Market Report: The Japanese Licensing Industry

“A look at the cultural, political and economic factors driving consumer behavior and the licensing business in the world’s third largest brand licensing market.

GLOBAL–LIMA has released its annual Global Licensing Industry Survey, providing a snapshot into the continued growth of the sector, with sales of licensed merchandise and services reaching $262.9 billion worldwide.

In addition to a look at the market globally, the report also highlights licensing product retail revenue and royalty data from 50 countries, which combined account for 98 percent of the licensing activity in the world. The survey was conducted by Brandar Consulting.

Global sales of licensed merchandise and services increased 4.4 percent to $262.9 billion in 2016 with Entertainment/Character remaining the largest category, accounting for 45 percent ($118.3 billion) of the total global licensing market. The results are in line with what was a record year at the global box office.

Corporate and brand trademarks were the next biggest property type, generating $54.6 billion (21 percent) of total revenues. Fashion ($31.1 billion, 12 percent), sports ($25.3 billion, 10 percent) and publishing ($17.5 billion, 7 percent) round out the Top 5 categories.

Royalty revenue from sales of licensed products and service rose a modest 1.3 percent to $14.1 billion in 2016, due primarily to change in the weighted average industry royalty rate from 8.5 percent to 8.2 percent.

Average retail gross margins also decreased by 2.8 percent in the past year as the era of e-commerce continued to drive a shift in control over margin from the retailer to the consumer. This trend was likely also responsible for the downward pressure on royalty rates.

In fact, the growth of e-commerce continues to be a major factor in the sale of licensed goods and services. The LIMA survey shows that online sales now account for 21 percent of all licensed retail sales worldwide, up from 18 percent in 2015. In the U.S., e-commerce accounts for 28 percent of licensed product sales and that number jumps even higher in China, where online sales of licensed products make up 41 percent of the total.”


"MicroValues and Knowledge Landscapes" is a working version article by Celso Singo Aramaki