Last week we saw the annual Brand Licensing Europe show take place at London Olympia. Over 7,500 people walked through the show, visiting exhibits from more than 280 brand owners. The event generated more than 2,700 posts on social media, with over 14.4 million potential impressions!
It’s arguably the most colourful trade show out there – where else are you going to see the Teletubbies wandering around next to The Snowman? Social media reflected this, with more than 70% of the posted content including images and/or video.
Aside from the great photo opportunities (as evidenced by the MWWPR team in action above!), there was plenty of action from key brands, including the premier of the new Jurassic Outpost Fallen Kingdom banner, Sony Pictures Consumer Products building to the release of the new Peter Rabbit film and Hotel Transylvania 3 and the appearance of Street Cat Bob!
There was also lots of discussion around key trends and the continued evolution of licensing – here are our key takeaways from the show:
BROADENING OF MEDIA
The media world is now the broadest it’s ever been – taking the example of TV, we’ve gone from limited channels, to the explosion of satellite, to the arrival of digital only players such as Netflix and Amazon.
This has opened the world of licensing up hugely, with opportunities across the board.
With Netflix having recently appointed a director of global licensing, this looks set to continue.
ADULTS ARE OFFICIALLY IN
Whilst licensing may have previously been seen as predominantly for children, we’ve seen a huge change in this over the last couple of years.
‘Grown up’ licensing, particularly associated with TV hits like Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, is thriving, with ‘adult’ licensing also having a moment having built from the global success of 50 Shades of Grey.
THE BREXIT EFFECT
You could not escape the questions around the effect Brexit might have on the licensing industry this year.
LIMA UK MD Kelvyn Gardner presented on the subject, with the issue of the single market of course at the heart of the conversation.
If the UK does leave the single market, that could have big repercussions for licensing. Watch this space…
With five of the top 10 global markets for licensing from Europe, the strength of the region is clear. Interestingly, the Western European market makes up 20% of the global industry, with Eastern Europe only at 4%. Eastern Europe has bags of potential with plenty of room to grow, so expect to see that happen over the coming years.
In addition, we should be watching the Korean licensing market – with elements of Korean culture (such as K-Pop) starting to break through, we would expect licensing to follow.