License Global magazine, the licensing industry’s thought leader and leading news source, released its 2020 edition of the Top 150 Global Licensors report, which sees The Walt Disney Company rank at No. 1, reporting $54.7 billion in annual retail sales of licensed consumer products in 2019, which is flat against 2018’s sales. The ranked report is collated from the world’s most powerful brands and is based on prior-year sales of licensed merchandise, spanning all consumer product segments. The full report is available on License Global at www.licenseglobal.com/rankings-and-lists/top-150-leading-licensors.
“Prior to the global disruption surrounding the pandemic, the licensing landscape was in midst of transformation with several major mergers and acquisitions reshaping the business, such as the CBS and Viacom landmark deal and Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which shifted the trajectory of these media giants and significantly impacted the biggest category for licensed consumer goods across product programs,” said Amanda Cioletti, Content Director, License Global. “We are at a turning point for the licensing industry – one that affords it an opportunity to shift strategies and creatively rebound. It’s a trend we’re seeing in this year’s report as leading brands showcase ingenuity in how they reach the ever-evolving consumer in a deeper and more meaningful ways, and one we expect to continue as the landscape shifts even further in 2020.”
Disney Named World’s Most Influential Licensor
Entertainment behemoth The Walt Disney Company topped the list as the world’s most influential licensor due, in part, to its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, effectively gaining ownership of former Fox television networks including National Geographic Partners and FX Networks, as well as properties like “Deadpool” and Fox-owned Marvel characters such as the Fantastic Four and X-Men. Also, in 2019, the entertainment powerhouse launched its own video on-demand streaming service, Disney+, shocking the streaming ecosystem and offering fans more ways to connect with its broad portfolio. It’s wealth of The Walt Disney Co.-led properties, from Frozen 2 to Mickey’s 90th anniversary, ESPN, publishing, games and so much more, further fueled this leading licensor’s continual leading spot in our annual report.
Authentic Brands Group and The Pokémon Company International See Major Jumps
Other notable standouts in the report include Authentic Brands Group, a leading brand development, marketing, media and entertainment company, which reports $12.3 billion in licensed retail sales for the fiscal year 2019, garnering the No. 3 spot on this year’s Top 150, after ranking fifth last year. The Pokémon Company International skyrocketed to No. 11, with $4.2 billion in sales of licensed merchandise in 2019. (The company ranked at No. 23 on last year’s list.)
Several New Faces Appears on the Report
2019 marked notable licensing success for a raft of companies and brands debuting on this year’s Top 150 Global Licensors list including Acamar Films, Funimation, SEGA of America, Sharper Image, Toho, Pinkfong and WHP Global.
The Top Ten Leading 150 Global Licensors Include:
- The Walt Disney Company – $54.7B
- Meredith Corporation – $26.5B
- Authentic Brands Group – $12.3B
- WarnerMedia – $11B
- PVH Corp. – $10.6B (estimated)
- Universal Brand Development – $7.1B
- Hasbro – $6.9B
- ViacomCBS – $5.8B
- General Motors – $4.62B (estimated)
- Sanrio – $4.4B (estimated)
License Global recently launched its first podcast series, “The Licensing Mixtape,” which focuses on how businesses and individuals can get into and utilize brand licensing to tap into the industry’s growth through each episode’s engaging, fact-driven and inspiring conversations around the way the world of licensing is changing and leveling-up. New episodes are available on all major podcast platforms and can be found on the License Global website here.
The Global Licensing Group, which License Global is a part of, announced its latest event, Festival of Licensing, running from Oct. 6-29, 2020, which is a four-week large-scale virtual gathering that will bring together the licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and engage in business on an international stage.