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Compensation

Average Salary Drops $10K; Gap Between Europeans and Americans Widens

Contact the editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com and sales at jen@plainlanguagemedia.com

You’re a licensing executive: Negotiate like one. TLL is currently updating the only industry-specific source of salary, bonus, and data. Reserve your 2019 edition of TLL’s 2019 Compensation Report today and get last year’s report emailed to you for just $47 more—email or call Jen at jen@plainlanguagemedia.com or 888-729-2315. The 2019 Report will be available June in time for Licensing Expo Las Vegas.

Have questions about TLL’s 2019 Compensation Report and TLL’s 2019 Salary Survey? Check out our breakdown, and if they’re still not answered, get in touch.

The average base salary for all licensing executives worldwide was an even $100,000—down 12 grand from last year. Despite having a lower average salary and bonus compared to the Americans, the decrease isn’t thanks to Western European respondents—their average salaries actually jumped slightly. The dip was thanks to flattish growth among U.S.-based licensing executives, with some titles even seeing a drop.

In order to capture a broader range of titles and enable broad demographic comparisons, we grouped together all titles VP and higher into one group, including less-common titles like EVP and AVP. Of course, TLL’s 2019 Compensation Report also breaks down salary and bonus data by title for owner/partner, president, SVP, VP, director, manager, and coordinator.

Executive-level titles have the highest variations in salary and bonus, largely thanks to extreme variance in the amount of money owners/partners and CEOs draw. Mid-level executives like managers and directors are no less varied, but nevertheless command less compensation. Lower-level salary and compensation data is drawn almost entirely from additional information provided by respondents; because so few answered individually, there is not enough data to draw demographic conclusions for this group.

Licensing Business Annual Salary, Bonus & Hours Worked,
by Title Type, U.S., 2018
Notes: *Among those who received bonuses; some respondents specified that they were not paid bonuses.
†Total average calculated across all titles.
Type of Title Salary Bonus* Range in Salary Hours Worked
Executive $200,000 $208,000 $30,000–500,000 49.1
Mid-level $93,000 $8,000 $52,000–188,000 45.4
Lower-level $53,000 $3,000 $32,000–98,000 41.0
Total† $125,000 $105,000 $30,000–500,000 46.7

Licensing Business Annual Salary, Bonus & Hours Worked,
by Title Type, Western Europe, 2018
Notes: *Among those who received bonuses; some respondents specified that they were not paid bonuses.
†Total average calculated across all titles.
Type of Title Salary Bonus* Range in Salary Hours Worked
Executive $103,000 $38,000 $40,000–275,000 48.8
Mid-level $70,000 $8,000 $28,000–120,000 41.0
Lower-level $38,000 $950 $22,000–48,000 N/A
Total† $70,000 $18,000 $22,000–275,000 44.9

Here are some more findings from TLL’s 2019 Compensation Report that we found particularly interesting:

  • Half of all licensing executives didn’t receive a bonus in 2018.
  • But 52% of licensing executives got a raise last year, and the average raise was 5.9%—in dollar terms, just over $8,500.
  • Of those who received a bonus, 25% saw less than $10,000. To put that into context, excluding those whose bonus amount was over 100% of their annual base salary (3% of respondents), average bonus amount was 16% of a licensing executive’s base salary.
  • Licensors and others involved with corporate trademarks/brands earned almost $10,000 more in annual compensation than those that indicated they were most involved with entertainment/character brands.
  • One-fifth of top-ranking licensing executives (VP or higher) indicated that they have less than a year’s worth of experience in licensing.
  • Over 90% of respondents to the 2019 Salary Survey are white.
  • The average workweek for licensing executives working full-time was 46.3 hours, jumping to 54.5 hours during busy periods. But the average difference in working hours was a lot bigger than that simple difference—those who worked overtime worked an average of 14.4 hours longer a week (the rest didn’t do overtime).
  • Only 6% of executives said they were compensated for working overtime, but most of them were not compensated monetarily (usually with time off).
  • Of those who worked part-time (under 35 hours a week), the average workweek was 25.5 hours.
  • One-third of respondents say it’s been over a year since they last got a raise, and 14% that they’ve never received one.
  • Only 5% of respondents indicated that their last raise was connected to a promotion. But for those that do, the average raise connected to a promotion is much higher than one that is not—an average of 7.2 percentage points and $18,000 more, in fact.
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