Disney is going into gaming, social and mobile in a big way, with its Playdom, Tapulous and Rocket Pack acquisitions. As well they should, as these trends are the future of media, and happen to be quite profitable.
Not just because Angry Birds is clearly the leader in the new generation of mobile games, but because Angry Birds and Disney are the same business.
You might think that Disney’s business is making movies and TV shows, but that’s only part of it. Disney’s business is taking beloved brands and monetizing them across as many media as possible.
It’s what Mickey Mouse, Spider-Man and Hannah Montana have in common. It’s already well established that most of the money in children’s movies is in merchandise, and that the movies are almost ads for toys by now. But it’s true across most of the amazing brands in the Disney portfolio. That’s why they bought Pixar and spent $4 billion on Marvel.
And Angry Birds has that same quality. Rovio built an amazingly beloved, global brand in a record short amount of time, and are already busy monetizing it through awesome merchandising deals. That’s exactly the business Disney does best, in an rocketship market Disney needs to be a leader in.
It would also be a nice coup for Disney board member Steve Jobs, who also has a company that makes most of the phones Angry Birds is on, and is quite happy to see mobile developers make a lot of money.
At worst, Angry Birds is one great brand that can be monetized across Disney’s assets — cartoons, theme park attractions, you name it. At best, the Angry Birds guys are geniuses of this new medium, the Walt Disneys of smartphone games who will build many, many more beloved games and brands. Disney has shown with Pixar that they can nurture creative geniuses and with its history that it can monetise the hell out of their creations.
This one is really a no-brainer.