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Year in Review

Most-Read Articles of 2019

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Based on The Licensing Letter’s website analytics, here are the top stories of 2019, based on the number of page views accumulated since the beginning of the year. The list only includes articles published in The Licensing Letter newsletter, not the Deal Sheet, Licensing Data Bank, or Licensing Source Book.

32 Entertainment/Character Properties Make the Cut for TLL’s $100 MM List for 2018

Know thyself, know thy enemy, and victory is certain. Once again, TLL’s ranking of top-earning entertainment/character brands nabs the top spot.

This year, just 32 entertainment/character properties cleared over $100 million in licensed retail sales in the U.S. and Canada in 2018, compared to 37 in 2017 and 46 in 2016. A quarter of titles hailed from Disney, which also contributed almost 42% of total licensed retail sales based on titles on the list.

37 Entertainment/Character Brands Earned Over $100 MM in the U.S. & Canada [for 2017]

Readers continued to click on and refer to TLL’s coverage of last year’s $100 MM Entertainment/Character Brands List throughout 2019.

TLL’s List of Planned Feature Films with Licensing Potential

We updated our list of upcoming movie properties with potential for licensing several times throughout the year.

The latest version of the list counts 130 titles with announced release dates through 2027.

Who’s News—February 2019

This particular release of TLL’s ongoing Who’s News feature, which tracks licensing executives across their various job changes, had the highest page views and longest length in its class.

Activision Blizzard named Steve Young as the successor to its consumer products division; Cloudco Entertainment (form. American Greetings) cemented its executive team; Turner filled in key roles in the EMEA, Latin America, and APAC; Hasbro boosted its U.K. offices; Bandai Namco established an American base; Rubik’s recruited a new CEO; and more.

Average Royalty Rates Inch Up by 0.2% in 2018: Entertainment/Character 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. and Canada.

The areas with the largest fluctuations were entertainment/character and food/beverage (both brands and, to a limited extent, products)—both were up.

Royalty Rates Flat [in 2017]; Average Up to 8.75%

On the heels of the latest reporting, come comparisons to yesteryear. Readers looked back further into the second decade of long-term stability in royalty rates, as tracked by TLL.

Licensing Law 101: Right of Publicity & Using Celebrities Without Permission

In the U.S., can a company utilize a person’s intellectual property without being under a licensing agreement? The answer: “Yes, sometimes.”
While it might seem an anathema for any sensible licensing professional, TLL broke down the specific cases where it’s possible.

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, but it’s not the only way deals are structured.

We broke down the most common royalty rate agreements as well as the market trends driving their adoption.

Sports-based Licensing Stumbles with 1.4% Growth in the U.S. & Canada

Licensed retail sales of sports-based merchandise grew 1.4% to reach $16.1 billion—It was the slowest year of growth since 2010, when sales dipped -2.8% from the previous year.

What’s the [Toy] Story? Same as Last Year, Just Better!

Our annual coverage of New York’s International Toy Fair managed to get into the top most-read ranks this year. While some hot trends predictions panned out for this holiday season (slime, collectibles), others turned out to be a bust (influencer-based merch).


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