License Global Announces the Top Global Licensors Featuring 75 Brands that Prevailed During a Year of Chaos

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--()--License Global magazine, the licensing industry's thought leader and news source published by the Global Licensing Group, today released its Top Global Licensors 2021 report identifying the world's top IP owners that drove the consumer product business forward during 2020 – a year unlike any other. The annual report, which showcases the world's most powerful brands based on prior-year sales of licensed merchandise, is once again topped by The Walt Disney Company, which reported $54 billion in retail sales worldwide of licensed and direct-to-consumer products, slightly less than the $54.7 billion the company reported in 2019. The latest report also includes a number of newcomers such as the United States Postal Service at No. 63 with $200 million in retail sales of licensed consumer products. Read the June issue of License Global in full here, or download the Top Global Licensors report direct here.

Unlike previous editions of the report, which has touted a ranking of the most powerful 150 brands around the world, the 2021 report hones in on 75 companies to ensure all retail sales listed are accurately reported and estimated in a systematic and accountable way.

"This year's report may look different; however, it is arguably the most important one yet," said Amanda Cioletti, content director, License Global. "As the year presented forced retail closures and brand consolidation, the latest report not only highlights trends that surfaced from the chaos of 2020, but the companies that have been able to find success in weathering such storms."

Newcomers to the Top 10
Top Global Licensors 2021 report sees two new entrants to the Top 10 – The Pokémon Company International and Bluestar Alliance. The Pokémon Company comes in at No. 8 with $5.1 billion in retail sales in 2020, a $900 million increase year-on-year. Pokémon, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, attributes retail sales to the franchise growth efforts that have grown to include video games, apps, the popular trading card game, animation, movies and play, as it extends beyond its core to gaming, toys, apparel and accessories, designer collabs, tech gear, home decor and more. Bluestar Alliance also saw very strong gains in 2020, reporting $4.5 billion in retail sales of licensed consumer products, a $1 billion increase from 2019, enabling it to achieve the No. 9 spot on the list. The company attributes its success in part to influencer-led marketing, the acquisition of Justice, direct-to-consumer and e-commerce platforms like Amazon, as well as distribution to all major markets globally.

The Top Ten Global Licensors Include:

  1. The Walt Disney Company – $54B
  2. Meredith Corporation – $30.1B
  3. Authentic Brands Group – $13.8B
  4. WarnerMedia – $11.B
  5. Hasbro – $7.8B
  6. NBCUniversal/Universal Brand Development – $7.5B
  7. ViacomCBS – $5.8B
  8. The Pokémon Company International – $5.1B
  9. Bluestar Alliance – $4.5B
  10. Sanrio – $3.9B

Many of the companies recognized on License Global's Top Global Licensors report are also attendees or exhibitors at one or several Global Licensing Group events.

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About License Global
License Global magazine, published by the Global Licensing Group, is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace. Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter, webinars, podcast and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector's trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summits.

About Global Licensing Group
The Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets is the licensing industry's leading tradeshow organizer and media partner. Its mission is to provide licensing opportunities around the world by bringing brands and products together. The following events and information products are produced for the licensing industry by the Global Licensing Group at Informa Markets: Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai, Brand & Licensing Innovation Summits, License Global magazine, License Global Daily E-News and The Licensing Mixtape podcast. Global Licensing Group events are sponsored by Licensing International.


Media Inquiries
Lauren Lloyd, PR Director


Media Inquiries
Lauren Lloyd, PR Director