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TLL CHART

Licensed Digital Celebrities

By Karina Masolova

The licensing industry is looking towards digital celebrities as the new frontier. For the first time, a YouTube celebrity is set to lead the keynote address at Brand Licensing Europe 2015 (BLE) on October 13, 2015. Fitness guru Cassey Ho will take the stage alongside YouTube’s Global Head Top Creators, Benjamin Grubbs. You might recall that Grubbs had also shared the stage with fashion influencer Bethany Mota at this year’s Licensing Expo.

Interestingly enough, the interest isn’t reciprocal. In the finalized schedule for Stream Con NYC, a three-day online video convention (Oct. 30–Nov. 1, 2015), creator workshops are geared exclusively towards identifying and building branded marketing partnerships, rather than consumer products licensing programs.

Although digital celebs are highly desirable to brands as strong purchase influencers (particularly for Millennials), it’s often risky for licensees to monetize their brand power, as TLL reported in February. As a result, many social media stars offer their licensed products via on-demand Web sites, rather than brick-and-mortar stores.

Despite the difficulties, there is a thriving roster of digital celebrities with traditional licensing programs. Click here to access an updated version of the Digital Celebs chart, first published February 2015.

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