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News of the world: “Consumers are still eager to see new products and properties”

Maurizio Distefano discusses how the Italian licensing market is faring and why the industry needs to keep innovating. takes a temperature check on the global licensing industry, asking licensors and agents based outside the UK to share their highs and lows of 2022, their strategies for a successful 2023, plus the words they’d use to describe business in the year just gone and the new one.

Today, we head to Italy, with Maurizio Distefano, president, Maurizio Distefano Licensing.

“2022 good – very good, in fact. We enjoyed strong growth compared to 2021. Consumers are still eager to see new products and properties and we have been able to meet this demand thanks to the addition of a number of new IP representations, including Corto Maltese – the star of an Italian graphic novel about a seafaring adventurer – Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and content creator Charlotte M.

In March, we won Best Adult Fashion and Best Adult Licensing Project awards at the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair for our work with LIFE magazine’s iconic images, and our agency was named number one in Italy, number two in Europe and number 37 in the world* by License Global.
We describe our agency as the ‘Evolution of Licensing’, so we are always striving to improve our reach and service offering.

In 2023 the focus will be on new launches, including Guess for Corto Maltese. There will also be a licensing project alongside a very famous yacht company.

Social media is an endless source of new content – the future is digital. We are focusing also on NFTs and potential opportunities in the metaverse.

Retailers in Italy are becoming even warier about possible risks in the market, so are cautious when it comes to new property listings, depth of skus and size of inventory. Companies are having a hard time with sourcing of products, limited manpower, increasing costs and more competition. This overall situation is a potential threat to the licensing business. The only way to mitigate it is to continue innovating.

2022: The word is growth. 2023: Growth!”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2023 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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