Fashion and accessories are key product categories in licensing.

Among product categories for the global licensing market, apparel led the way in 2016 at 14.9 percent of total global licensed retail sales.

That data was from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association, also known as LIMA. The group released its 2017 survey today. So far it has completed three annual surveys. The survey was conducted by Brandar Consulting LLC for LIMA.

Following apparel for the top product category was toys, at 13.3 percent, and then fashion accessories, at 11.3 percent. In 2016, the fastest-growing product categories for licensing were infants and pet products. There was no change to category ranking from 2015.

Overall, global sales of licensed products and services rose 4.4 percent to $262.9 billion. Entertainment and character licensing remained the largest industry category, representing 45 percent, or $118.3 million, of the total global licensing market. Corporate and brand trademarks were the second-largest property category, accounting for 20.8 percent, or generating $54.6 billion in retail receipts, of the total revenues. Fashion followed in third place at 11.8 percent of the total market, or $31.1 billion. Sports rounded out the top four spots, at 9.6 percent and $25.3 billion of the total receipts at retail.

According to LIMA, royalty revenue from sales of licensed merchandise and services rose 1.3 percent to $14.1 billion. Further, the U.S. and Canada remains the largest market for licensed merchandise and services, with revenue accounting for 57.9 percent of the global total, up from 57.7 percent in 2015. The fastest-growing area was the Southeast Asia/PAC region, which posted 6.8 percent year-over-year growth and now accounts for 3.4 percent of global licensing revenue.

Marty Brochstein, LIMA’s senior vice president, said, “The emerging markets is where licensing has become a more viable business model due to the rising middle class who have more disposable income.”

Brochstein doesn’t foresee any changes for 2017. “I don’t see any reason for any major changes. Global sales of licensed products is a $262.9 billion business. At that size, any change happens incrementally,” he said.

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