Piracy Isn’t A Bad Thing, Says Angry Birds CEO


Rovio Mobile’s chief executive Mikael Hed told the audience of Midem conference in Cannes this morning that piracy may not be a bad thing but instead it can get us more business at the end of the day. Angry Birds boss further explained that Rovio does not believe in going against pirates through a legal action unless it feels that the products they are selling are harmful to the Angry Birds brand. When that’s not the case, he thinks that piracy is actually a good way to attract more fans even if it is costing them money.

We have some issues with piracy, not only in apps, but also especially in the consumer products. There is tons and tons of merchandise out there, especially in Asia, which is not officially licensed products,” said Hed.

“We could learn a lot from the music industry, and the rather terrible ways the music industry has tried to combat piracy.”

(Yep, that’s me :P)

While speaking to the music industry audience, he said that Rovio has learned a lot from the music industry, including how it sees its customers.

“We took something from the music industry, which was to stop treating the customers as users, and start treating them as fans. We do that today: we talk about how many fans we have,” he said.

“If we lose that fanbase, our business is done, but if we can grow that fanbase, our business will grow.”

Hed also talked about a possible partnership between Angry Birds and music artists in the future, explaining how Angry Birds has become a bona-fide “channel” with people spending as much time on it as on a popular TV show in the US.

“It is possible to promote music content through our apps as well… We are positively looking for new partnerships, and we have a rather big team working on partnerships, so it’s just a case of getting in touch with us and we’ll take it from there”


  • An interesting take on piracy (embracing it).

  • Totally. Piracy can’t be stopped, and they aren’t wasting their time fighting it but utilizing it to their advantage. Smart.

    On a side note–Usman uncovered! lol

  • Kraken

    There are many times where I’d try an app via Installous, then later buy the app later on when I’ve found it useful.  Piracy has saved me some much wasted money on junk apps.

  • haha….definitely, piracy will not be stopped so utilizing it to further imprint their brand’s image is the smartest thing they can do.