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Special Report: The Evolution of Music Licensing

By Gary Symons, TLL Editor in Chief The Bob Dylan music deal with Universal Music has shown that for musicians and music companies, the times truly are a’changin’. But, in truth, that change was coming long before Universal stroked a check for a reported $300 million to $400 million, in return for Dylan’s entire music catalog of roughly 600 songs. Also in December Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks sold 80 per cent of the rights to her catalog of songs she wrote to music publisher Primary Wave for a reported $100 million. In August, Imagine Dragons sold their catalog for more than $100 million to Concord Music Publishing. What should have gained a lot more press, however, were the other deals happening in 2019 and building momentum through 2020. For… . . . read more

Neil Young to Cash In on Music Catalogs

Canadian rock star and songwriter Neil Young is out of the blue, and heavily into the black, after selling a 50 per cent interest in his music catalog for an estimated $150 million US. As noted in this week’s Special Report from The Licensing Letter, the past four years and 2020 in particular have seen a massive increase in the value and scale of music catalog deals. Sales rose from an average of $100 million to $200 million a year prior to 2016, to more than $4 billion in 2019. Figures for 2020 are not yet out, but music rights deals are expected to hit a new and dramatic high after landmark deals with Bob Dylan, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, and many others. Young’s sale… . . . read more

Royalties

Average Industry-Wide Royalty Rate Up 0.7 Percentage Points to Reach 8.87% in 2019

The average royalty rate for consumer products licensing contracts jumped 0.7 percentage points to reach 8.87% in 2019, according to TLL’s 2019–2020 Licensing Business Survey…


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Royalties

Average Royalty Income Up 5.0% Worldwide in 2019

On average, licensing executives reported a 5.0% increase in royalty income in 2019. Seventy-three percent of respondents to TLL’s 2019–2020 Licensing Business Survey reported that royalty income was up from the previous year…


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Worldwide

Top Licensed Retail Sales Figures to Have On-hand in the New Year

While TLL is crunching the official stats for 2019 over the next month, here are some figures and trends we’re tracking for next year…


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Royalties

Three-fourths of Royalties Based on Net Wholesale Sales in 2018

Three-fourths of the licensing agreements signed in 2018 calculated royalty rates based on net wholesale sales, according to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey


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Apparel

Royalty Profile for Licensed Apparel


Royalty Rates

Average Royalty Rates Inch Up by 0.2% in 2018: Ent/Char Drives Increases in Property Types

The average royalty rate across all property types and product categories edged up 0.2% in 2018 to reach 8.81% in the U.S./Canada, according to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey. Since 2006…


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Product Categories

Cosmetics, Toys & Electronics Drive Increases in Industry-wide Royalties in 2018

Roughly two-thirds of the product categories TLL tracks saw nominal bumps in industry-wide royalties in 2018, according to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey


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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…


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