August 6, 2020

The Top Media Publishing Brands Transforming The Licensing Industry

From newer digital news outlets to iconic magazines and book publishers, media publishing brands are beginning to develop strong licensing programs backed by their consumer affinity and global name recognition. The revenue potential for this sector of licensing is extremely high, and in License Global’s 2020 Publishing Insight Report, we read about some of the hottest trends and most significant insights into the world of publishing. Below is our analysis and take on this report.

Since 2018, the publishing sector accounted for 7.3% of global retail sales in licensed merchandise. It continued to grow at a steady 11.4% with most children’s books featuring a licensing property in 2019. On an international scale, the development of the licensed publishing sector mainly increased in Hong Kong and China by 17.1% with the U.S. following at 11.9% and the U.K. at 2%. These growing numbers not only establish the weight of licensing potential within the publishing industry, especially in Asia, but also make clear the opportunities that come with franchise building and creative output with valuable publishing IP.

Taking a look into what leaders within the publishing space are doing to grab ahold of these opportunities, we found that the collision of trends in both licensing and publishing can create a large impact on the growth of top media publishing brands. 

Buzzfeed is a prime example of integrating technology and user data, which led them to rank number one in Media Publishing Brands in Licensing by License Global. Their ability to generate content that catches the consumer’s eye as well as dive into any topic you can think of differentiates them from any other media publishing brand. They’ve taken advantage of the licensing opportunities that came their way through strategic partnerships with well-known brands such as Walmart, Buffalo Games and Wilton. The way they conduct and maintain these relationships is treated more like a joint venture with agreement for long-term investments. 

With a dozen product categories and sales of a quarter of a billion dollars in a relatively short amount of time, Buzzfeed has become one of the biggest industry influencers through their strategic partnerships, technological upkeep, and creativity.

As the publishing industry continues to grow within the licensing space, we’ll continue to take note of the innovative ways companies like Buzzfeed are monetizing their diverse IP assets. As portfolios strengthen over the next few years, we’re eager to see what new players will arise and create an impact in this space. To read License Global’s full report, head here


Global, License. “Publishing Insight 2020: Turning the Page, One Licensing Deal at a Time.”, Mar. 2020,

Licensing International Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey 2019 and 2018 Reports


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