Angry Birds Cartoons Will Launch In Spring But Probably Not On TV

Rovio’s Angry Birds is a brand we all recognize, but the Finnish gaming company is finally moving past games and merchandise to push short animated cartoons to the masses.

Rovio’s CEO Mikael Hed said in an interview in Helsinki that Rovio will launch a series of short, cartoon-style episodes featuring everyone’s favorite destructive birds (and probably a few piggies) in the spring.

It was originally reported last year that Rovio would have these ultra-short cartoons ready to go by fall of 2012. Clearly that didn’t happen, but perhaps it was because Rovio is thinking outside the box where distribution is concerned.

“The content itself is the channel,” said Mr. Hed. “We have become the channel.”

Metaphysics aside, he has a great point. Rovio enjoys 260 million users as of January, with the Angry Birds brand filtering into countries all over the world on a number of various platforms, including iOS, Android, Kindle Fire, Mac, Windows 8, and Windows Phone.

Knowing the breadth of the user base and Rovio’s background as a gaming company (as opposed to a television network), Mr. Hed clarified that the distribution of this new animated series will be a bit unorthodox. “Previously content creators were reliant on others who had the channel,” he explained.

Hed suggested that this reliance wouldn’t be the case with Rovio. That essentially rules out a broadcast network, which would hurt Rovio’s outstanding margins. Of course, the company could go through YouTube or some other internet channel, but they wouldn’t be able to leverage their user base to watch all these animations.

Instead, Hed’s comments suggest that the animations will be pushed through Rovio’s own channel, which he said himself is “the content.” This leads us to believe that Rovio may even be planning on distributing its animations through the apps themselves, pushing them to both smartphones and smart TVs.

Rovio has been making headway in the animation business since its 2011 acquisition of Kombo Animation, and the WSJ reports that it’s animation team has tripled since then to 70 people.

You can get a feel for Rovio’s animation style here, where the company has a handful of various cinematic trailers for games like Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Star Wars.

Further down the line, Rovio has plans for a full-length Angry Birds feature film.