Angry Birds cracks 350 million downloads, sells a million shirts, toys each month

Sep 14, 2011
Finance

Angry Birds – it defines mobile gaming, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t know it when you mention it aloud. But here’s a new fact to put things into perspective: Angry Birds games have surpassed 350 million downloads. That’s “a third of a billion,” as Rovio Mobile’s North American Sales Manager Andrew […]

Angry Birds – it defines mobile gaming, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who doesn’t know it when you mention it aloud. But here’s a new fact to put things into perspective: Angry Birds games have surpassed 350 million downloads.

That’s “a third of a billion,” as Rovio Mobile’s North American Sales Manager Andrew Stalbow put it at TechCrunch Disrupt on Tuesday. Speaking during the conference, Stalbow also dropped another truth bomb about the franchise – the developer sells a million Angry Birds t-shirts and a million plus toys every month, Develop reports.

Stablow also said that mobile Angry Birds play racks up to 200 million minutes daily. That’s 3,333,333 hours; 13,889 days; 524 years. That’s, uh, a lot of Angry Birds.

A writer for The Atlantic, Alex Madrigal, took it a step further and ran some loose figures based on Angry Birds numbers and created an infographic. Based on 200 million minutes of daily Angry Birds playtime (which Madrigal attributes to just the U.S., even though it’s more likely a global figure), that amounts to 866,666,667 hours spent playing Angry Birds every year. Madrigal estimates that if 5 percent of those are work hours, rather than off hours, at an average wage of $35 per hour, it amounts to about $1.517 billion in lost wages every year: according to his math, Angry Birds costs the U.S. economy $1.517 billion every year.

Obviously these figures aren’t concrete or probably even meant to be taken seriously – we already pointed out the trouble of not knowing which groups of people account for the 200 million minutes figure – but it is fun and interesting to start putting the Angry Birds phenomenon in some kind of numerical context. Meanwhile, the rumored valuation of Rovio is $1.2 billion.

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If that’s a little disconcerting to you and you’re tired of the Angry Birds trend, well… sorry. It’s not going anywhere, it seems. Stalbow mentioned during TC Disrupt that more “entertainment partnerships” could be on the horizon featuring Angry Birds. Rovio previously partnered with 20th Century Fox to create Angry Birds Rio, a free version of its game that cross-promoted the FOX animated movie Rio.

“People in Hollywood are really surprised with the quick acceleration in the way consumers engage with entertainment on their mobile phones,” Stalbow said, according to Disrupt. “There will be some interesting entertainment partnerships that will hopefully take what we had from [Angry Birds Rio] to a totally different level.”

I think that sound you just heard was the productivity of humanity decreasing even further.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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