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Merlin Announces New Music Licensing Pact With JOOX

The indie music licensing company Merlin has just announced a new partnership, this time with the makers of the music app JOOX, owned by Chinese parent company TenCent. JOOX is a new strategic partner that gives Merlin members access to new audiences in Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as South Africa. The agreement between the parties licenses Merlin content via JOOX’s ad-supported and premium tiers, as well as its karaoke feature and library. The music streaming company says it’s thrilled to work with Merlin, bringing a vast new library of unique content to its users across Asia and South Africa. “JOOX always strives to bring users a wide range of music entertainment content from around the globe in different languages and genres, catering… . . . read more

Bluey Crosses the English Channel to Air on France Television

The award winning kids animated series Bluey is crossing the English Channel to thrill a generation of children in France, as France Television has secured the rights to the show and BBC Studios has appointed France TV Distribution as its licensing agent in the country. Beginning this week, Bluey will be broadcast daily in the prime spots of 8:45 a.m. on weekends, and from Monday to Friday at 8:20 a.m.  Julie Kekwick, senior licensing manager, BBC Studios, said: “Building on the success of Bluey in Australia, New Zealand, the US and of course the widely anticipated launch in the UK, I am delighted that we have expanded our pre-school portfolio with France TV Distribution, as our licensing agent for Bluey alongside Hey Duggee and in turn strengthening our partnership with… . . . read more

China Continues Attack on Western Brands

By Gary Symons Editor in Chief Under attack by Western countries and some corporations over its treatment of the minority Muslim Uyghur population in the province of Xingiang, China has been lashing out at European and North American luxury brands over the past week, and took another shot at British fashion firm Burberry. The company, like H&M, Nike, and others, had suggested that cotton from the Xingiang region is problematic, and took a public stance to ban Xingiang cotton from any of its products. That did not go over well in Beijing, where the government has vowed to hit back against its critics. This week, Burberry was removed as a licensed partner from the overwhelmingly popular Chinese video game Honor of Kings. If you haven’t heard of the game, then… . . . read more

Beijing Lashes Out at Western Fashion Brands

WAR OF WORDS OVER HUMAN RIGHTS SPILLS OVER INTO LICENSING, AS CHINA HITS BACK AGAINST H&M, ADIDAS, NIKE, AND MORE Stung by accusations of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region, Beijing is lashing out at Western fashion brands that have criticized the Chinese government. Already, Chinese state TV has called for a boycott of the Swedish retailer H&M, following sanctions by Western governments on Chinese officials accused of taking part in human rights abuses against the Uyghur people of Xinjiang. Some Chinese celebrities, like singer-actors Wang Yibo and Eason Chan (pictured), have begun cutting ties with Western companies. Chan, for example, has faced a backlash from fans in China after stepping down as a celebrity ambassador for Adidas. Wang similarly stepped down as brand ambassador for Nike, saying he… . . . read more

LEGO Named World’s Most Popular Kids Entertainment Brand

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief According to a sweeping new report on brands for children, LEGO is now the most popular kids’ entertainment brand in the world, followed by Disney, Marvel, Barbie, and with Paw Patrol rounding out the Top 5.  The data comes via a report from Brand Trends, in which mothers provided answers to a survey on behalf of their children, from ages 0 to 6.  However, it’s worth noting that some brands in the list could be combined, since, for example, Disney also owns Marvel.  And, while Spiderman is now part of the Marvel Universe, it is also so popular as a brand that it places sixth on the list as a separate franchise. Similarly, the Disney property Frozen places seventh.  If the various Disney-owned… . . . read more

MDR Brand Management Extends Reach Into Asia with Click! Acquisition

MDR Brand Management has acquired a leading Asia brand management company, CLICK! Licensing Asia Inc., creating the most comprehensive pan-Asian solution for brand owners and their intellectual property assets. The strategic acquisition adds to MDR Brand Management’s existing Asian presence and follows its recent opening of three new offices in India. MDR Brand Management now operates in 25 locations around the world, with its global HQ in London. “Alongside the newly opened offices in India, this acquisition successfully completes phase one of our expansion strategy and enables us to deliver the most expansive brand management platform across the whole of Asia,” said Daniel Avener, CEO of MDR Brand Management. “We are delighted to welcome the CLICK! team to the MDR family, bringing an incredible range and breadth of experience across… . . . read more

SILC 2020 Confirms Speakers for Inaugural Licensing Conference

The first ever Sustainability in Licensing Conference (SILC) goes ahead with a virtual format Nov. 24-25, as SILC organizers announce they have confirmed a full agenda of keynote speeches, panel discussions and research presentations. The conference will feature a wide array of retailers and visionaries, all focused on helping the licensing community drive sustainable growth within their business and in the industry as a whole. “While all our personal and business lives continue to be disrupted by COVID-19, joining SILC 2020 which is uninterrupted by taking place online means that we can all continue on our sustainable journey,” said Helena Mansell-Stopher, the SILC curator and director. “The commitment we have engendered in SILC, as evidenced by the fabulous line-up of speakers and official supporters, highlights the collective drive for change on… . . . read more

TikTok Makes Monetization Move with Partner Shopify

The hugely popular and – in the US at least – politically controversial social media platform TikTok pulled off a huge move this week in its quest to monetize the rapidly growing brand.  TikTok’s short, user-generated videos have been the single most popular social media innovation of the past two years, with millions of users and viewers signing on in just months.  Less welcome for TikTok was the attention of US President Donald Trump, who saw the Chinese-owned platform as a security threat to US citizens.  Clearly, many US and Western corporations don’t agree, as businesses large and small have rushed to partner with the rapidly growing user-generated video platform. Now TikTok and the Canadian ecommerce giant Shopify have launched a new “compatibility project” which allows small business owners to… . . . read more

Evolution USA Wins Exclusive Licensing Deal with Meredith for Life Brand and The Life Picture Collection

Get ready for a lot more Life in you life, as Evolution USA plans a major rollout of visual assets from one of the world’s premier photography art brands.  Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) has named Evolution USA as their North America, Australia and New Zealand licensing and brand management agency for the LIFE brand and The LIFE Picture Collection, effective immediately. Evolution plans to accelerate the monetization of Life’s digital media assets by seeking new licensing and brand expansion opportunities for LIFE and its massive photo archive in a variety of product classifications and consumer experiences. These will include apparel, accessories, home furnishings, housewares, gifts and collectibles, food and beverage, stationery and paper goods, brand and artist collaborations, hospitality, location-based entertainment experiences, gaming, and promotions. “We’re excited to partner with Evolution… . . . read more

Sun-Maid Partners with TreImage to Extend Its Iconic Raisin Brand

Sun-Maid®, the iconic raisin brand, announced Nov. 2 it has selected licensing and marketing agency TreImage, LLC, to assist in expanding its brand extension program. As the world’s largest raisin and dried fruit producer on the planet, Sun-Maid is also one of the world’s most recognizable food brands. Sun-Maid with its memorable little red box has grown into full-fledged better-for-you snacking brand Serving today’s millennial moms and snackers of all ages, Sun-Maid’s offerings have evolved from the humble raisin to a variety of snacks made with whole fruit. “We are so proud of the nostalgia of Sun-Maid and at the same time, we’re constantly looking forward to evolve with the wants and needs of today’s consumer,” said Harry Overly, President and CEO of Sun-Maid Growers of California. “With Trelmage, we are looking to grow the Sun-Maid… . . . read more