Licensingpages recently attended the Licensing Summit in London and it was clear that the brand owners and brand channel owners are focusing on many new areas of growth as a result of their traditional revenue streams becoming diluted.
In other words it is not good enough to just rely on a license coming from a TV programme and being sold exclusively into retail. The license needs to be managed across TV, the web, mobile, traditional retailers, on-line retailers and directly to consumers. Cartoon Network and Fremantle were two companies demonstrating just how effective this process can be.
We felt that this was a very exciting development for the licensing industry in general and drags the licensing industry further into the mainstream marketing mix where it belongs. Another point made by retailers such as Amazon and Woolworths and Tesco is that they were using licensing agents and brand owners in increasing frequency to help with the licenses sales and promotional activity.
There is a lesson for toy companies here where their licenses and products can be stretched into new categories. For example, a simple licensed jigsaw puzzle could be made into a mobile screensaver, an on-line game, sold online via the companies website, micro-sited through Amazon and Play.com, and promoted in the windows of Hamleys.
Such activities may cost money but with the combined effort of licensing agencies, multiple licensees and with the support of retailers and new media activities this can be a huge area of growth, not forgetting the added possibility of promotions across FMCG ranges.
One final point is the limitation of your license agreement with the rights owner. We are finding that licensors and agents are happy to make an addendum to an existing agreement where value is added and the chance of increasing revenue arises and where other licensees in categories outside the toy industry remain unaffected.
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