Event & Content Director Global Licensing Group, Informa Markets
Fashion is second largest segment
The entertainment/character segment lead as the largest sector for the total global licensing market, accounting for $122.7 billion in global sales in 2019. Fashion was the second largest generating $32.2 billion in sales, 11.5 per cent of the global licensing market. US-based Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. Its portfolio comprises more than 550 international B2B events and brands in markets including fashion & apparel. Amanda Cioletti, event & content director for the Global Licensing Group (a part of Informa Markets), spoke to Fibre2Fashion about some of the global licensing trends.
How big is the fashion licensing business world over? How much is it set to grow in the next few years?
Fashion accounts for a sizeable portion of the licensing industry. In fact, according to the 2019 Global Licensing Survey published by Licensing International, fashion is the second largest sector generating $32.2 billion in sales, 11.5 per cent of the entire global licensing market. Apparel and fashion accessories are the most popular kinds of consumer products according to the same report. Looking ahead, we will continue to see more licensed fashion collaborations as consumers continue to demand fashion products that fit their own personal taste and style.
What are some of the global licensing trends that you strongly feel about in Asia-Pacific and India?
The licensing market in the Asia-Pacific and India regions comprise a large portion of global sales of licensed goods, 13 per cent of the total according to the Global Licensing Survey. The report also found that Northern Asia and Southern Asia/Pacific markets experienced the strongest year-over-year increases in licensing business, each showing growth of more than 5 per cent for the year.
Luxury and digital brands are poised for a strong market in the Asia-Pacific and India region. Licensors, those who license their brand IP, have immense opportunity in the market to expand and cater to luxury goods consumers with an emerging middle class. Notably, in License Global's Top 10 Brand Collaborations of 2019 report, the top collaboration was with Hypebeast brand Supreme and luxury designer brand, Jean Paul Gaultier. The growth in digitally savvy consumers in the regions showcase that more consumers are opting to purchase their fashion goods in an e-commerce setting.
Which are the 5 most profitable licensing characters for apparel? How much are they worth?
The entertainment/character sector leads as the largest sector for the total global licensing market, accounting for $122.7 billion in global sales in 2019. The Walt Disney company is a trailblazer as the top leading licensor globally, generating $57.7 billion through the retail sales of licensed merchandise. Other prominent licensors in the character space include Warner Media which owns Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers, and HBO as well as Hasbro, Universal Brand Development, and Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products. You'll notice several of the aforementioned brands came about through strategic mergers and acquisitions of other entertainment properties. Characters owned by these companies have shown they carry immense retail value.
What has been the biggest change you've seen in the licensing business over the last five years? How are established licensing brands responding to it with matched innovation?
The new opportunities in licensing have widely expanded over the last five years. New licensable opportunities now span categories that include e-sports, digital influencers, growing e-commerce brands, straight-to-video entertainment brands, among many more. We're also seeing that the transformation of retail and manufacturing practices has shifted the industry to new heights. For fashion specifically, brands are now able to reach new consumers demographics from luxury to independent retailers and to big box retailers through licensing.
This article was first published in the August 2020 edition of the print magazine.
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