Could “Angry Birds” have used Crowdfunding?

Let’s rethink history for a moment. Let’s imagine that Angry Birds‘ founders didn’t have a rich relative to pump proverbial gas into the proverbial car. Let’s go back in time with just some of the business funding knowledge we have now. Let’s also imagine that some of the funding options popular currently were also widespread about a half a decade ago. Then, let’s ask ourselves, could Rovio have made it happen for Angry Birds with crowdfunding?

This article isn’t a jab at Rovio’s funding strategy. It’s actually a keen look at their ingenious marketing. The question posed is for entrepreneurs in the creative industries today. The hope is that lessons from the past and present can be combined for even more successful business.

Crowdfunding with the compelling MVP

Very recently we saw how Yooka-Laylee reached £1m on Kickstarter within a few hours. This is the kind of wild success story that is not so uncommon today. However the lesson is simple. Gamemakers Playtonic created an MVP of their product. This was only in the form of a video teaser, PNG stills, amusing narrative, and references to past glories. Nevertheless, this gave consumers a way of experiencing the addictive fun that they would have by supporting the project. At least that’s what almost 50,000 backers would say.

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Crowdfunding is a startup’s free marketing tool

Speaking of addictive fun, Angry Birds isn’t the highest downloaded freemium series of games of all time for no reason. Switch places with Yooka-Laylee and their MVP would probably be even more compelling. They could have actually offered a playable demo version of their game. In fact, twelve episodes of the game that have been released in less than six years. Each one of these could have been a stretch goal in a crowdfunding campaign. Just dream of all the perk ideas one could come up with… That brings us to our next point.

Possible perks for an Angry Birds crowdfunding campaign?

Crowdfunding perks ad bellum

Let’s stay with the comparison between Yooka-Laylee and Angry Birds for a moment. When it comes to crowdfunding perks, the Yooka-Laylee campaign was maybe not as imaginative as it could have been. Rovio has shown excellence in creativity by taking their hypnotic game from the digital world into the physical world. This kind of out-of-the-box thinking would churn out a myriad of persuasive perk ideas in a crowdfunding campaign. Should we dive into what those ideas could be? Let’s not, but just say we did. It’s sufficient to know that the Angry Birds franchise has moved into media (television & film), merchandise (toys, print publications, and food products), tourist attractions, and even works of religious analogy! Realistically, this of course didn’t all happen at once. However, it provides a lot of food for thought in your next crowdfunding campaign.

Investors used Angry Birds for crowdfunding

While we’re rethinking history, why not philosophize a bit more?

“Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet.”

That’s the definition from the Oxford Dictionary. If that’s what the world’s smartest wordsmiths have agreed upon, who are we to dispute? Rovio needed funds for their Angry Birds project and accepted this from a few investors. However these investors needed funds – well – for their funding projects and banked on “monetary contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet.” Rovio founders ended up not having as big a stake in their own business as they might have.

Will the next Angry Birds use crowdfunding?

Now that we’ve rethought history, we can take a look at the future. If you were running Angry Birds would you use crowdfunding? Will disruptive financial innovation undermine the IPO the way it’s been undermining traditional banking? Please leave a comment or gives us a shout on Twitter via @bizfundingshow.

Interested in finding out how you can get business funding for your creative projects? Join us at Business Funding Show ’16 – grab your free tickets now.
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