Start Your FREE Membership NOW
 Get Immediate Access to Licensing Articles & Special Features
 Receive Our Weekly eNewsletters, The Deal Sheet,
   The Licensing Advisor and Weekly Wrap Up
 Absolutely NO Risk or Obligation on Your Part -- It's FREE!



Upgrade to Premium Membership NOW for Just $47!
Get 3 Months of Full Premium Membership Access
Includes Our Monthly Newsletter, Licensing News, Deals, and Contacts
And MUCH MORE!
PRESCHOOL

As Generations Shift, Preschool Market Follows

Broadly speaking, the demographics of the world are changing—on a global level, parents are having fewer children while their financial prospects are improving. For some countries, that translates into increased spending on largely non-essential items, like licensed toys and premium-priced bottles. For other territories, that means decreased spending on essentials like diapers and juice boxes. But most of the time, it’s a mix of both.

Today, the English-speaking world provides the bulk of preschool-aged entertainment media and content consumed by children throughout the world. Preschool properties hailing from the U.S./Canada make up roughly 44% of all which have some licensing activity, followed by the U.K. (29%) and the rest of Europe (16%).


But that picture will gradually shift—and it is largely expected that U.S.-based contents dominance will be challenged by home-grown properties from countries like the U.K., China, Russia, and even India which (each at their own pace and level) realize the importance of publicly funding and regulating children’s broadcasting content.

In one sense, it’s just a numbers game. By analyzing the top 49 countries for which TLL tracks individual country retail sales, it is clear that the fastest-growing market for licensed consumer goods is Asia. On the other hand, it is important to note that just because a country has more children, does not mean that its economy will pour more dollars into content production and consumer goods development. Certain countries with lower birth rates and lower child populations will obviously outspend others. But the 49-country comparison below has, at its starting point, countries whose economies are developed enough to generate at least some licensed retail sales. By observing general population trends, it is possible to predict, to some extent, the largest territories of growth with reference to other economic indicators.

The countries with the largest populations in the world are India and China, which respectively are home to 19.3% and 12.6% of the world’s children. But what makes each of these country’s economies so appealing is the fact that as birth rates have decreased, income has increased—and consumer spending has gradually eroded manufacturing’s share of GDP.

In China, this latest generation is one of the most economically powerful to date because of multiple one-child generations. While generational wealth is typically spread out in a pyramid shape from one ancestor to increasingly successive (plural) decedents in western countries, that model is flipped in China. Wealth is instead concentrated from two sets of parents into one child over successive generations.

And of course, restrictive government controls on what type of content may be distributed throughout the country play a key role in elevating the importance of domestic Chinese production houses. Similar policies in Russia, however, do not mean that foreign producers are as eager to partner with internal players because the market for children’s goods has been shrinking along with lowered birth rates.

The “flipped triangle” trend is also visible in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam. South Korea has also seen rapid tapering of the “triangle” and increased levels of consumer spending—in addition to content production and export (albiet not as much for kid’s content). But the trend shines in the Middle East, especially in countries like UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, where a developed market for consumer goods already exists—and it is relatively simple to expand it further. The region will likely remain dependent on foreign entertainment for the upcoming decade, however, especially as internet penetration in the region increases.

While the U.S. has quite a lot of children, ranking 6th in the world in terms of sheer number, declining birthrates have translated into decreased sales of staple goods like formula and diapers. Despite low unemployment numbers, higher insurance and childcare costs are still pressuring American families.

But it is important to remember that spending doesn’t necessarily originate from parents. Because U.S. families tend to have siblings more often than only kids, the declining marriage rate actually translates into higher “non-essential” sales of preschool products as aunts, uncles, and even family friends have more room in their pocketbooks to lavish on the youngest members of their pack.

Eventually, the narrative of consumer consumption in the U.S. will be a common one worldwide. But not before the lines of content production shift to one that is less driven by U.S.- and U.K.-based properties.

In Europe, the story is more nuanced. France, Germany, and Italy are actually emerging as baby powerhouses, while the Nordic countries are seeing declines—all from relatively low “starting” birthrates in the 1960s. In part, because the media market is a bit more free-flowing within the European Union, the demographic shift is being mirrored more quickly than in other territories. It will be interesting to see the impact of Brexit on this market—but any concerns might be void, as many production houses are moving across the water to Ireland.

At the very least, the data suggests that the kid’s market will be increasingly diverse and demanding—even as a greater number of properties will have the opportunity to shine on the world stage.

For more data, including retail sales of licensed preschool merchandise and the top preschool properties, visit the Licensing Data Bank. If you’re not subscribed to the Data Bank, you can still check out the top 20 preschool properties generating over $100 million in licensed retail sales worldwide.

