License Global has revealed the top 150 global licensors for 2020, with The Walt Disney Company taking out the top spot once again. 

According to the report, the entertainment giant reported $54.7 billion in annual retail sales of licensed product in 2019.

License Global said that due to landmark mergers such as its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the launch of its streaming service Disney+, the business made significant contributions to the licensed consumer products space, keeping it in the pole position. 

License Global content director Amanda Cioletti said that prior to the pandemic, the global industry was experiencing a period of significant change. 

"Prior to the global disruption surrounding the pandemic, the licensing landscape was in midst of transformation with several major mergers and acquisitions reshaping the business, such as the CBS and Viacom landmark deal and Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which shifted the trajectory of these media giants and significantly impacted the biggest category for licensed consumer goods across product programs. 

"We are at a turning point for the licensing industry – one that affords it an opportunity to shift strategies and creatively rebound.

"It’s a trend we’re seeing in this year’s report as leading brands showcase ingenuity in how they reach the ever-evolving consumer in a deeper and more meaningful ways, and one we expect to continue as the landscape shifts even further in 2020," she said. 

Movers and shakers 

In 2019, Authentic Brands Group – a brand development, marketing, media and entertainment company – reported $12.3 billion in licensed sales, pushing it to number three after coming in at number five last year. 

The Pokémon Company also climbed the ranks, moving from number 23 to number 11 in this year's list, reporting $4.2 billion in sales of licensed merchandise in 2019. 

New faces 

The year also marked notable licensing success stories, with new companies making their debut on this year's list. 

Baby Shark owner Pinkfong made its debut on the list following its viral success (with views currently sitting at 6.3 billion), as well as Acamar Films, Funimation, SEGA of America, Sharper Image, Toho and WHP Global. 

According to License Global, the top 10 global leading licensors are: 

  1.             The Walt Disney Company – $54.7B
  2.             Meredith Corporation – $26.5B
  3.             Authentic Brands Group – $12.3B
  4.             WarnerMedia – $11B
  5.             PVH Corp. – $10.6B (estimated)
  6.             Universal Brand Development – $7.1B
  7.             Hasbro – $6.9B
  8.             ViacomCBS – $5.8B
  9.             General Motors – $4.62B (estimated)
  10.             Sanrio – $4.4B (estimated)

 The full report is available for download on the License Global website. 

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