Amazon unveils Merch Collab, a new platform for brand licensing

Amazon unveils Merch Collab, a new platform for licensing which will make it easier and quicker for brands to reach Amazon’s 300 million customers.

“The licensing industry can grow to $1 trillion in the next ten years,” claims the internet giant at Licensing Expo.

The new platform will allow brands to work with carefully vetted designers and manufacturers. The aim is to make it easier and quicker for small businesses, entrepreneurs and designers to reach Amazon’s 300 million customers.

Nicholas Denissen, vice president of Amazon, gave the news as he delivered the keynote speech at Licensing Expo. ‘Great Expectations: Pace, Selection, Convenience and the Customer’ examined the rapidly shifting world of commerce and customer expectation. “Based on what we’ve learned, we believe that the licensing industry can grow to $1 trillion in the next ten years,” Denissen said. “That’s four times the current growth rate, 15 percent year-over-year. We’re on the cusp of a huge revolution in customer behaviour.”

The increased number of brands and the need for swifter turnaround times calls for new initiatives. Amazon believes its new Merch Collab programme is the solution. The platform will help licensors to develop and launch their products far more swiftly and easily.

“I’m excited to announce that Amazon is accepting applications for Merch Collab,” said Denissen. “Merch Collab is a new licensing program where brands can work with vetted designers and manufactures to help create the largest selection of unique branded merchandise.”

Licensors post guidelines for their brand on the portal. They will offer creative guidelines and give clear indications of what they want and don’t want. Then qualified designers will send product submissions to the brand owner. Brand owners will be able to approve or reject submissions, or ask for revisions, in under 30 seconds.

Licensors have full control over the process. They can choose when a product goes live and they can remove a live product at any juncture. Once the design is approved, it will become part of the brand’s Amazon store. The program will also analyse data so brand owners can ascertain how products are selling.

“Merch Collab was designed to make licensing as easy as one click, buy it now,” said Denissen.

The new licensing platform appears to be building on the success of Merch by Amazon. This already allows merchants to upload their designs and select products (such as t-shirts or hoodies) to sell. However designers are responsible for gaining permission for any third-party IP they wish to use.

Initially just a limited number of brands will be able to access Merch Collab reports License Global. However Amazon will accept further invitations throughout the year.

The site currently states: “We are interested in all brand types, including major entertainment brands, musicians, consumer products, and social influencers. Note that social influencers must have a minimum of 100,000 followers.”

See https://services.amazon.com/collab/merchcollab.html#apply for guidelines.