The licensing industry in Spain is estimated to comprise nearly 600 companies as active participants (Property owners, licensing agents, licensees…). Over 1,300 licensing properties are listed in the market, according to industry sources.
Licensing has been growing strongly in the last few years in Spain, although a characteristic of the Spanish market is that it tends to concentrate in few segments with many licenses. The current economic environment has affected the industry with a reluctance to incorporate new properties by licensees and agents, both of whom are focusing efforts on well-established properties. There is a perception in the industry of market saturation, as the number of properties has grown significantly while the number of licensees is remaining stable.
The expectation for the coming years is that the licensing industry will expand into new segments, with the ongoing transition to Digital Terrestrial Television, online social networks and digital entertainment fueling strong growth in this area.
A significant number of licenses are linked to television. As mentioned, Spain is currently experiencing the transition from analog television to Terrestrial Digital Television (TDT), which will significantly increase the number of channels available. In addition to this national network, there are Pay TV services available through satellite,internet and cable, as well as regional and local TDT channels.
Spanish TV networks are increasingly recognizing the importance of licensing as a means to increase revenue generation. They are developing their own properties and partnering with property owners in multiple formats. As well, they are developing tools, such as online social networks that will help to increase the impact on users and that will likely reinforce the merchandising/licensing business.
Below are highlighted some additional licensing trends in Spain:
- The categories where licensing is growing more in percentage of total sales are: toys, fashion textile,
- Toys and stationery have always been important product categories in Spain, to which we can add video games and mobile content in recent years. Over 1/3 of toys sold in Spain seem to be based on licensing.
- Pre-school properties have grown significantly in recent years, with a strong link to successful TV shows such as “Los Lunnis” or “Pocoyo”.
- There is a strong seasonality in sales: the category “Back to School” develops 50 % of sales between August 20 and September 16 (over 85% of products in this segment are estimated to be licensed). As well, Perfumes and Cosmetics concentrate 60% of sales in Christmas.
- Regarding the retail channel, there is a increase in the direct-to-retail licensing model. At present, there seems to be very few specific licensing directors/managers in major retailers such as El Corte Ingles, a contact person usually sought after by U.S. property owners visiting the country.
- A multiplatform approach to developing properties is becoming prevalent in the market, although slowly.
By Jesus Garcia