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Global sales of licensed merchandise and services reach $356.5 billion

Licensing International has released the topline preview of its 2024 Global Licensing Industry Study, which reveals that global sales of licensed merchandise and services reached a groundbreaking $356.5 billion in 2023. The figure represents a 4.6% increase compared to 2022.

The Global Licensing Industry Study, conducted by third-party research firm Brandar Consulting, shows the continued worldwide sales growth of licensed products and services across categories including fashion, entertainment, music, location-based entertainment, sports and more, and will be published in full later this summer.

“The global brand licensing industry shows no signs of slowing down. In 2023, consumers proved they are more loyal than ever before to the brands, characters, and properties they love,” says Maura Regan, president of Licensing International. “In fact, the global brand licensing industry once again performed better than the overall worldwide retail market, proving brands are a difference-maker.”

The 2024 Global Study results are derived from multiple sources of market information as well as data reports from 45 countries and all seven major geographic regions. In all, the study’s analysis includes specific licensing data from 899 companies spanning the globe.

Key takeaways from the 2024 Global Licensing Industry Study include: 

  • The Entertainment/Characters segment grew9% to reach $147.6 billion in revenue. In this segment, Anime, Video Games, and Social Media accounted for 38% of the licensed revenues in 2023. Recently launched titles, characters, or brands accounted for 22% of the entertainment segment while evergreen titles, characters or brands accounted for 73%.
  • Top performing property categories in 2023 included Music (+16.4%), Location-Based Entertainment/Themed Attractions (+13.5%), and Sports (+5.6%).
  • The biggest decline in a product category was in the licensed Toy segment, which saw revenue fall -3.5% in 2023. It was clear that beloved brands inspired purchases, however, as the Toys/Games market overall actually declined -4.5%
  • The eCommerce retail channel for the licensing industry expanded again in 2023 to reach a 37% share of global licensing sales.
  • Several regions reported above market average growth rates in 2023, including North Asia(+9.3%), ME/Africa (+7.5%), South Asia/PAC (+7.4%), and Eastern Europe (+7.1%).

Further results from Licensing International’s 2024 Global Licensing Industry Study will be published in the complete report, including regional and country-by-country breakdowns for major markets. The full Global Study will be made available for free to Licensing International members (and publicly for purchase) later this summer.

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