5 Minutes with Alfred Kahn — World Leader in Licensing and Branding, and ECOMI’s Head of Licensing
Alfred Kahn has been called the number one leader in the licensing industry. His company, 4Kids Entertainment was responsible for some of the worlds biggest and most recognisable brands, including Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as being responsible for the licensing development, marketing and branding programs for companies like Nintendo, including Mario Bros, Zelda and Donkey Kong, and other iconic brands like James Bond, WWF, and Polly Pocket.
With more than $25billion in revenue from these properties alone, Alfred is a licensing hall of famer, having been inducted in June 2005, to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) Murray Altschuler Licensing Hall of Fame, and that very same year, Kahn was also inducted into the Kidscreen Hall of Fame.
Alfred has most recently become the Head of Global Licensing at ECOMI, and will oversee the procurement of some of the biggest licenses and brands to add to the ECOMI Collect app. Today we’re bringing you a very special interview with the man responsible for some of your favourite childhood memories, but first, it is important to understand licensing itself.
What is Licensing?
Licensing, in the shortest sense of the term, is an authority to redistribute the intellectual property (IP) of a content creator. Some simple examples include merchandising, or repurposing the IP into new formats e.g. from a Television show to a gaming console, trading card game, collectibles or movie adaptations. It goes hand in hand with branding and product development, as it not only helps to grow the scope of the original IP, but also allows the owner of the IP to create new products, market to new audiences, and distribute IP on new platforms.
ECOMI CEO David Yu Interviews Alfred Kahn
Alfred on the world of digital content:
“Obviously we’re seeing that a lot of content that used to be physical is now digital. I think the biggest examples certainly are music, movies, television shows. We used to buy VHS tapes or DVD’s, and now of course all of that material can get sent to you.
When we look at trading cards, Pokémon cards, Yu-Gi-Oh cards, the digital component on those has never really tractioned yet. Yet there’s so many online games that are being played where you buy additional pieces of material online to play the game, so the question is, how do you move that infrastructure to a real collectible for children? And the answer is it’s uniqueness.
So we believe that taking the top licenses and then creating incredible digital representations of these will give you a lot more magic, like augmented reality, three dimensional appearances, and making sure that that image is only available digitally.”
(Continues) Alfred on ECOMI:
“The issue with that was how do you protect that? How do you protect the individual that purchased it? Well, between ECOMI’s ecosystem, which uses the blockchain to obviously protect and certify these particular images… and ECOMI’s ability to store those collectibles on the smart wallet, and carry it around and show all your friends… I think that’s amazingly important.
So I look at this very much similar to a video game ecosystem… With ECOMI you have the smart wallet… and you can actually order these incredible collectibles that are based on huge hits in terms of licensing, and you know that what you’re getting is unique to you in some form.
And you’re offering something that nobody else sells. So you’re not just digitising an existing figure, it’s creating a new proposition where that digitisation represents the total physical embodiment of that thing, and the physical piece is no longer available.”
Alfred on the future of collecting:
“We think it’s a huge opportunity for kids to get into that whole collection mode, and we think that just like video games, just like trading cards, just like action figures- the next big realm of this area will be digital collectibles, and we’ve never seen a system that’s anywhere near what ECOMI can do.
We’re now inviting you to come in and participate, but also protecting it easily, and making it simple for anybody to use with the smart wallet, and take advantage of the blockchain using that smart wallet.”
Having Alfred on board at ECOMI is not only inspiring for the team, the passion and experience he brings with him is a huge vote of confidence for the company. With his expertise in licensing and branding ECOMI will continue to create the worlds best digital collectibles app, disrupting the industry and reimagining the way we view, and interact with, collectible items.
ECOMI’s mission is to utilise blockchain technology to create the world’s best platform to pay, protect, and collect premium licensed digital collectibles. ECOMI delivers the freedom to secure and control your digital assets, data, and cryptocurrencies with user-friendly products and applications.