Average Births Per Woman, by Decade, in Top Countries for Licensed Retail Sales
Notes: *Decade average only includes years 2010–2015. **Country data not available. Fertility rate data sourced from The World Bank.
Rank, 2016Country1960–19791980–19992000–2015Change, 1960's to 2010's*
1U.S. 2.51.92.0-38%
2Japan2.01.61.4-30%
3Canada2.51.71.6-49%
4U.K.2.41.81.8-32%
5China (mainland)5.12.21.6-74%
6France2.51.82.0-28%
7Germany2.01.41.4-41%
8Italy2.31.31.4-44%
9Brazil5.13.11.9-69%
10Australia2.71.91.9-40%
11Spain2.81.51.3-54%
12Mexico6.43.62.4-66%
13Netherlands2.41.61.7-43%
14Belgium2.21.61.8-29%
15India5.54.12.7-58%
16Sweden2.01.81.8-15%
17Taiwan**
18Turkey5.63.32.2-65%
19South Africa5.63.82.6-57%
20Austria2.31.51.4-46%
21Switzerland2.11.51.5-38%
22Denmark2.21.61.8-30%
23South Korea4.41.81.2-77%
24Finland2.11.71.8-28%
25Hong Kong3.61.41.1-73%
26Portugal3.01.71.3-59%
27New Zealand3.12.02.0-44%
28Norway2.51.81.8-36%
29Greece2.31.51.4-40%
30Russia2.11.71.5-24%
31Saudi Arabia7.35.93.1-62%
32Chile4.02.51.9-61%
33Argentina3.23.02.4-24%
34Ireland/Eire3.72.32.0-49%
35Poland2.42.01.3-48%
36Singapore3.51.71.3-74%
37Philippines6.34.43.3-55%
38Malaysia5.23.62.2-65%
39Czech Republic2.21.71.4-29%
40Indonesia5.33.32.5-56%
41Macau2.71.61.0-68%
42Hungary2.01.71.3-30%
43UAE6.54.32.0-73%
44Qatar6.74.32.3-71%
45Iceland3.22.22.0-45%
46Thailand5.32.31.6-75%
47Luxembourg1.91.61.6-32%
48Egypt6.24.63.2-50%
49Vietnam6.23.61.9-70%
Worldwide4.63.22.5-50%

Children Aged 0–14 Years-old, in Top Countries for Licensed Retail Sales, 2016
Notes: **Country data not available. Data sourced from The World Bank.
Rank, 2016CountryNumber of Children (thousands)Children as Share of Total Country PopulationShare of GirlsShare of World Child Population
1U.S. 61,48517%49%3.2%
2Japan16,42830%49%0.8%
3Canada5,79529%49%0.3%
4U.K.11,56421%49%0.6%
5China (mainland)244,03130%46%12.6%
6France12,15820%49%0.6%
7Germany10,82121%49%0.6%
8Italy8,24718%49%0.4%
9Brazil45,96729%49%2.4%
10Australia4,56033%49%0.2%
11Spain6,86315%49%0.4%
12Mexico34,5380%49%1.8%
13Netherlands2,82415%49%0.1%
14Belgium1,93316%49%0.1%
15India373,35641%47%19.3%
16Sweden1,72315%49%0.1%
17Taiwan*41%
18Turkey20,11816%49%1.0%
19South Africa16,31329%50%0.8%
20Austria1,23318%49%0.1%
21Switzerland1,2410%49%0.1%
22Denmark95134%49%0.0%
23South Korea6,99536%48%0.4%
24Finland90018%49%0.0%
25Hong Kong82419%48%0.0%
26Portugal1,43139%49%0.1%
27New Zealand9300%49%0.0%
28Norway93342%49%0.0%
29Greece1,54246%49%0.1%
30Russia24,96042%49%1.3%
31Saudi Arabia8,24237%49%0.4%
32Chile3,68214%49%0.2%
33Argentina10,98826%49%0.6%
34Ireland/Eire1,0360%49%0.1%
35Poland5,61836%49%0.3%
36Singapore85425%49%0.0%
37Philippines33,02629%49%1.7%
38Malaysia7,67917%49%0.4%
39Czech Republic1,60811%49%0.1%
40Indonesia72,20532%49%3.7%
41Macau7843%48%0.0%
42Hungary1,40915%49%0.1%
43UAE1,28733%49%0.1%
44Qatar35714%49%0.0%
45Iceland6724%49%0.0%
46Thailand12,15628%49%0.6%
47Luxembourg9639%49%0.0%
48Egypt32,00939%48%1.7%
49Vietnam21,39328%48%1.1%
Worldwide1,939,00339%48%100.0%

CLOSE TO VIEW ARTICLE x

You have 3 articles left to view this month.

Your 3 Free Articles Per Month Goes Very Quickly!
Get a 3 month Premium Membership to
The Licensing Letter for just $47!

Sign up now and get unlimited access to all articles, archives, and tools for The Licensing Letter!

Close

EMAIL ADDRESS


PASSWORD
EMAIL ADDRESS

FIRST NAME

LAST NAME

TITLE

COMPANY

CITY / STATE

Try Premium Membership

(-000tll)
()