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Royalty Profile for Licensed Publishing


Sector value, U.S. & Canada, 2017: $3.84 billion

Proportion of retail sales of licensed merchandise, U.S. & Canada, 2017: 3.5%

Average royalty, U.S. & Canada, 2018: 9.62%

Royalty range, U.S. & Canada, 2018: 5%–15%

Average royalty, U.S. & Canada, (10 years) 2009–2018: 9.75%


This is a core category for many children’s properties, setting the stage for a broader licensing program to follow. Such projects generally draw the higher royalties typically enjoyed by entertainment.

On the other hand, publishing that carries a corporate name (a restaurant’s cookbook, a home center chain’s do-it-yourself manual) generates the lower royalties of a corporate program, valued as much for the exposure as for the revenue it generates for the licensor.

Licensing of sports trading cards can be very complex and expensive, with multiple entities (perhaps a league and players union) each getting a cut and driving the total royalty higher than the average.

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