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LICENSED GOODS

Average Royalty Ranges Smooth Over Large Gaps

Over the last decade, the average royalty rate has hovered around 8.7% for all licensed goods. But while averages are important, ranges are perhaps even more so in evaluating your licensing program.

In general, the average royalty rate in the U.S./Canada has remained relatively stable over the last decade—and the same has held true for royalty ranges.

In a survey of royalty rates and ranges from 2010 through 2017, the furthest that any category TLL tracks has moved has been just one percentage point. We examine breakdowns by property type below—click here for an analysis based on product categories.

The average variance in royalty rates is a full 24 percentage points—but that is just on average, and programs exist where payouts may operate on razor-thin or no royalties (in which case, we don’t track them) or on fuller rates of 25% or above.

Just five property types commanded royalties of 10% or more in 2017, but only two—celebrities, and its subcateogry entertainers/models—have sustained that level from 2010–2017.

But that doesn’t mean that entertainment/character, sports, and even fashion brands are not keeping up. These three categories saw the largest spike in average royalty since 2010, while the broader celebrities categroy has been faltering.

The property types with the largest gaps are entertainment/character and music (21 percentage points each), art (20 points), and corporate trademarks/brands (19 points). Within these categories there are multiple strata of brands ranging from very high end (what we call ‘A-list’ brands) to relative unknowns. In addition, the brands within these categories have extensions in virtually every product category.


Average Royalty Rate & Range, by Property Type, U.S. & Canada, 2010–2017
Note: Numbers may not add up exactly due to rounding.
Property Type Average Royalty Rate Average Low Royalty Average High Royalty Range, Lowest to Highest
Art 6.2% 3.9% 13.9% 20.0%
Art and Artists 6.1% 4.1% 13.6% 20.0%
Museums 6.1% 4.1% 14.5% 17.0%
Celebrities 10.2% 3.3% 16.5% 15.0%
Entertainers/Models 10.4% 4.4% 15.3% 12.0%
Chefs/Home-related 9.7% 2.9% 15.5% 16.0%
Collegiate 10.0% 5.0% 16.4% 14.0%
Entertainment/Character 9.6% 5.0% 20.6% 21.0%
Estates 9.7% 4.4% 16.0% 16.0%
Fashion 8.4% 2.5% 15.4% 15.0%
Apparel 8.4% 5.0% 15.4% 12.0%
Footwear 7.1% 2.4% 13.5% 12.0%
Home 7.5% 2.3% 13.5% 12.0%
Music 8.2% 4.8% 19.5% 21.0%
Non-profit 8.3% 4.8% 12.8% 12.0%
Publishing 8.6% 2.6% 16.9% 16.0%
Books 7.9% 6.0% 13.3% 8.0%
Newspapers/Magazines 8.1% 2.4% 12.0% 10.0%
Comic Books/Strips 9.6% 5.0% 16.9% 13.0%
Sports 10.0% 5.0% 16.1% 13.0%
Trademarks/Brands 7.8% 1.3% 17.0% 19.0%
Automotive/Motor Vehicle 4.1% 1.1% 13.3% 15.0%
Food/Beverage 5.6% 1.8% 9.8% 9.0%
Restaurants 5.9% 4.0% 8.0% 4.0%
Sporting Goods 7.0% 4.5% 13.5% 12.0%
Traditional Toys/Games 8.2% 5.0% 13.3% 13.0%
Videogames/Interactive/Online 8.9% 6.0% 15.0% 12.0%
OVERALL AVERAGE 8.7% 1.1% 20.9% 24.0%

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