Officially Licensed: Why It Matters

What does officially licensed mean?

Most of us have heard the term, “officially licensed merchandise” but not all of us understand what it really means.  The term “licensed” simply means, to grant permission or give authority to.  Other than making the idea more concrete, putting the word, “officially” in front of “licensed” is somewhat redundant.

But the redundancy and emphasis is important, though often overlooked.

Consider this:

In 2011, over $21.5 million was lost by the apparel market due to counterfeit goods.  And at almost $100 million, the highest amount of lost revenue in 2011 goes to the footwear market.  Where 98% of counterfeit footwear originated in China.

Unlicensed, counterfeit goods are big business in the US, where consumers are always looking for the best deal.  And sometimes, unknowingly, we purchase illegal goods under the assumption that we’re getting the real deal.  Other times, we knowingly participate.

It’s All About the Quality

Ok, true story.  A few years back I was on a Mexican cruise with my wife and some friends.  One of the ports of call was Mazatlan, a seaside town on the Pacific Ocean full of shops, shops and more shops.  A tourist knick-knack heaven.  Not my scene, but I went along in hopes of addressing my craving for tamales.

A friend on the trip decided to buy a knock off (read: counterfeit) watch.  I won’t name the brand, but think high-end pilots watch.  And from a normal watch viewing distance, it looked quite convincing.  However, under closer scrutiny, it was obviously a fake.  Not a big deal to him, as most people would never get that close.

He paid $50 for this watch.  Seemed like a bargain, as the actual version of this watch would have cost him many thousands.  But here’s the rub.  After our adventurous “taxi” ride back to the ship, we all settled down for dinner, while my buddy showed off his new time piece.  I took a look at the watch and noticed the minute hand had fallen off and lay awkwardly at the bottom of the watch face.

So much for that bargain counterfeit, $50 would have bought a lot of tamales.

The Protection and Preservation

At its core, licensing offers protection for both creators and consumers.  It enables us to buy with confidence and reduce feelings of risk.  To know that a manufacturer or retailer backs a product or service is a top selling point for many brands.  This is true, not just for higher cost items either.

A quick look at successful online companies and you’ll most likely see these confidence boosting must have’s:

  • Customer Testimonials
  • Clear Return Policy
  • Visible Contact Information
  • Security Logos
  • Links to Privacy Policies and Terms of Sales

Licensing also protects creators of intellectual property.  Whether it’s copyright law protecting the unintended use and distribution of music or patent laws protecting a technological breakthrough, their purpose is to preserve the ongoing creation of science and the useful arts.

Why Sonifly* Cares

We like the music industry.  The very makeup of Sonifly* reflects this notion, from our internal staff, to you, our customers.  We want the creators to continue to create and the musicians to continue to make music.  This is why we only sell officially licensed sheet music, rock t shirts, mp3’s, and merch.

We feel like we’re doing our part to help support the industry.  We respect the artists and creators, their work and the idea that they should be compensated.  We understand that music heals, inspires, reflects and unites and want to continue sharing that gift with you.

*Sonifly has become Band Merch Now