Seeing the Bigger Picture

The number of artists and art agents exhibiting at Licensing Expo continues to shrink, with the smallest contingent in recent memory represented at the 2019 edition earlier this month. In part, this decline is due to the nature of the Expo. It faces competition from art-only events, such as Surtex and Blueprint, which attract more […]

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If The Shoe Fits…

The extended-sizing trend has been gaining steam in the women’s fashion industry (and men’s, too, to some extent) over the past few years, as fashion labels and their collaboration partners release collections for the whole spectrum of consumers, from petit to plus-size. The trend is not limited to just clothing. Consumers not only want trend-forward […]

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Creators as Brands

A handful of celebrity- and estate-licensing programs exhibiting this year at Licensing Expo, held last week in Las Vegas, were centered not on actors or musicians, but on creators of entertainment properties. For example: Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment was founded by the late comic book creator to manage and license newly created IP not owned […]

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Moonlighting Beyond Late Night

The hosts of several of the leading late-night talk shows in the U.S. have been moonlighting in other areas of the content business. They are becoming involved in side projects, sometimes spin-offs of their main gig and sometimes ventures entirely unrelated to their primary series. These initiatives occasionally lend themselves to licensed products. For example: […]

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A Tumultuous Month for Meal Kits

A lot has happened in the constantly changing meal kit space in the last month or so, with some developments positive and some challenging. Taken together, these recent news items provide a snapshot of the current status of the meal kit business. This remains a category of interest to many licensors, especially in the celebrity, […]

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The People’s Choice

Licensees, and some licensors, turn to crowdfunding as a way to raise awareness for new products among their most loyal fans, test new products and features, and/or generate funding for new initiatives. Most recent campaigns have taken one of the following directions: • Using crowdfunding as an ongoing strategy for launching new products under an […]

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Snap, Crackle, and Pop! (Vinyl)

Over the past year and a half, collectibles brands have been entering the breakfast cereal market. The products are intended to taste good, but also to serve as a collectible in their own right. They are often sold through retail outlets that focus on collectibles and other non-food products, rather than in supermarkets. Three notable […]

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Comfort TV

Some very wholesome TV shows from the past have spurred merchandise programs in recent years, and their efforts continue to expand. Modern consumers likely gravitate to these brands in large part due to their nostalgic appeal, but also, at least to a degree, because they serve as an antidote to today’s digitally driven, politically charged, […]

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Influencing the Craft Category

Social media influencers specializing in handmade crafting and inspiration have, not surprisingly, had a growing presence in the licensing business. They mostly maintain a tight focus on crafting supplies, although some have extended into a few adjacent categories as well. Examples include: Lauren Riihimaki, or LaurDIY. Key licensees, brokered by The Brand Liaison, include Plaid […]

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Power Players Enter E-Sports

Licensing tied to e-sports leagues, governing bodies, teams, and athletes has been slowly growing for the past three or so years. Most of the action to date has occurred through specialist licensees and distributors such as We Are Nations, Meta Threads, EsportsOnly.com, Manatee.gg, and Esportsclothing.com. There have also been occasional capsule collections, as well as […]

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