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TOTAL LICENSING
lished properties, and often support we are certainly at a saturation point ing up all the time. Sofia’s Diary is a
only the popular evergreen properties in that just about all third parties to perfect example, broadcast on Bebo
such as Thomas the Tank Engine, Bob any licensing momentum are seeking and now Fiver, drawing in audiences
the Builder and Winnie the Pooh. only penalty kicks in front of the posts of around 300k per episode on both
Many production companies use li- with a fair tail wind and Johnny Wilkin- platforms. We’re working closely
censing as a model for boosting their son taking them! The entrepreneurial with Sony and it’s very exciting from
revenues, especially in the current cli- flair has generally gone and we are in a sponsorship, product placement, li-
mate where TV companies pay less for an interim evolutionary phase that is censing and promotional point of view.
programs now than in previous years. unfortunately devoid of creative drive Creativity and innovation will always
The result is that many licensed prod- and emotive tenacity. The power base rise to the surface, even in a competi-
ucts hit the market before they have of decision-making has shifted and tive marketplace”.
developed a real following among their those with the least brand insight now
target audience. However, retailers will hold the auctioneer’s gavel”. Clare Piggot: “I don’t – and not just
always make space for properties that for the obvious reason that if it were
have gained significant exposure from Richard Hollis: “Let’s face it – there at saturation point I wouldn’t have a
TV and thus can demonstrate success- has always been an infinite supply of job! TV can never be saturated. There
ful consumer pull”. entertainment. The definition of en- will always be room in the schedules
tertainment is so varied for children for breakframe, excellent product. The
Nicholas Durbridge: “It depends on today – books, films, TV, online, com- same applies to licensing. There will
how you define saturation. Children puter games to name just a few. Previ- always be classics but equally there
are, undoubtedly, spoiled for choice in ous generations may not have had the will always be hot new properties – be
terms of channels and programs. But technological advances that children they film properties, pre-school hits
there’s always room for more. If you have today but there have always been or live action. Licensing works on the
look at children’s programming on TV stories to tell and the form that takes volcano principle: the most important
only around 10% have licensing pro- is changing, adapting and evolving mo- things bubble to the top of the vol-
grams beyond DVDs or publishing”. ment by moment. cano – or to the forefront of retailers’
So of course unlimited supply of sto- minds – and continue to bubble away
Angela Farrugia: “The UK Enter- ries and a finite market means satura- at the top. The remainder slides off
tainment marketplace is still crowded tion. The point is that even the best down the slopes. Put a little more pro-
Sean Clarke
and breakthrough is a difficult task, entertainment has always had to fight saically, hot properties will come along
Aardman
however it remains possible to stand to be heard and enjoyed. Today, as al- and retailers will want them in order
out from the crowd. Over the last few ways, anything innovative, high quality, to generate sales: that’s the nature of
years we have seen the buying pat- moving, funny or inspiring will break licensing”.
terns of the largest retailers change through. Quality is all that matters”.
to suit a more fickle and changing au- Claire Shaw: “Strong innovative new
dience, Movies are definitely ‘back in’ John McInnerny: “I am not sure programming will always manage to
with the largest studios having ‘tuned what saturation point is. Retail space cut through and find a home, so it’s
in’ to more accurately reflect what is, of course, limited but if you have a little presumptuous to conclude the
buyers need in terms of material and something good enough or appealingly UK entertainment marketplace is at
lead time to capture this interest. But different then space will be found”. saturation point. Certainly, the trend
the reality of only 3 or 4 properties for retailers in recent times has to
being 80% of the marketplace at one Bettina Koechler: “The UK market, been to focus on evergreen properties
time still holds true”. just like any other territory, should be such as Postman Pat which manage to
regarded as an evolving place with fluc- successfully transcend all generations.
Stephen Gould: “I suppose this re- tuations in the industry. The market is However, there is also a new trend
ally depends upon your interpretation quite sophisticated and doesn’t leave emerging that you don’t have to be
of saturation. However, one thing is for a lot of room to grow; however, there a heritage brand to succeed. You only
sure we are in a market where retail are always new products and designs have to look at In The Night Garden to
shelf space is being consolidated at the which can attract new target groups demonstrate the tremendous impact a
Ciarán Coyle
same time as the plethora of licensing either within the world of prospective brand new property can deliver”.
Beanstalk Group
opportunities is being expanded. It’s licensees or amongst the consumers,
a simple case of “Elasticity of Supply as seen by properties such as In the Anthony Temple: “Yes – how many
and Demand” and on that basis, the Night Garden”. more television channels can any in-
UK (which shall include Eire for ease dividual watch? With entertainment
of reference) is probably one of the Vickie O’Mally: “Quite the reverse, coming from so many different plat-
most challenging – if not indeed the the shape of entertainment properties forms, including the internet and other
most difficult – markets in the world and their route to market is changing new media, the market for entertain-
to succeed in. In terms of “attitude” so fast that opportunities are open- ment based merchandise has become
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