By Sahil Patel
Rovio, the developer behind the monster-hit Angry Birds franchise, has spent the past year looking to expand the gaming brand into other areas of entertainment, from web-programming to, soon, feature films. In fact, earlier this year Rovio Entertainment launched a mobile video “channel,” available across all of Rovio’s Angry Birds mobile and connected TV apps, distributing an animated web series called “Angry Birds Toons.” At 52 episodes, Rovio has made new episodes available every Sunday since March 17. The series has also aired across 20 broadcast networks globally.
Now, Rovio is revving up its programming ambitions with plans to launch multiple new series in 2014. In addition to a planned second season of “Angry Birds Toons,” Rovio plans to launch a dedicated series for the Bad Piggies characters and another series for Stella, the pink bard character in the game.
Beyond its own original shows, Rovio plans to bring third-party content to its mobile video channel. This includes the worldwide launch of “Stan Lee’s Chakra the Invincible,” co-produced by Lee’s POW! Entertainment and Graphic India, as well as various digital shorts, specials, and series from Hasbro Studios, National Geographic Kids’ Amazing Animals; The Jim Henson Company’s “Fraggle Rock”; and Xilam Animation’s “Oggy & the Cockroaches,” “Zig & Sharko,” and “Space Goofs.”
During a presentation at Advertising Week in NY, Rovio also announced that the mobile video channel, titled ToonsTV, has surpassed 1 billion views in its first seven months.
“We are extremely excited about the positive reception from our fans with the original ‘Angry Birds Toons’ series. Given the size of our reach and our massively engaged audience, it seemed only natural to extend beyond our own storytelling and partner with the best content creators to bring our fans even more fun entertainment,” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio Entertainment, in a statement.