The 2023 Licensing International Global Licensing Industry Study, conducted by Brandar Consulting, captures the state of the licensing industry and highlights the impressive growth of licensed products in 2022.
The 2023 Licensing International Global Licensing Industry Study highlights global sales of licensed merchandise reaching $340.8 billion in sales in 2022, an overall licensing industry growth of 8.02%. Insights from the report show that 2022 was defined by consumers diversifying their spending to navigate the higher pricing of historic inflation levels while shifting to have a very healthy appetite for experiences, entertainment, travel, dining and festive gatherings.
Brands proved to be a difference-maker, as the licensing industry outperformed the overall worldwide retail market at a +5.4% growth rate, when also factoring in sales revenue growth that occurred in the services and location-based entertainment product sectors.
It also suggests that 2022 was a year of both opportunities and continued challenges for the global brand licensing industry.
The licensing community was able to adapt and perform at a rate that kept pace with the highest inflation that the industry has seen in 40 years.
Regarding retail, the report says in-store foot traffic was up in 2022, with consumers somewhat less inclined to do their shopping online. Over the past year, more than twice as many stores have opened than closed in the U.S. retail market, according to Coresight Research.
The report also highlights significant growth in location-based entertainment/promotions, which are up 67%, and licensed services, including restaurants, hotels, travel and hospitality, which are up 205%.
Location-based entertainment was a major revenue driver, with top-performing growth property categories in 2022 including music (up 26%), sports (up 19%) and collegiate (up 11%).
Social media influencers continue to be successful sponsors, promoters, endorsers and brand ambassadors for licensed products, but not as successful at licensing their own NIL as their brand appeal is often too narrow, fragmented or not enduring enough.
The report also suggests a complete NFT reset. In January 2022, NFT sales were $7 billion and brands were rushing to jump on the bandwagon. However, by November, sales had dropped 94% to $394 million as demand for these discretionary speculative assets fell amid a looming recession, high interest rates and the crash of crypto currency.
There was significant growth in pet products, which grew 39%, and the product category is expected to continue to show strength as recent data from Forbes reports 78% of pet owners today acquired their pets during the pandemic.
Finally, diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) remained at the forefront of consumers’ and companies’ minds, with brand owners and manufacturers supporting DEI in how they produce their products and consumers supporting DEI in how they purchase them.
For more about the current state of the licensing industry, check out License Global’s Top Global Licensors Report 2023.