Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I find it very interesting and informative to track the retail sales figures of art licensors to see the ebb and flow of their success in licensing. The only figures that I find available (without paying a fee) is published yearly in the Global License! magazine's April issue of the "Top 100 Global Licensors." These articles list all licensors such as product brands, characters, entertainment and art. Disney always tops the list. In 2008, products with Disney art sold at retail $30B (billion). Scholastic Media was the 100th top licensor in 2008 at $50M (million) retail. In 2008, seven artists were listed in the top 100 licensors which means that they sold over $50M at retail. Note: The information on the amount sold at retail listed in Global License! magazine is dependent on what is reported to them by licensors because many are private enterprises. Thus, there could be other art licensors selling more than $50M at retail that are not included in the article because Advanstar (publisher of Global License! magazine) was not informed.
An interesting side note: If you do a "rough" calculation on how much money an artist would earn on $50M at retail and lets say at 5 percent royalty on the wholesale price ("if" one-half retail), it would be a staggering $1.25M.
Below is a chart of ten art licensors that I have tracked since 1998. Notice that three of the artists no longer make the top 100 licensors list. That could be because they no longer sell enough to make the list or they have opted not to report their figures to Advanstar.