Rovio Mobile

25 ways of downloading Angry Birds

June 3, 2011: 12:33 PM ET

Rovio has a blockbuster franchise just as notable for its flock of revenue streams as its wildly addictive game play.

FORTUNE -- You don't have to try very hard to spot Angry Birds in their natural habitat -- online -- because they are as ubiquitous as a Manhattan pigeon.

Since launching as an iPhone app in December 2009, the franchise has been downloaded 200 million times -- double the number reported just three months ago -- and is available on 30% of all new smart phones. Its sole virtual good, the "Mighty Eagle," which clears the entire screen of enemies, has been purchased by more than 50 million users since December; three million plush toys have been sold, and in China, the growing franchise is considered one of the top three brands alongside the likes of Disney and Hello Kitty. The feather in Rovio's cap? Talks of an Angry Birds movie, of course.

It's the kind of market saturation most app makers -- content makers of any kind, really -- only dream of. But it's one largely invisible to Rovio's actual customers. That's not because they're too busy slinging birds across their screens to care. Rather, Rovio's genius has been to appeal to game players across a wide variety of platforms, demographics, price points and interest levels. By putting a fun user experience with arresting game play at easy reach to all manner of players, Rovio has shown how the audience fragmentation traditional media companies are fearful of can be turned from a liability to an asset.


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