According to the annual Licensing Industry Survey by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), brand owners collected nearly $5.2 billion in licensing royalty revenue in North America in 2009, down 8.7 percent from the year before. This marks the second year of decline; overall royalty revenues declined 5.6 percent in 2008.

In the survey, brand owners cited last year’s sluggish consumer spending, a conservative climate at retail, a longer decision-making cycle, and royalty pressure as reasons for the decline. However, brand owners were optimistic, reporting success in expanding their licensing business internationally in 2009. Licensors also reported a continued trend of more diversified retail distribution.

In 2009, the character segment, which produces 46 percent of licensing industry royalty revenues, declined 7.9 percent. Other major segments of the licensing industry include corporate trademarks/brands (17 percent), fashion (14 percent), and sports (13 percent).

The survey results were released at the opening session of the Licensing International Expo 2010. The numbers were derived from results of LIMA’s annual survey of companies that are directly involved in the licensing business, an examination of public financial documents, and interviews with licensing industry executives.