The licensing industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and innovations emerging each year. In 2023, we can expect to see a number of key trends shaping the industry and driving its growth. Among those trends, we can expect a growing focus on big action, animation and superhero content.
With the rise of streaming services and the success of franchises like Marvel and DC Comics, the licensing industry is placing more emphasis on big-budget productions that offer exciting and immersive experiences for fans. As we have seen in recent years, big action, animation, and superhero content have been incredibly popular with audiences. This is likely to continue to be the case in the future, as these types of productions tend to be big box office draws and generate a lot of merchandise and licensing revenue.
The BrandTrends ranking reflects this massive trend, with super-heroes representing not less than 40% in average of the most favorite brands across countries.
In North America, Action and Adventure genres reach half of the Top10 most successful movies for 2023. Action being the first, with The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Avatar: The Way of Water, Ant-Man and the Wasp, John Wick: Chapter 4 being the four winning movies as we talk.
This comes from the need for high-quality content than can capture attention and provide an immersive viewing experience. And this presents a significant opportunity for licensors and licensees who can invest in content that has broad appeal and can generate buzz, attracting more viewers and increasing revenue.
Animation, through comics and anime, plays a major role. However, it is important to note that comics and anime are two different types of audio-visual stories that appeal to different fans, although they could be similar at times. Comics, for example, offer a rich source of material for adaptations, and the popularity of comic book adaptations has contributed to the surge in demand for superhero content. Anime, on the other hand, offers a unique viewing experience that appeals to a shorter range of audiences, with its distinct Japanese animation style and storytelling.
Understanding the differences between those winning genres can help licensors and licensees to tailor their content to specific audiences, maximizing their potential for success.
In the same way, the growing impact of Marvel and DC Comics franchises illustrates the need of reinsurance regarding the content’s quality. Along the past months, super-heroes themselves have lost some footprint among most popular brands around the globe (source BrandTrends most popular brand rankings), to the benefit of their publishing mother brand. Marvel ranks second as most popular brand among 0 to 14 years old around the globe in January’23 according to BrandTrends rankings.
As the trend for big action, animation and superhero content continues to grow, licensors and licensees must focus on producing high-quality content that can meet the expectations of this enthusiastic fanbase. By creating content that can captivate the imagination and offer thrilling experiences, brands can generate loyal fanbases and increase sales. This trend is not limited to streaming platforms but is also prevalent in other media channels, such as gaming, indicating that it is here to stay.
To succeed in the licensing market for 2023 and beyond, brands must be able to create engaging, high-quality content that resonates with audiences. By tapping into this trend for big action, animation and superhero content, licensors and licensees can position themselves at the forefront of the licensing market, driving significant rewards and securing a competitive advantage. With the right investment in content, the licensing market presents an opportunity for brands to create exciting and immersive audio-visual experiences that capture the imagination of audiences worldwide.