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Is online piracy actually good for business?

Angry Birds boss puts the content cat amongst the pigeons…

A few weeks ago, Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio, the Finnish games company that produces the insanely popular Angry Birds made this rather surprising statement:

‘Piracy may not be a bad thing – it can get us more business at the end of the day.’

Come again?

Yep, apparently piracy can actually be good for business because it is actually helpful to a brand by attracting new fans.

Hed actually went further, arguing that there was no point pursuing people who copied Angry Birds’ games and concepts unless they were harmful to the brand. The key, he said, is to learn from the mistakes made by others, particularly in 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.’

It seems Hed is not alone in this viewpoint. An online poll conducted by the UK’s Daily Telegraph shows that almost 86 per cent of people agree that piracy can be good for business.

Whether content creators agree is, of course, another matter. But speaking of good for business… we know that syndicating a brand through as many channels as possible works wonders. Rovio is aware of that, too, hence the soon-to-be-released Angry Birds feature film. In case you haven’t already had your fill of the kamikaze critters, here’s an entertaining teaser…

 

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