Vegas starts with a bang, as LIMA reveals royalties hit $5.454bn in US and Canada last year.

Licensing revenue up for second consecutive year

Sales of licensed products climbed for the second consecutive year in 2012, according to LIMA’s 2013 Licensing Industry Survey.

Conducted by researchers at the Yale School of Management, the trade body’s latest annual survey shows that trademark owners (including entertainment studios, sports leagues, fashion houses, corporate brand owners and others), generated $5.454 billion in royalties in 2012. This is a gain of 2.5 per cent over 2011, for an estimated retail value of $112.1 billion.

The report shows growth in nearly every licensing category, with Entertainment, Trademark/Brands, Fashion and Sports merchandise being the key revenue drivers. These four categories together represented 94 per cent of all licensed revenues last year.

The report was released to coincide with the first day of Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. It is now available free to LIMA members.

“Our 2013 Licensing Industry Survey shows there is a lot to be optimistic about for retailers and companies of all sizes that are leveraging the power of licensing to drive product sales,” said LIMA president Charles Riotto. “These latest findings clearly show that licensing is a positive and effective tool across virtually every category of goods.”

Following are highlights from LIMA’s 2013 Licensing Industry Survey:

Character-related merchandise – The largest classification, encompassing Entertainment, TV, Movie and Celebrity licensing, and biggest sales generator in 2012, this category accounted for $2.55 billion in royalties and an estimated $49.3 billion in retail sales, up 2.8 per cent from the previous year.

Corporate brands – The second largest category in the report and the one associated with major corporate brands and trademarks, collected $928 million in royalties in 2012, up two per cent, and an estimated $21.6 billion at retail.

Fashion – Royalty revenues for fashion licensing, which includes branded goods of noted designers, increased 3.4 per cent last year to $755 million, translating into estimated retail sales of $16.5 billion.

Sports – Major league sports, including leagues and individuals, scored a 2.2 per cent increase in licensing revenues, to $685 million in royalties, for an estimated $12.6 billion at retail.

Art – Licensing revenues for Art properties increased 1.5 per cent last year to $134 million in royalties, translating into an estimated $3.9 billion at retail.

LIMA’s 2013 Licensing Industry Report is available free to LIMA members and $295 for non-members. It can be ordered at

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