Is anyone surprised that Disney’s Toy Story 3 won the award for overall best licensed program of the year at the 2011 Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas in June? Probably not, since Disney has always reigned in the licensing arena. But the big entertainment franchises should watch out… Newly popular mobile app brands are moving in. Big time.
According to a recent Ad Age article, “the number of consumers already using entertainment apps is equal to a blockbuster motion picture franchise.”
Case in point? The Angry Birds phenomenon – a video game app developed by Rovio Mobile where players slingshot birds at pigs (really) – has captured a ton of licensed products at major retailers, and even on some outrageous items like the newly offered Angry Birds Bra from Esty.com!
Angry Birds has become so much part of today’s pop culture, that photos have even been Tweeted showing Angry Birds on a physics test as a way to engage young learners.
Or take The Smurfs — The Smurfs, an 8 billion dollar property over 15 years that lay dormant, has been revived this summer by Sony Entertainment …and apparently the licensing opportunities played a big part in that decision. The Smurfs movie now has mega licensing partnerships with Post Cereals, Kids Foot Locker, and more.
So, you’ve got to ask: Are these new digital properties the next money-makers in entertainment licensing? I’m not positive who’s gonna “out-do” who this year, but my guess is the Birds will soar!