We chat to eOne’s head of global licensing, Andrew Carley, about plans for the show.
Firstly, which preschool brands will you be showcasing at BLE?
At BLE 2016 we’re showcasing our strongest slate of preschool properties to date: Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom and new preschool superhero brand PJ Masks.
Can you run through how the licensing programmes for each are shaping up?
Peppa is obviously a huge global entertainment property with over 700 licensees around the world and established licensing programmes in the UK, Spain, Italy, France the US, Australia and Latin America. We’re now focusing on key growth opportunities in emerging markets such as China, Russia and India where Peppa is rapidly accumulating a fanbase and licensing is starting to take off.
For Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom we’re expanding the international reach of the property by launching merchandise in countries where the show has strong broadcast ratings. These include Brazil and France.
We’re very excited about our new preschool superhero property PJ Masks. Licensees and retailers have been incredibly enthusiastic about the TV show and its potential to translate to licensed products. Just Play is signed as the master global toy partner and international distributors are being signed up to distribute the toy line in key territories. A number of other licensees have been signed in the US, which was the launch territory for the brand, including Simon and Schuster for publishing and partners across apparel and accessories. Products will debut at retail in the US from fall 2016 and internationally from 2017.
Will there be any new launches or sneak peaks of upcoming brands?
We’ll be introducing PJ Masks to our European partners at BLE for the first time as and looking to sign partners to complement our core toy programme. The show airs globally on the Disney Junior network with terrestrial networks complementing the broadcast in a number of territories.
Have you seen any major trends emerging over the course of 2016 in the preschool space? As a brand owner, how have you been able to react to those?
Retailers want to see new properties coming through but still respect what the evergreens can bring in terms of sustained and guaranteed revenue. For this reason, it’s becoming more important to keep evergreens like Peppa fresh, exciting and relevant. Our new programming for Peppa reflects that.
How important is BLE for you when it comes to showing your preschool brands?
It’s one of the most important trade shows in the year for us because it attracts such a wide array of delegates from all over the world and often some of our most promising leads have emerged as a result of meetings at the show.
BLE is also multi territory in a way it wasn’t five years ago and visitors now extend beyond Europe. For us the show has become important because not only do we meet with licensees from overseas but also retailers. The timing of the show is also great as it maintains the momentum generated in Expo which drives business through to 2017.
What messages will you be looking to convey to licensees and potential licensees at the show?
For Peppa Pig it would be the long-term opportunities that the property presents, new programming, which is inspiring licensees, and ongoing investment in marketing as it continues to expand in new territories.
Our other key brand message is the opportunities that PJ Masks represents; how partners can capitilise on its growing popularity and the fantastic toy line that’s about to launch.
Overall for eOne as a company we want to demonstrate that high quality, original programming is what fuels our success and we’re absolutely committed to the long-term success of our properties.