News of the world: “Unlocking mass market retail is a challenge”

Genius Brands’ Kerry Phelan talks Shaq’s Garage, 100th celebrations for Stan Lee and the changing distribution landscape. 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 the US, with Kerry Phelan, chief brand officer, Genius Brands.

“2022 has been a very good building and growth year for Genius Brands. Our focus in 2023 will be on launching our newest brand, Shaq’s Garage, which features a new animated series starring Shaquille O’Neal and a robust consumer products programme. We will also begin seeking partners for the newest show in our portfolio, Wolfgang Puck’s Secret Chef Academy. And, of course, we will continue the celebrations for Stan Lee’s 100th birthday into 2023.

The distribution landscape is constantly changing, so building strategic partnerships will be key and delivering high-quality content that fits with broadcaster and streamer needs will be critical. We believe we have the goods to do that.

Unlocking mass market retail is the biggest challenge in this risk-averse environment for new, original IP. However, there are always opportunities for growth. For example, in 2022, we entered the e-commerce/DTC space and opened two new online stores; one for the Stan Lee brand, and one for our property Bee & PuppyCat, now available on Netflix, which has a highly engaged, cult-like fan base.

Two words to sum up 2022 and 2023: positive persistence.”

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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