Angry Birds CEO Explains How The Company Embraces Piracy
from the not-so-bad-for-the-business dept
I was in the audience to see Eliot van Buskirk interview Rovio’s CEO, Mikael Hed, on Monday morning at Midem, but with so much going on at the conference (and then traveling), I’m finally getting a chance to write it up. Hed made a point of telling music industry execs that not only was the music industry’s approach to piracy entirely wrong, he believed Rovio’s approach was much smarter: embracing the piracy. I’d heard that Hed made it a special point to make sure that the interview included a discussion on piracy — and brought it up two separate times during the interview — saying that the company was basically doing exactly the opposite of the music industry:
“We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.”
He explained how the important thing for the future of Angry Birds was to keep building “fans” and that piracy can actually help with that. He noted that they were “embracing” pirates where they could, recognizing that it could help the company get more fans. Later, he noted that if there’s too much piracy, it’s the company’s own fault for not providing access to the game in a convenient enough manner. His comments went even further than the comments from his colleague Peter Vesterbacka a few months ago about how the company used counterfeiting as market research to figure out where to invest.
Either way, it seems clear that Rovio has taken to heart many of the points that we’ve discussed here about proactive ways to deal with piracy: by recognizing that it’s an opportunity, not a threat.