Rovio: Over 7 Million People Helping Those Angry Birds Out on Android; Christmas Update Coming



Rovio’s been fielding questions on their Twitter account from users in a conversation that went from inquiries about a Christmas add-on to why Angry Birds is free on Android and not on other platforms. Firstly, yes: there will be an update for Android (as well as other platforms) come Christmas time. (Here’s the tweet they responded to the question with.) Many were asking about it because Android was left out of the Halloween update (even though we received a whole new set of levels for free around the same time.)

And when asked why they offer free downloads on Android, they responded “because it’s the Google way.” One user wasn’t having that though: not all games on Android are free. Rovio came back with a very interesting stat, however:

@Andrew4Lyf true, but the ones with more than 50K downloads are… We just hit 7M downloads on Android.

Wait, what? It’s only been a month and a half since the popular game was released on Android and it’s already reached 7 million downloads. (We assume these are numbers from GetJar and the Market combined.) I don’t even want to begin thinking about how much money they’re making from ads, but something tells me they’re quite pleased with how this little experiment has turned out.

As we still experience growing pains in the Android market and as developers try to find more ways to make money, we’ll continue to see freemium and ad-supported models favored over paid downloads. If any developers were toying around with the idea of an ad-supported game, Rovio’s achievements should do well to convince you that it’s worth a shot.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. the coolest game!

  2. That game has single handedly stolen my life… Sad really =(

  3. I would gladly pay to get rid of the ads!

  4. I am annoyed because I can’t BUY the game with no ads!

  5. I’ve tried to explain to people “the Google way” but they just don’t get it. And anyone who wants to live in the days of the oil baron economy will never get it.

    At 7 million downloads, if only 5% of the users click on ads, that means 315,000 are generating income for them. And unlike the traditional approach, this is **recurring** revenue for doing absolutely nothing!

    That’s what they mean by “the Google” way. Why charge once and have to put out a new product to get new income when the old one will produce hand over fist into the indefinite future?

  6. And this game is even better on the Tab. Size does matter.

  7. And who hasn’t hit the AD by mistake and now it even in a worse place now.

  8. Post 3 and 4…

    I agree 100%. I would pay for an ad free version in a heart beat..

  9. @ tallbruva… I agree with you on most of your points. But it seems to me that you are against in-game advertising. At least, that’s what I can assume by the way you worded your “tirade”. With that said, the developers of the games and apps that we enjoy, deserve to be compensated. Yes, some do charge for the app, but others choose to advertising. However, the choice to pay for the app to have no in-game ads, is up to the consumer. The way I see it, “the Google way” is about freedom of choice and taking advantage of a free market and capitalistic society. That is so true about what makes Android BETTER than the IPhone.

  10. @TattooMan…hahaha. No, my friend. I am not against in-game advertising :-) In fact, of the 8 apps I have in the market, only 1 is a paid app. I use AdMob for all my ads and even use the house ads to cross promote my other apps among my existing install base.

    I wholeheartedly believe in the *recurring revenue of free products* model Google has pioneered. I may not have been clear with my words. What I meant is that if companies and developers turn from this model of revenue, they’re only hurting themselves.

  11. Those of you clamouring for a paid version am afraid are in the minority.So it does make business sense for them to leave it free and AD supported

  12. @ tallbruva, I stand corrected…lol. I, for one, am not a developer,but, I do understand business and a true free market economy. I have nothing but respect and admiration for the developers for Android OS. Google has done a great thing in the smartphone universe and I’m sure it will continue for years. It can only get better and I’m glad the users and developers alike are on board. They set the standard and Apple will one day have to use Google as a model, if they plan on keeping up.

  13. Download count, potential ad clicks/conversions don’t mean much unless we see revenue numbers. I’m curious about that.

  14. They make too much money on iOS devices, compared to those the Android platform is peanut.

  15. I know copy protection are two dirty words, but in order to attract more of the top-draw Iphone conversions, something needs to be done to stop the rampant piracy.

  16. The advantage of the ad model versus the paid model is that ad revenue continues to come in after the initial purchase. If you make a game that is compelling for long term play then the ad model makes WAY more sense than a single pay model – the fact that Rovio is doing ongoing releases and seasonal levels means that they are committed to a long term model and over time the ad supported games will probably make them a LOT more money than the paid one.

    That said, there are a few levels where the ad is REALLY poorly placed and blocks a part of the screen that you need to see – they need to make it so you can drag and move the ad around the screen to minimize its impact.

  17. I think mini-games like “Angry Birds” have a choice when it comes to ads. However, I would have been annoyed to have to play a true RPG, like “Zenonia”, with ads.

  18. CTown, no, they don’t have a choice. They have to make money off it some how. If they don’t want to charge, they have to have ads. How do you expect them to pay the developers who created the android version? With hugs and thank you’s?

  19. I am @indyan. And actually, they told me quite a bit more than that in private (DM). See:
    Draw your own conclusions.

  20. The easiest way to turn off the advertisements. Switch your mobile phone in “Flight Mode”. Of course, you would not be able to get calls but the game is playable WITH NO advertisements. tested on Galaxy 3.

  21. I want a paid version! Ad free version plz!

  22. Where is the so-called choice is there is not a paid option? Why is Rovio not offering this? Surely they have the tech? I’m sick of freaking ads intruding into my apps. It’s fine for trials (actually, it’s great for discovery) but game devs should offer a way out if you are willing to pay. I tend to not use or delete games after a while because I am tired of intrusion or accidental clicking on ads so the idea of continuous ad revenue is bogus. The half life of an ad-supported app will be similar or less than a bought app.

    What goes unsaid is that people who are too cheap to pay 99 cents for a game are also very unlikely to spend something that is being advertised and, as a consequence the flow through to the developer will be small. Would be interesting to see some numbers on actual dev income streams comparing ads to sales models. Even more important is the ratio of downloads to sales number for each dollar earned. If it takes 5 million downloads of an app to generate the same income as 50,000 sales over the same period of time, then we’ll only see blockbusters survive. That will not be good for Android.

  23. I would be glad to pay $1-2 for a full version but there is none. I have the free one but I have never seen any ads in it. I think my ad-block app gets rid of them because I never had any. I don’t mind paying for the apps but I really don’t like ads in the way. The best apps have both options so you can decide if you would rather play for free or pay a buck or two to get rid of the ads.

  24. i try to download angry birds but every time it shows up as a problem with installation…

  25. What kind of phone are you using Matt? It would help if we knew the make and model. Older phones running 1.5-1.6 aren’t doing too well with this game, but they are working on it so hang in there.

  26. I looked at these stats on 3-DEC [ ] and this is what I saw:

    49% of all apps never make it past 50 downloads and 74% never make it past the 1000. Even more interesting is that only 25% of all paid apps ever make it past 50 downloads. And only 3% get past the 1000 mark.

    I see two groups of people: Those who develop apps that are not into it for the money and those who are hoping to be the next ‘Angry Birds’ success story. There is no harm in trying, but people need to make sure their expectations are realistic.

    Only killer apps make big money. Everyone else has to settle for lunch money.


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