When L!censing 2002 International hit the Jacob K Javits Convention Center in
New York, June 11-13, some of the biggest names in the recording industry were
represented, from Alicia Keys to Britney Spears, to Elvis and Everclear, Phish and
Licensing for artists has gone beyond the basic concert t-shirt and for many, has
developed into a bankable cottage industry. Retail sales of licensed merchandise based on recording industry celebrities and
personalities generated $1.6 billion in the past
"The growth in the number of recording superstars with licensing programs is notable,
and their licensing
representatives are using the licensing show to make the deals with retailers and
manufacturers that will grow their
product lines," notes Diane Stone, general manager, Global Licensing Group,
Advanstar Communications. "This
increases their exposure to the consumers who are attracted to these products
because they identify with the celebrities
as lifestyle brands, which makes for successful product and promotions programs.
Check out the excitement about the
Britney Spears dolls, apparel and accessories."
Charles M. Riotto, president, International Licensing Industry Merchandisers'
Association, adds, "Music is such an important part of our culture. Every year, an
increasing number of
musical acts take advantage of the opportunity to provide their fans with creative
merchandise to demonstrate their
allegiance. An effective licensing program not only provides performers significant
additional revenues generated by the
merchandise sales, it also helps drive music sales through the constant exposure
created for their works."
"Concert tours, CDs, electronic storage of music, the Internet, television and
globalization of pop culture and its icons
offer huge opportunities for the exposure of artists," Stone says. "Their ability to
capture minds, hearts, eyes and ears is
constantly augmented, making licensing the logical brand extension strategy for their
personas, lifestyles and all they stand for to a vast
marketplace of consumers who identify with what they project."
"More and more, artists have seen that licensing royalties can be a significant revenue
stream," states Matt Hautau, vice president, licensing,
Signatures Network, a leading merchandiser with a diverse client list that includes
new media darlings, The Osbourne Family. "The popularity of music licensing
enables us to increase our artists' presence in the marketplace, beyond the record
The Osbourne Family licensing program merchandise includes figurines from
Fun-4-All, backpacks from Accessory Network and much
more. Merchandise will hit retail shelves in full force for the Holiday 2002 shopping
season, coinciding with the debut of the second season
of The Osbournes.
Typically, as bands become more popular, the demand for their merchandise grows
and with it the demand and need for licensing increases.
Take Phish, for example, who makes its Licensing Show debut this year, but has
remained somewhat under the radar of the mainstream music world.
Early on, the band succeeded in operating outside the typical world of
merchandising. The only way fans could purchase merchandise was
at concerts, via mail order or from the band's in-house merchandise company, notes
Amy Skelton, Phish's director of licensing.
"With the launch of http://www.phish.com in 1996 and the growing popularity of the
band over the past few years, we've had to expand
merchandising beyond in-house, hence licensing," she notes. "By exhibiting at the
Licensing Show, we're looking expand our retail
opportunities and search for new licensees to create quality products that are unique
and will be easily available to our fans."
Phish's current licensing program includes Blue Grape Merchandising for hats,
t-shirts and sweatshirts, Import Images for posters and
Ripple Junction for stickers and patches.
JSR Merchandising Vice President Brad Hudson notes,
"Licensing is the second largest source of revenue for bands after ticket sales and it's
moved beyond t-shirt-based merchandise to a more
complete package driven by consumers and retailers. It's the more savvy bands who
have some sense about the value of
merchandising that are really looking to take advantage of the opportunities afforded
by licensing." JSR, representing more than 150 bands including Everclear, Kittie,
Tesla and Judas Priest, also made its Licensing Show debut.