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Rovio to launch Angry Birds cartoons inside its mobile games

Rovio Entertainment said today it would take advantage of its huge mobile game network to distribute its new Angry Birds video cartoon series.

The Espoo, Finland-based company has seen a decline of playtime — and thus a decline in revenue — of its Angry Birds games, which have been downloaded more than 1.7 billion times, according to market analyst App Annie. So the new cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, is a way to increase engagement in those games. In an industry first, Rovio will launch the animated cartoon series in a video distribution channel in all of its Angry Birds games on smartphones and tablets. Starting this weekend (March 16-March 17), fans can watch the adventures of the zany birds and bad pigs through a dedicated Rovio channel inside the games.

The videos will also be available on select video-on-demand providers, smart TVs, and connected devices. The cartoon series will also air on TV networks around the worlds.

In other words, Angry Birds will be inescapable and ubiquitous.

“We’ve long wanted to tell our fans the story of the Angry Birds and the Bad Piggies, to introduce their personalities and their world in detail.” said Mikael Hed, the CEO of Rovio, in a statement. “We’re delighted to introduce all this through our new channel, with easy and instant access to the stories in the palm of your hand. With over 1.7 billion downloads, we can reach a far wider and more engaged global audience than traditional distribution would allow. Launching the channel, and partnering up with some of the best video-on-demand providers and TV networks, is an important milestone for us on our journey towards becoming a fully fledged entertainment powerhouse.”

Angry Birds Toons will have 52 weekly episodes starting Saturday on TV and the next day in Angry Birds apps and video-on-demand platforms.

“We want to combine the feel of cartoon classics with modern twists on an unprecedented scale. Our team has been working tremendously hard to once again delight our fans with a new way to experience these loveable characters,” said Nick Dorra, the head of animation at Rovio.

Rovio said it has partnered with third-party video distributors including Comcast’s Xfinity, Samsung Smart TVs, Roku boxes and other platforms. On TV, Angry Birds Toons will air on FOX8 in Australia, JEI TV in Korea, ANTV in Indonesia, Cartoon Network in India, MTV3 Juniori and MTV3 in Finland, the Children’s Channel in Israel, 1+1 networks in Ukraine, Gulli and Canal J in France, SUPER RTL in Germany, TV2 in Norway, Canal 13 in Chile, and Gloob in Brazil.

In addition, Activision, Paramount Pictures, BlackBerry, and Sony Pictures are partnering with Rovio at the launch of the Angry Birds Toons channel.


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