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TLL Survey

Breaking Down the Numbers Behind TLL’s 2019–2020 Annual Survey

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Every year we strive to bring you the most representative figures behind the licensing business. To that end, TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey is one of the most powerful tools we use to better serve you. Here are the number’s behind this year’s Survey. Breaking out the respondents by function, 39% work as licensees, 26% as licensors, 24% as agents, and the remaining 12% as consultants, service providers, and retailers.

When asked to estimate the amount of annual retail sales of licensed product respondents were responsible for managing, licensing executives working as licensors reported the greatest amount, on average, with over $200 million in licensing business each (responses ranged from $25,000 to $2 billion).

The average licensee oversaw $25 million worth of licensed retail sales, ranging from $50,000 to $450 million. Agents handled $120 million on average, ranging from $25,000 to $1.5 billion. Consultants, service providers, and retailers handled $200 million with a range of $50,000 to $3 billion.

Not surprisingly, licensors also reported having the most licensing agreements in 2019 with an average of 60 contracts (ranging from 2 to 250). The average respondent licensee held 26 licensing agreements, ranging from 2 to 90. Agents for licensors managed 130 contracts (ranging from 12 to 400) on average, while their counterparts for licensees managed 34 (ranging from 10 to 55). Licensors and their agents were more likely to report an increase in licensed retail sales in 2019 as compared to licensees and their agents (68% and 37%, respectively).

As a group, licensors reported that licensed retail sales were up 7.5% compared to 2018 while licensees reported stagnant growth of -0.8%. While agents for licensors were somewhat more optimistic than their counterparts representing licensees, as a group agents reported more middling 4.5% growth in licensed retail sales for 2019.

Consultants, service providers, and retailers reported 2.5% growth overall. Seventy-one percent of respondent licensing executives are based in the U.S./Canada, 14% in Western Europe, and the remaining 15% in the rest of the world. When asked in which territories they do business, 38% indicated that they work worldwide, 30% exclusively in the U.S./Canada, and the remainder 32% in Western Europe, Latin America, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, and the Middle East & Africa. While all groups were more or less equally represented in each territory TLL tracks, licensors and their agents were slightly more likely to be based in and work in the U.S. and Canada and Western Europe. Licensees and their agents were slightly more numerous in the U.S. and Canada and Latin America.


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