The first of 52 episodes of Rovio’s Angry Birds Toons launches to the world this weekend. But you won’t be watching it on television – or will you?
The idea of a video game spawning a cartoon “TV” series is nothing new. I vividly remember playing Pac-Man in the early 80s at the local arcade and then watching its Saturday morning cartoon on ABC.
What is new about Rovio’s approach is their distribution strategy that bypasses U.S. television networks. The company is placing its bets on the hyper connected on-the-go/on-demand consumer. With bite-sized content (each episode is 3 minutes long), smart TVs (Samsung), connected TV devices (Roku), plus smartphones, laptops, and tablets is how potential viewers can consume Angry Birds Toons.
Rovio’s biggest asset? Their 1.5 billion app installs worldwide that will now feature a button on the games’ home screen - shepherding its users to take a few minutes to watch some good old “television” and hopefully attracting advertisers in the process.
But with over 100 million TV households in the U.S. is Rovio missing out on a mass audience? A partnership with Comcast distributes Angry Birds Toons via Xfinity on-demand and the Xfinity TV Player. That’s the closest step Rovio has taken (so far) to reach the mainstream TV audience. We’ll soon see if it’s enough…