, hosting its first Hascon convention to showcase products related to Transformers, My Little Pony, and GI Joe, among other properties.
Comcast’s Universal Studios is adding resources to its merchandising efforts following its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.
Electronic commerce also helps. It now accounts for around 28% of sales and “you’re not limited by the capacity of the physical store shelves,” Brochstein said. âYou can get sales on older properties and things that may have more limited appeal. “
But the studios and their partners will likely spend much of this week trying to figure out how they should respond to the growing number of fans who want to create – and sell – artwork and entertainment-related merchandise.
“Everyone is trying to walk a tightrope between controlling your [intellectual property] and making sure everything fits, works and is of high quality, without trampling on the enthusiasm of those who are your franchise’s biggest fans, âsaid Brochstein.
Another concern is the possibility that the Trump administration – led by a major licensor of branded merchandise – could tax imports of consumer goods.
Outside of entertainment, trademarks / corporate accounted for $ 54.6 billion in worldwide sales of licensed merchandise at retail last year. They were followed by fashion ($ 31.1 billion) and sports ($ 25.3 billion).
Clothing accounted for 14.9% of total retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide. Toys generated 13.3%, followed by fashion accessories with 11.3% and video games / software / applications with 6.9% of revenue.
The fastest growing category? Products for infants and pets.